Trail Mix 8/1: Being aware of bears crucial in Yosemite

The Fresno BeeJuly 31, 2013 

Bear activity has been on the upswing in Yosemite National Park, both in the backcountry and heavily visited areas.

During the first two weeks of July, 10 incidents were reported in the backcountry that involved a bear either obtaining food or damaging backpackers’ property. Four of those incidents were due to improper food storage, and four involved a bear rolling a canister away from camp. In some cases, bears tore through backpacks to get at the canisters.

Now seems a good time for a reminder that backpackers should always store bear canisters in the open. Put them a short distance away from where you sleep but far away from cliffs and water.

Bears also have been active around campgrounds in Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows. In the Valley, they’re also attracted to ripening apples in trees growing at Curry Village.

Visitors are reminded to remove all food, scented items, trash and recycling from their vehicle.

“So far this year, seven bears have been hit by vehicles,” park wildlife biologist Caitlin Lee-Roney wrote in the Yosemite Daily Report. “Please protect wildlife by obeying speed limits and paying attention while driving.”

SAR Wild Run

** When: Aug. 11

** Where: Shaver Lake

Run, bike or hike through the forests around Shaver Lake in this fundraiser for Fresno County Search and Rescue.

Options include the 5K “wild run” (trail run with a couple steep hillside scrambles), a 10K trail run, mountain bike rides of 10K and 16K, plus a 2-mile family hike. All events but the family hike are chip timed.

Details: Save $5 by registering in advance.

News & notes

** A 5-pound, 2-ounce kokanee salmon caught July 20 at Lake Tahoe broke a state record that has stood since 1973. Bill Bush of Nevada City reeled in the 24 3/4-inch fish at a depth of 67 feet near Camp Richardson using corn and a wedding ring lure. The old record was 4 pounds, 13 ounces, also caught in Lake Tahoe.

** At 8:45 a.m. Saturday, join a Kings Canyon National Park ranger for a hike along the Park Ridge Trail and then attend a dedication ceremony as the Park Ridge Lookout enters the Forest Fire Lookout Association’s National Historic Register. The hike is 5 miles roundtrip. Call (559) 565-4307 to reserve a spot.

** Daytime travelers to the Yosemite high country should expect up to 15-minute delays on Tioga Road between White Wolf and Tioga Pass weekdays through Sept. 30. Park crews will be scaling loose rock along the roadway.

** Two mountain lions were sighted last week in Yosemite, one crossing the road near Wawona Campground and one in Foresta.

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