Pretty much the same on the North Fork this week as last. Warming weather with mostly sunshine. Potholes breeding faster than rabbits, water running down the road and lots of mud. No doubt that will continue for several weeks as the snow melts. The river isn’t very muddy, but that will come soon. The river usually peaks the first week in June so I am glad to see this early runoff which reduces the chance of flooding, although there is a lot of snow remaining in the high country.
I have not seen or heard of a bear being out, but it is time for them to make an appearance. They will be hungry so now is a good time to clean up any bear attractants. Most common is the debris from wintertime bird feeders. Bears eat almost anything and salty sunflower seed husks will attract any bear. Same thing with pet food in a bag on your porch or just inside an open garage door. Bagged garbage can cause a big mess if a bear scatters it over a wide area as he or she picks out edible morsels.
The most dangerous animal to arrive in the spring, of course, is the human animal. I parked at Canyon Creek on Sunday to look at the river and in twenty minutes 30 vehicles passed headed north past the end of the pavement. Of these, three were big campers, one pulling a trailer with an SUV. Only one had a snowmobile, but four carried side by side or an ATV. Collectively they proved that spring has arrived and the recreation season is just about upon us. Oh yeah! One vehicle was pulling a trailer with a rubber raft on it.
Now is also the time when North Forkers start planning memorials for friends and neighbors who passed away this winter. Also in the works is a thank you party for Tim Manley the Fur, Fins and Feathers bear expert who retired this winter. Both Tim and his predecessor Dave Wedum served the North Fork well. They did not just trap and remove bears. They were most important in educating landowners on how to live with bears, so they would not have to remove (kill) them. As a result, we have very few bear encounters considering our human and bear populations. As new people arrive it is important to continue the educational effort. Whoever replaces Tim has an important job. I hope he or she is at least half as effective as Tim and Dave were.
Who do you think?