The area surrounding Lost Lake near Nederland is closing Wednesday over safety concerns of a bear in the area.
The bear has been involved in conflicts at the campground since 2017, according to a news release from Colorado Parks and Wildlife. It has entered unoccupied tents, retrieved people’s unsecured food and has shown little fear of humans.
Parks and Wildlife says it is confident it is the same bear due to matching descriptions in conflict reports.
“We are concerned for the safety of backcountry campers, as this bear has become an issue,” said Kristin Cannon, Deputy Regional Manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Northeast Region in the release. “For the time being, we feel it is best to keep campers safe and close down the area.”
The area is closed to camping from the Hessie Trail head to the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area boundary. Day use along the King Lake Trail or Devil’s Thumb Trail will be permitted, but the Lost Lake Trail spurs off the King Lake trail will be closed, the release explains.
“This area closure is a rare step that we take only in the most critical circumstances and is necessary for public safety,” said Boulder District Ranger Angela Gee in the release. “We understand that this is the height of camping and hiking season and our hope is this closure will be brief.”
The closure will remain in place until both Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers and Roosevelt National Forest rangers are “confident that there is no further safety concern for campers and hikers in the area,” said Jason Clay, public information officer of the northeast region of Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
“Wildlife officers will be up there in the area looking to see if they can encounter the bear in the wilderness area and remove it if they deem necessary.”