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Keyhole Falls closed over concerns of bears in area

Trash left by hikers has led to rise in human-bear conflict, province says

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A popular spot for hikers outside of Pemberton has been shut down due to a number of bears in the area, according to B.C.’s Ministry of Forests.

On Friday, a bulletin was sent out advising the public to stay away from the Keyhole Falls hot springs and trail located at the 42-kilometre mark of the Upper Lillooet Forest Service Road, northwest of Pemberton.

“As a result of increased food and garbage left by recreational users, numerous bears have become habituated to unnatural food sources,” the release read. “As a result, bears and cubs are showing increasingly dangerous and aggressive bear behaviour toward visitors.”

The ministry said the area would remain closed indefinitely, and that violation tickets would be handed out to anyone caught ignoring the restrictions. Use of the trail will net you a $115 fine, while leaving food, garbage or other wildlife attractants is subject to a $345 fine.

“Additional measures” may be considered if the closure is not adhered to, including the removal of the hot springs bathing tubs, the ministry wrote.

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