Carden Bluffs Campground closed due to bear activity

Published 12:22 pm Monday, June 13, 2022

Due to reports of aggressive bear activity and evidence of bears entering the campgrounds and taking food and garbage, including food that had been stored in an unoccupied tent, Carden Bluffs Campground, on the Watauga District of the Cherokee National Forest, will be closed to the public immediately.
This decision is based on a recommendation from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).

The site will remain closed until TWRA has either captured the bear or the bear has moved on to another location. This will reduce the opportunity for its behavior to escalate, which could result in injury to the public.

U.S. Forest Service officials are also warning visitors to be on the lookout for black bears and be BearWise. Visitors are reminded of the Forest Order for the entire Cherokee National Forest that prohibits possessing or leaving food, bear attractant, or refuse unless it is possessed properly or stored properly. The Order was issued to provide for visitor safety and the conservation of bears.

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Black bears in the wild are opportunistic, feeding on whatever is readily available. Food odors and improperly stored garbage will attract bears to campsites and picnic areas, even when humans are around. Though bears are naturally afraid of humans, bears habituated to human food can begin to associate human scents with the reward of food. Due to this, bears can become a threat to humans, property, and themselves. Being BearWise helps people live responsibly with black bears.

For more information on bear safety, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/cherokee/home/?cid=stelprdb5263029