“I have been working in the Velma Lakes area for the past two weeks. While we have reports of bear activity in other parts of the Wilderness as well, this is first hand information on bear activity in the Velma Lake Basin.
The bear is visiting Middle Velma Lake every evening, often multiple times, between the hours of 6pm-6am. It is going from campsite to campsite attempting to get food. The bear got at least one food hang down each night that we were in the field. While primarily searching for food at Middle Velma Lake, the bear also makes its way to the other Velmas, Dick’s and Fontanellis lakes.
In camps with bear hangs, the bear has not been deterred by visitors banging pots and pans or yelling. It seems to be moving on from camps where it cannot get into properly locked bear canisters. When walking on all fours, the bear is approximately four feet tall and stocky. It is dark to light brown. It does not have distinct markings. No cubs have been seen. It is mostly getting into food hangs, but also finding food left in unattended packs, and has gotten into a bear can that was not locked properly.
We have received multiple reports of similar bear activity at Gilmore Lake.
We had the bear in our ranger camp near Upper Velma lake at 3am this morning and were very happy to have all our food in locked bear canisters!”
For tips on staying safe in bear country, be sure to Know Before You Go at https://www.fs.fed.us/visit/know-before-you-go/bears.