Update on bear situations at Helm Creek and Helm Bay cabins
KETCHIKAN, Alaska, June 21, 2017 – The Ketchikan-Misty Fiords Ranger District of the Tongass National Forest, in coordination with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, is extending the closure for Helm Bay Cabin until July 6, 2017, and opening the Helm Creek cabin for reservations, effective immediately. Both cabins were previously closed due to damage sustained by aggressive bears in the area. Initially, it was thought that one bear was damaging both the Helm Bay and Helm Creek Cabins, however, a site assessment showed that two bears had been involved, one at each cabin.
The Helm Creek Cabin, located on the east shore of Helm Bay near the mouth of Helm Creek, sustained significant damage to doors, windows and the outhouse. Last week, the aggressive bear was taken under a state-issued permit and repairs have been made. For more information on the cabin, or to reserve it, visit https://www.recreation.gov/camping/helm-creekcabin/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=71772
The Helm Bay Cabin, located on the west shore of Helm Bay behind Forss Island, also sustained significant damage to doors, windows and the outhouse. Adverse weather conditions and difficulty in finding the bear have made resolution of the situation difficult, necessitating an additional 14-day extension of the current closure. For more information on the cabin, visit https://www.recreation.gov/camping/helm-bay-cabin/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=71771
This temporary closure has been instituted in order to protect the safety of forest visitors, and to further assess the bear activity in the area. Food conditioned bears can pose a serious threat to the health and safety of visitors.
It is important for visitors to the Tongass NF to employ the Leave No Trace principles (https://www.fs.fed.us/lei/no-trace-ethics.php) and be bear aware https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r10/plants-animals/?cid=FSEPRD500233.
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