Research and Management of Black Bears in Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, 1974

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Black bear at the original Crater Lake National Park Grab-and-Go



Pre Dump Closure Activity

A summary of bear management activities at Crater Lake for 1964 through 1973 are presented in Table 1. All bear incidents involving injury or property disturbance are routinely recorded by park personnel. Property disturbance incidents include cases where property is damaged and incidents where a lunch was disturbed, a garbage can tipped over, etc., but no real damage was done. Prior to dump closures (1971) total incidents were relatively constant except for 1969 when there were 56 incidents (Table 1). Examination of park files indicates that only one or two bears were responsible for this increase. A sow and two cubs, which were finally killed, accounted for at least one injury and many of the property disturbance incidents. Thus, it appears that bear problems prior to dump closures remained at a fairly stable level with an occasional increase due to the persistent actions of a few bears.

Table 1. Bear management activities for Crater Lake National Park, 1964-1973.

Control by killing nuisance bears has been sporadic and dependent upon the various management philosophies of each new administration. Bears destroyed between 1964 to 1971 were primarily in response to bear inflicted injuries. A standard practice during this same time period was to trap and transfer nuisance bears to distant locations within the park. Until 1972-73 nuisance bears were not marked nor was the success of the transfer program evaluated.