Two climbers were fined $450 each for not securing food from bears at Crater Lake while camping.
Two climbers violated Crater Lake Wilderness rules by not securing their food in bear resistant containers and for ignoring a camping closure, costing them $450 in fines.
An order was approved earlier in the summer for backpackers throughout the wilderness area to use bear-resistant containers for all food, trash, and any other items that may attract bears.
The Forest Service went to investigate the site after they received a tip from other hikers that at least one bear was tearing up a campsite. Luckily for the climbers, they were on the trail during the incident.
Camping at the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness recently became risky after numerous reports of bears raiding camps for food began flooding in. The Forestry Service didn't want to wait for anyone to get injured or killed and closed down 11 campsites on August 5.
Rangers and some Forest Service personnel have been camping a couple of nights around the lake in hopes of drawing in some of the bears who have come to rely on campers for food. They had hoped to use tasers on the bears to help deter them from future visits, but none have showed up on any of the camping missions.
Ranger Karen Schroyer says that most backpackers are staying within compliance of the parks rules and closures.
Regular checks at different points around the wilderness area have shown a 90 percent success rate and is leaving them hopeful the bears will return to their natural food sources before winter.