In one remote coastal Alaska town, the bears outnumber the locals. Itâ€™s hard to believe the two can usually co-exist without problems, but thatâ€™s exactly what life is like in Hyder. Here in this Southeast Alaska outpost, residents know exactly how to keep bears out of campsites, homes and backyards. Hereâ€™s how they do it.
Hyder’s Best Tips for Living with Bears
Black bear at dumpster. Image by skeeze from Pixabay
If anyone knows about living with bears, itâ€™s the residents of Hyder, Alaska. As the southernmost Alaskan community that you can get to by car, thisÂ former mining town sits inside one of the best bear viewing spots in the 17-million acre Tongass National Forest.
Hyder is known for having the highest densities of brown bears on the continent. The localsÂ live with the constant presence of bears in the forest, but they also make great efforts to preserve bear habitat â€“ and protect these giant creatures from tourists who donâ€™t knowÂ how to stay safe in bear country.
â€œWhen they start getting food and get used to coming into a campground, theÂ bear almost always gets killed. The bear pays for it, not the people. Thatâ€™s the hard part, theyâ€™re just doing what comes naturally,â€� says Doyle Hickman, manager of Hyderâ€™s only RV park, Camp Run-a-Muck. Bears preferÂ to avoid their human neighbors, but the lure of easily obtained food is often too great for them to ignore.
Do This One Thing to Keep Bears Out of Campsites
Respect bear habitat. Image: LiveWorkDream
Bearsâ€™ personalities are as unique as any humanâ€™s, but they all have one big thing in common: an incredible sense of smell and a tendency to seek food in the early morning and late evening. A bearâ€™s olfactory sense is over two thousand times as powerful as a humanâ€™s. Itâ€™s that sense of smell that gets bears into
René M. Agredano