Update on bear situation at Helm Bay cabin
KETCHIKAN, Alaska, July 6, 2017 – The Ketchikan-Misty Fiords Ranger District (KMRD) of the Tongass National Forest, in coordination with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), is extending the closure for the Helm Bay cabin until Oct 1, 2017. The cabin was previously closed due to damage sustained by an aggressive bear in the area.
The Helm Bay cabin, located on the west shore of Helm Bay behind Forss Island, sustained significant damage to doors, windows and the outhouse. KMRD and ADF&G are continuing to address issues related to bear activity in the area and have been unable to repair the damaged cabin. With salmon returning to streams in the area, it is expected that the bear will be difficult to find. The timeframe for returning the cabin to a rentable state is unknown at this time.
The temporary closure is being extended to protect the safety of forest visitors, and to assess the bear activity in the area. Food conditioned bears can pose a serious threat to the 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
For more information on the Helm Bay cabin, visit https://www.recreation.gov/camping/helm-bay-cabin/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=71771
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