Numerous Bear Encounters on the White Mountain National Forest

Release Date: Aug 29, 2013  

An important reminder that bears continue to be active on the White Mountain National Forest.   There have been numerous incidents of bears looking for food in several areas of the Forest, especially in the area east of Interstate 93. Bears have been rummaging through coolers, crawling into tents and underneath shelters, and reaching food in improperly hung storage bags at several campgrounds - Sugarloaf I and II, Hancock, Campton, and Tripoli campgrounds, and along trails in the area. 

Properly store all food, including drink containers, condiments like ketchup and mustard, and empty food wrappers!  Read the rules and signs about bears posted at campgrounds and trailheads, and follow the instructions on how to properly store food. Free bear canister rentals are available on a first-come, first-served basis at all of our offices and visitor centers.

Bears that get too used to people may have to be trapped and relocated or even killed. Remember, “A fed bear is a dead bear.”

The feeding of bears, intentional or unintentional, is prohibited on the White Mountain National Forest. Visitors who have not properly stored their food risk their own safety and receiving a citation. Following safe food storage practices protects both you and the bears.

It is your responsibility to ensure your safety and that of future campers by not purposefully or inadvertently feeding bears.

So remember:

  • Always keep a clean camp.
  • Don’t leave any food (including condiments) out when not in use.
  • Store food in bear-resistant units, hard-shelled vehicles or car trunks.
  • Keep sleeping areas, tents, and sleeping bags free of food and odor (like toothpaste or deodorant).
  • Don’t sleep in clothes you cooked or handled fish or game in.
  • Never bury or burn food waste.
  • If camping in the backcountry, hang you food bag at least 10 feet off the ground and 5 feet out from a tree limb that could support a bear, or better yet pack and use bear resistant containers.
  • If possible, in backcountry areas, place sleeping tents at least 100 yards away from food storage and cooking areas.