Black Bears in Graveyard Fields and Shining Rock Wilderness Vicinity

The Pisgah National Forest is encouraging visitors to Graveyard Fields, Black Balsam, or the Shining Rock Wilderness areas of the Pisgah Ranger District to be on the look-out for black bears.

The large number of bear sightings and encounters in the past few years has led to required use of bear-proof canisters in these specific areas and a camping closure in Graveyard Fields. Backcountry users must use commercially-made canisters constructed of solid, non-pliable material manufactured for the specific purpose of resisting entry by bears.

Black bears look for food that campers and trail users bring on their trips. While black bear attacks on people are rare, such attacks have resulted in human fatalities.

Visitors can minimize the possibilities of bear interactions by practicing the following safety tips:

  • Do not store food in tents
  • Properly store food by using a bear-proof container and properly hanging it in a tree
  • Clean up food or garbage around fire rings, grills, or other areas of your campsite
  • Do not leave food unattended


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