Several Central Peninsula campgrounds partially closed because of a bear encounter are open again.
Two weeks ago the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge temporarily closed three campgrounds to tent camping for public safety because of a bear encounter in one of them. An unidentified camper was scratched and their tent was damaged after a black bear came calling at the Lower Ohmer Campground on July 21.
Campers there, and at Upper Skilak and Engineer Lake have not been allowed to use tents for camping since. In an announcement from Refuge headquarters over the weekend, that restriction was lifted, and the campgrounds are once again opening for tent camping at this time.
The Refuge is reminding visitors to keep all food and other possible bear attractions locked in their vehicles when not having direct contact with them. They warn that Refuge officers will continue to patrol the campgrounds to monitor bear activity and to enforce proper storage of all food to reduce the encounters with bears.