Think and Bear It
JACK LADUKE/ P-R PHOTO
Bear steward Clare Bickford of the Wildlife Conservation Society (left) explains the use of a bear canister to Jane Ramage (holding canister) of Albany and Matt Hatch of Massena at the Keene Valley Garden trailhead. Bears are looking for food carried by people, she explained, as the dry summer has left the animals without some of the food they normally feed on. More bears than normal are being seen by hikers this summer. The canister is designed to keep the aroma of the food it carries inside as well. And the device’s opening is too small for bears to get their mouth inside it. Several businesses in the Adirondacks rent canisters but Bickford and another steward at Newcomb loan out the food storage device after the local businesses have closed for the day. Bickford said that some hikers with dogs place bells around their necks to create a noise as they walk, keeping the bears away. The bear stewards will remain in the Adirondacks until Labor Day.