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2 western NC campgrounds closed because of bears

Associated Press Published: October 18, 2012
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HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Overnight camping has been halted at two campgrounds in western North Carolina because of encounters with bears.

The U.S. Forest Service on Wednesday closed Shining Rock Wilderness and Graveyard Fields north of Brevard to camping.

The forest service says there have been seven bear-human encounters in the area. The latest happened Monday night when a bear damaged a tent and a food bag. There were people in the tent, but no one was hurt.

Pisgah National Forest Recreation Manager Jeff Owenby says the two areas have not been closed to camping in the five years he has been there.

Owenby says the areas are open for daytime visits.

The forest service says it will monitor conditions to determine when the areas can reopen to camping.