Lonely Planet Writer

Alaska residents demand clampdown on bad behavior at bear-watch site

Residents near a popular bear-watching area in Southeast Alaska are asking for tougher restrictions on the site.

Brown bear and her cubs, Alaska.
Brown bear and her cubs, Alaska. Image by Lake Clark National Park and Preserve / CC BY 2.0

After continuing reports of reckless behavior (including a man dressed in a bear costume harassing bears), as well as complaints of traffic jams, garbage and safety issues, residents near the Chilkoot River want a ten-mile corridor popular with bears and bear-watchers alike to close until further management regulations can be put in place. Brown bears congregate on the river to feed with their cubs every summer, making it one of the most popular spots to view bears. The residents, many of whom rely on the tourism bear-watching brings in, say they’ve seen bears caught in fishing line, tourists within the recommended 50 yards and bears rooting through tackle boxes and garbage. Read more: adn.com