PRESS RELEASE: The U.S. Forest Service is encouraging campers and visitors to the national forests in North Carolina to practice black bear safety this Memorial Day weekend.
The warning comes on the heels of two bear encounters in the Pisgah Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest, over the past week. The incidents occurred near the Black Balsam area off the Blue Ridge Parkway, south of Shining Rock Wilderness. In both cases, the bears obtained food from backcountry camp sites. Minor property damage was reported. There were no injuries.
While black bear attacks on people are rare, such attacks have resulted in human fatalities.
Visitors are encouraged to prevent bear interactions by practicing the following safety tips:
• Do not store food in tents.
• Properly store food by hanging it in a tree or in another secure container.
• Clean up food or garbage around fire rings, grills or other areas of your campsite.
• Do not leave food unattended.
For more tips, visit www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc, click on “Bear Safety Tips and PSAs.”