Give bears their space

Spring has sprung, which means bears are coming out of hibernation, hungry and wanting to catch up on calories. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, bears spend the spring eating mostly vegetation, such as grasses, and if food is plentiful where they've been hibernating, they don't have a reason to wander far. But if food isn't plentiful, or if bears are chased from their home environs, they may wander into populated areas looking for sustenance. As such, CPW is advising the public to be aware of increased bear activity. Bears start wandering into towns and raiding dumpsters, residential trash cans, bird feeders, and other unnatural food sources. To that end, CPW is asking the public to take measures to help prevent bear encounters relating to food, which you can find below.

Speaking of keeping interactions with wildlife to a minimum, Castlewood Canyon State Park has temporarily closed some rock climbing routes due to raptor nesting. Some hiking trails are also closed due to sensitive environments. The climbing route closure ends on May 31 or July 31, depending on the site. The "East Canyon" section of the park (east of Highway 83) is closed each year from November to May, so it will be reopening in a few weeks. The East Canyon experience is a bit different than the rest of the park, so if you haven't yet hiked there, give it a try after May 1. No dogs allowed in the East Canyon, however, so leave the pooch alone. Dogs are allowed in other areas of the park. For more information, including a list of closed climbing routes, click here.

Under a new law in Colorado, riders of bicycles, e-bikes and electric scooters may not, under certain conditions, have to stop at stop signs or wait for a traffic light to turn green before proceeding through an intersection. "Safety stops" are allowed for riders of these "low speed conveyances" who are aged 15 or older, or if under 15 when accompanied by an adult. A "safety stop" at a stop sign means that a rider is allowed to proceed past a stop sign, without first stopping, at a speed of 15 mph or less after first  "...yielding the right-of-way to any traffic or pedestrian in or approaching the intersection...." At traffic lights, the rider must first come to a complete stop and yield to pedestrians and other traffic before proceeding either straight or by turning right. Left turns on a red light are only permitted onto one-way streets. 

As with any law, the devil is in the details, and you can read all the mind-numbing, but important, minutiae of HB 22-1028 here.

The Colorado Springs Parks Department announced April 14 that the 24/7-closure of the South Blodgett Trailhead parking lot will end April 15 due to the installation of gates for both parking lots for Blodgett Open Space. Effective on the 15th, gates at both lots will now be closed  from 9 p.m. Nov 1 through April 30, and at 10 p.m. May 1 through Oct 31. This follows similar measures taken over the past few years at North Cheyenne Cañon, Garden of the Gods and Palmer Park to combat vandalism, vehicle burglaries and other mayhem.

Be Good. Do Good Things. Leave No Trace.

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