U.S. Forest Service Reminds Visitors, Bear Canisters are Required for Backcountr

PISGAH FOREST, N.C., January 20, 2017 - Bear canisters are still required in the Shining Rock Wilderness, Black Balsam, Sam’s Knob and Flat Laurel Creek Areas of the Pisgah Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest. 

A camping closure in Graveyard Fields area is still in effect, though the area remains open for day use.

“We’ve had numerous reports of bears having success in acquiring improperly stored as well as hung food, reinforcing that bear canisters are the best way to deter hungry bears,” said Pisgah District Ranger Derek Ibarguen.  “Visitor safety is of the utmost importance and canisters are the most effective way to safely store food and reduce bear-human conflicts.”

These regulations, issued in consultation with the N.C. Wildlife Commission, were implemented due to human safety concerns after a bear entered a tent and removed a hiker’s backpack earlier this year. 

All bear canisters must be commercially made; constructed of solid, non-pliable material manufactured for the specific purpose of resisting entry by bears.

Please ‘Be Bear Aware’

  • Do not Store Food in Tents
  • Properly Store Food by Using a bear proof container
  • Clean up food or garbage around fire rings, grills, or other areas of your campsite
  • Do not leave food unattended

For more information visitors are encouraged to call the Pisgah Ranger District at (828) 877-3265.

For tips, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r8/recreation/safety-ethics