Kachemak Bay State Park Rangers reopened two trails last week. Park rangers closed the trails because of reports about aggressive black bears in the area.
Rangers received several reports earlier this month about bears coming in close contact with people on the Saddle and Glacier Lake trails, including a female with cubs who blocked a group of nine hikers. There have also been reports of other bears in the area charging hikers.
Park Ranger Jason Okuly explains encounters such as those are rare and he says park staff were concerned that the bears might be defending a kill site or some other food source.
Okuly says the trails were reopened after rangers observed bears in the area over several days, and he says there are still several in the area. Okuly adds that the bears are not defending a food source and that most exhibited good flight behavior.
Okuly did note that one male bear in the area did seem comfortable with people nearby and that hikers should remain alert and keep their pets on a leash.
Okuly explains that the black bear population in the park has increased over the past couple of winters due to increased survivability. He says that may lead to more bear-human interactions.