The Sandia Ranger District, Cibola National Forest has closed the following picnic areas due to bear activity for the next two weeks: Cienega, Sulphur, and Doc Long
Many of the black bears frequenting and living in and around the Sandia and Mountainair Ranger Districts have become habituated to human food and have become a nuisance and safety concern. An ongoing education program has been aimed at informing the public about proper food storage and disposal of garbage; however, not all Forest visitors have cooperated.
Habituated bears alter their natural food gathering activities, searching for easily available food left unattended by campers, picnickers, and other forest users. Human-bear encounters have become more frequent and more dangerous as bears lose their natural fear of humans. In the Sandia and Manzano Mountains , New Mexico Department of Game and Fish personnel have trapped and relocated many bears. In some cases, habituated bears have been euthanized.
If anyone wants to read more about bear safety and how to respond to a bear encounter please go to the following website that was linked to by the Sandia ranger district website. http://www.bebearawaresw.org/
While scouting controls for our last meet (on the standard O courses and the Radio O course) I have ran across the usual signs of Bear activity ( Scat and diggings) across different parts of the venue.
We all should all keep an eye out while scouting, vetting and when enjoying a course in the Doc Long area. As an additional safety steep lets include bear info from the above website in the course setter notes for all meets at Doc Long.
When scouting controls at Doc Long I always try to have another person along or in the area for safety reasons.