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The Falls Picnic Area Set to Re-open August 8th

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August 07, 2009 03:30PM
The Falls Picnic Area Set to Re-open August 8

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., August 7, 2009— The San Bernardino National Forest plans to re-open the Falls Picnic Area, Big Falls Trailhead, and Vivian Creek Trailhead near Forest Falls Saturday, August 8, 2009. The popular picnic area and trailheads have been closed since July 7, 2009 due to a bear that had become aggressive in the day use area.

Forest officials decided to close the site on July 7, after forest visitors were reporting numerous encounters with a black bear at the Falls Picnic Area. Since the closure went into effect, the bear has not been sighted in the picnic area, likely because the easy source of human food and trash was eliminated. When wild animals are allowed to feed on human food and garbage, they lose their natural ways – potentially causing harm to the bear.

Forest Service and California Department of Fish and Game met and discussed a number of alternatives and agreed that a short-term closure and increased public education would serve as the best course of action. New measures put into place in the Falls Picnic Area include:
  • Increased Forest Service presence on-site (both FS employees and volunteers) to police the area and educate visitors while soliciting public cooperation
  • Posting of additional signage in the recreation sites and around the local community
  • Installation of two new bear-proof dumpsters
“I believe increased public awareness is the key to reducing the conflicts between visitors and local wildlife” stated Jake Rodriguez Front Country Deputy District Ranger. “Visitors shouldn't leave food unattended - that's just an invitation for the bear, they need to put trash into dumpsters promptly after picnicking.”

Other tips include:
  • Keep a close watch on children, and teach them what to do if they encounter a bear.
  • While hiking, make noise to avoid a surprise encounter with a bear.
  • Store food and toiletries in bear-proof containers or in an airtight container in the trunk of your vehicle.
  • Put away picnic leftovers, store garbage, clean BBQ grills. - Keep a clean camp.
  • Never approach a bear or pick up a bear cub.
  • If you encounter a bear, do not run; instead, face the animal, make noise and try to appear as large as possible.
  • If attacked, fight back.
Report any bear encounters in the Falls Picnic Area to 909-382-2883 or 760-937-5966.

The Falls Picnic Area Set to Re-open August 8th

Rick2714August 07, 2009 03:30PM

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