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'Overly Comfortable' Bear Family Causes Camping Suspension Along Tripoli Road

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Tripoli Road

Camping has been suspended along Tripoli Road in the White Mountains due to a family of bears. The Forest Service is hoping to lift the ban soon.

The Forest Service's Steven Beri says the mama bear and her two cubs have become overly comfortable with humans and reliant on human food. 

And bear sightings along the road have risen sharply the past two weeks.

“As most folks know bears can be pretty protective,” Beri says, “and so you know the public health concern with any kind of encounter is our big concern until we can kind of break that kind of behavior cycle.”

Beri says the camping ban will be lifted once the bears move off and efforts are underway to haze, or shoo, the bears into a new territory.

“If the hazing techniques and the closure order work successfully and the bears move on rather quickly,” Beri says, “then hopefully we can open it back up similarly in a quick fashion.”

The 11 mile forest road between Waterville Valley and North Woodstock remains open to day visitors. 

Sean Hurley lives in Thornton with his wife Lois and his son Sam. An award-winning playwright and radio journalist, his fictional “Atoms, Motion & the Void” podcast has aired nationally on NPR and Sirius & XM Satellite radio. When he isn't writing stories or performing on stage, he likes to run in the White Mountains. He can be reached at shurley@nhpr.org.

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