BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – A bear has been active around Lost Lake since 2017 — entering unoccupied tents, taking unsecured food and showing little fear of humans. Now officials are closing the area to campers to prevent a conflict.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials say they are confident it is the same bear, due to matching descriptions from conflict reports.

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“This area closure is a rare step that we take only in the most critical circumstances and is necessary for public safety,” said Boulder District Ranger Angela Gee.

(credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

The Roosevelt National Forest and CPW are closing the area around Lost Lake to all use starting Wednesday. The entire area is closed to camping from the Hessie Trailhead near Nederland to the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area boundary.

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Day use along the King Lake Trail or Devil’s Thumb Trail will be permitted; but the Lost Lake Trail spurs off of King Lake Trail will be closed and no use will be permitted beyond that trail junction.

The closure will remain in place until further notice.

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“We would like to remind the public that no matter where you are camping this summer, especially if you are in the backcountry, please use a bear resistant canister to store any scented items and pack out all trash,” said Jason Duetsch, Area Wildlife Manager for CPW. “This is the best way to avoid dangerous bear encounters and to prevent unnatural food rewards.”