Concerns about grizzly bears have led the Regional District of Central Kootenay to close a portion of the Burlington Northern Trail between Nelson and Salmo.

Concerns about grizzly bears have led the Regional District of Central Kootenay to close a portion of the Burlington Northern Trail between Nelson and Salmo.

Bear sightings close Nelson-Salmo trail

The Regional District of Central Kootenay is closing a portion of the Nelson-Salmo Great Northern Trail because of bear sightings.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay is closing a portion of the Nelson-Salmo Great Northern Trail because of bear sightings near Cottonwood Lake.

The trail is off limits until June 15. Signs will be posted at the trail entrances. It’s expected to become an annual closure to ensure public safety and benefit the local bear population from overexposure.

The RDCK says collared bear data has shown the area from Cottonwood Lake to Hall Siding, particularly around Apex and Camp Busk, are heavily used by grizzly bears in the spring because of its high valued forage habitat.

In most cases the bears move to higher elevation by mid-June.

The closure is being made in consultation with the BC Conservation Officer Service, regional bear biologists and the Ministry of Forests.

Nelson Star