Nelson-Salmo Great Northern Trail Closed due to bear activity

A young grizzly bear was showing signs of aggression on a trail between the Nelson cemetery and the Great Northern Trail.

Nelson—The RDCK is closing a portion of the Nelson-Salmo Great Northern Trail because of bear activity near Cottonwood Lake. The closure will be in effect from May 1st to June 15th.

In consultation with BC Conservation Officer Service, regional bear biologists and the Ministry of Forest Land and Natural Resource Operations, the Regional District of Central Kootenay is initiating an annual spring trail closure for a portion of the Nelson-Salmo Great Northern Trail. The annual closure will include the trail south of Cottonwood Lake parking area to Hall Siding. Signs will be posted accordingly at the entrance to trail closures.

Collared bear data has shown the area from Cottonwood Lake to Hall siding, particularly the areas of Apex and Camp Busk, are heavily used by grizzly bears in the spring. The bears use this area because of its high valued forage habitat. In most cases the bears move on to higher elevations by the middle of June. It is felt that an annual closure will help ensure public safety and benefit the local bear population from over exposure.

As black bear and grizzly bear activity is common in the spring and early summer, bears may be present on the trail system throughout the year so please remember to always:
– use caution
– do not attempt to view or approach bears
– do not leave garbage or food on trails.

The RDCK will monitor the situation. Please respect all closures. Thank you for your cooperation.