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Popular picnic area closed by bear scare

July 15, 2009 5:25:25 PM PDT
A popular picnic area in the San Bernardino Mountains is shut down by a bear scare. The U.S. Forest Service closed the picnic area and some hiking trails in Forest Falls.

They're concerned a bear has become very pushy in getting people's food.

"I think we should just leave the bears alone. We haven't really had any that have hurt anybody yet. We gotta quit putting food out for them," said resident Ann Klingbeil.

Many residents in the area have seen the bears on a number of occasions.

"One's a large, probably a 400-pound golden bear, even though they're all black bears. One's golden in color, and one is just probably 10-month old little reddish bear," said resident Patrick McDonnell.

Forest Service rangers have notified Fish and Game, and they're taking action.

"They're working on a solution, and as soon as they determine what they're going to be doing, and the bear is moved ... then we will be able to reopen the trailhead and the falls area," said Pam Bierce, a U.S. Forest Service ranger.

The closure is open-ended, which means that it will remain in effect until the two bears that have become dependent on humans for a handout are captured and moved to another part of the mountains.

That could take some time.

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