Two trails in Santa Ritas closed

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azdesertfather
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Two trails in Santa Ritas closed

Post by azdesertfather »

Yep...bear activity!

Old Baldy Trail and Super Trail have both been closed from the trailheads to Josephine Saddle until further notice

http://tucson.com/news/local/officials- ... 410c5.html
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." — Henry David Thoreau
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Tough_Boots
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Re: Two trails in Santa Ritas closed

Post by Tough_Boots »

The bear is described as medium size and dark brown or black colored.
oh, I think I know that one! :lol:
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SkyIslandHiker
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Re: Two trails in Santa Ritas closed

Post by SkyIslandHiker »

Here's a couple pictures that I took of the "nuisance" bear last week before the closing:

Image

Image

The bear has been hanging out at Bellows Spring which is well above Josephine Saddle. Strangely the Forest Service closed the trails below Josephine Saddle. Consequently, Bellows Spring (where the bear is) is still accessible via non-closed trails.
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whereveriroam
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Re: Two trails in Santa Ritas closed

Post by whereveriroam »

@SkyIslandHiker Great pictures!
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The_Dude
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Re: Two trails in Santa Ritas closed

Post by The_Dude »

@SkyIslandHiker
That looks like one of the big guys I encountered there last year! Hopefully they don't have to put him down...
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SkyIslandHiker
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Re: Two trails in Santa Ritas closed

Post by SkyIslandHiker »

The closure has been extended according to this Coronado NF news release:

Mt. Baldy Trail and Super Trail temporary closure extended 30 days

Tucson, AZ, October 17, 2016 - For Immediate Release. The Old Baldy Trail and Super Trail, on the Nogales Ranger District, Coronado National Forest, are temporarily closed due to bear activity in the area. The closure has been extended for 30 days until November 16, 2016, or until rescinded.

The trails are closed from the Super Trail and Old Baldy trailheads to Josephine Saddle. Forest personnel and the Arizona Game and Fish Department are working cooperatively to provide a safe environment for visitors to the area.

“We appreciate everyone’s cooperation and patience as we work to provide a safer recreating experience for the public,” said Kerwin Dewberry, Coronado National Forest Supervisor. “We will reopen the trails as soon as we determine it is safe to do so. In the meantime, other trails in the area are available for hiking.”

Recreationists in and around Madera Canyon are advised to be aware of a nuisance bear observed higher up in the Santa Rita Mountains. The bear was seen on the Old Baldy Trail near Bellow Springs and reportedly approached hikers in a menacing manner on several occasions. It is described as dark brown to black in color, and of medium size.

Forest visitors are reminded to avoid all contact with wildlife, if possible. If bears are seen in the distance, it is advisable for hikers to change their route. If approached by a bear, individuals should discourage contact by looking large and imposing, waving arms or a jacket, making loud noises, and giving the bear an opportunity to leave the area.

If the animal does not leave, visitors should stay calm, face the animal, and slowly back away. Running should be avoided, and one should never play dead in the presence of a bear.

Bear sightings should be reported immediately to Arizona Game and Fish Department at (623) 236-7201, 24-hours-a-day, seven days-a-week.

Black bears usually avoid people, but are attracted to human food and trash. Campers are encouraged to be “bear aware” by doing to following:

Maintain a clean camp or picnic site.
Keep food items in airtight containers, and discard of fruit and scraps properly.
Stow food, pet food, trash and picnic coolers out of sight and out of smell-range of bears.
Utilize bear-proof food and trash receptacles where provided.
Wash and stow cooking utensils immediately following use.
Do not take odorous items (toothpaste, lotions, etc.) or clothing used while cooking into tents.
Keep pets leashed.
Avoid contact with bears and other wildlife.
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SkyIslandHiker
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Re: Two trails in Santa Ritas closed

Post by SkyIslandHiker »

A recent triplog from Juan Jaimeiii brought to light an expansion of the aggressive bear-related closure which has not been updated on the Coronado NF's website nor released to the media. So I drove to Madera Canyon this afternoon to read the third and current closure order dated October 21. This current closure order states in part:

"The restricted area includes Old Baldy and Super Trails from the Wilderness Boundary into the interior of the Wilderness to include the trail between Josephine and Baldy Saddles and the trail to Mt. Wrightson. Trails open to hikers from Northwest include Carrie Nation and Vault Mine. Florida and Cave Canyon Trails are open to Florida Saddle. Portions of Gardner, Temporal, Walker Basin and Josephine Canyon Trails are open as illustrated on the attached map."

At least now the closure covers the area in which the bear had been harassing hikers. The previous two closure notices did not.
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SkyIslandHiker
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Re: Two trails in Santa Ritas closed

Post by SkyIslandHiker »

The Forest Service re-opened the closed trails today:
http://www.fs.usda.gov...
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LindaAnn
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Re: Two trails in Santa Ritas closed

Post by LindaAnn »

AZ Game & Fish shot & killed one of the bears around 4:30 this afternoon. A 175lb female.
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big_load
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Re: Two trails in Santa Ritas closed

Post by big_load »

That's a little bear!
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LindaAnn
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Re: Two trails in Santa Ritas closed

Post by LindaAnn »

@big_load Seemed small to me, but that's what the article said. Local news is accurate maybe 50% of the time, so who knows?!?
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