A bear rests in a tree in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. (U.S. Forest Service)

A bear rests in a tree in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. (U.S. Forest Service)

More bears are visiting Mount Baker-Snoqualmie campgrounds

Drawn by trash and left-out food, bears scrounge campsites for easy meals.

DARRINGTON — Campgrounds in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest have seen an uptick in bear visits this summer, according to the Forest Service.

Bears have been raiding garbage dumpsters and campsites with left-out food.

The animals generally have fled humans in these cases, Forest Service spokesperson Colton Whitworth said.

With keen senses of smell, the creatures are drawn by incorrectly stored food and trash, Whitworth said.

The Forest Service is now working to retrofit dumpsters at campgrounds so they are bear-proof.

As tempting as it might be, offering food to bears that seem tame is never a good idea, according to the Forest Service.

Bears that begin to associate people with an easy meal become dangerous.

These habituated bears often can’t be scared away or relocated to other areas. They will continue returning to areas occupied by humans and ultimately will need to be euthanized.

So far this summer, that hasn’t been necessary.

As fall approaches, Whitworth said the animals will become less wary of people as they begin concentrating on storing fat reserves for the winter.

Most conflicts with bears are caused in part by human negligence.

The Forest Service recommends the following practices when camping in bear country:

Keep a clean camp site. Bears are attracted to dirty dishes, cooking messes, food scraps, trash, urine, and even dirty diapers.

Don’t store even tiny amounts of food or scented items such as lotion, deodorant, or perfumes in a tent. A bear has a sense of smell seven times that of a bloodhound and these items may pique their interest.

Do not leave food unattended at a campsite or in your vehicle.

If a bear shows up at your campsite, make noise and try to get the bear to leave, then notify the host or a local forest ranger.

Use bear-resistant food lockers and dumpsters where provided or bring your own.

Do not store garbage at camp site. Use a designated dumpster.

At an undeveloped camping location, keep your sleeping area away from where you cook, store food and trash, and where you decide to relieve yourself.

If you encounter a bear and it is not an emergency, contact the state Department of Fish and Wildlife between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 425-775-1311.

Julia-Grace Sanders: 425-339-3439; jgsanders@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Everett gets state Auditor’s Office stewardship award

State Auditor Pat McCarthy presented the award during the most recent Everett City Council meeting.

Representative Rick Larsen speaks at the March For Our Lives rally on Saturday, June 11, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Larsen to hold community meeting in Everett on Monday

The veteran Democratic lawmaker will address recent legislation passed by Congress and other topics.

King County map logo
U.S. 2 closed near Skykomish again due to Bolt Creek fire

A 1-mile stretch of U.S. 2 was closed in both… Continue reading

FILE - Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., speaks during a news conference the vote to codify Roe v. Wade, in this May 5, 2022 file photo on Capitol Hill in Washington. Murray is one of the U.S. Senate's most powerful members and seeking a sixth term. She is being challenged by Tiffany Smiley, a Republican from Pasco, Wash. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
Providence continues to face questions about hospital debt collection

The hospital group has pushed back against the notion that Providence “intentionally takes advantage of those who are vulnerable.”

Officers working in North Everett located and arrested the suspect from a June 20 shooting that left two dead and one injured in the 2000 block of Lexington. (Everett Police Department)
Everett triple shooting suspect tied to another homicide

A search warrant points to Shayne Baker, 26, as the suspect in the killing of Scott Pullen at a storage facility in Everett.

People gather outside of the new Northwest Carpenters Institute building prior to a grand opening celebration Thursday, Sep. 29, 2022, in Burlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Building a workforce: Northwest Carpenters expand training center

About 160 Snohomish County tradespeople take the apprentice classes in Burlington center. There’s ample room to grow.

A Coast Guard cutter searches for a crashed chartered floatplane near Mutiny Bay Monday afternoon in Freeland, Washington on September 5, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
5 more bodies recovered from floatplane crash off Whidbey

About 80% of the plane, including the engine, was recovered using remotely operated vessels.

Students make their way after school at Edmonds-Woodway High School on March 12, 2020. All public and private schools in Snohomish, King and Pierce counties must close for six weeks. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Police: Student, 15, arrested with loaded gun at Edmonds high school

Around 1 p.m., students reported a classmate with a gun at Edmonds-Woodway High School.

Carolanne Warren directs her mother through the ruts on Mt. Pilchuck Road Wednesday afternoon in Granite Falls, Washington on September 7, 2022.   (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
To get to iconic Pilchuck lookout, hikers must brave ‘hell on wheels’

Mount Pilchuck is one of the most beloved hikes in the region. The 7-mile pothole-riddled road to get there? Not so much.

Most Read