Can’t bear it

SHELTER BAY – Michigan Department of Transportation officials are temporarily closing the Deer Lake roadside park along M-28 at Shelter Bay in Alger County until nuisance bears can be relocated from the area.

MDOT officials said the closure will begin today and the park will be reopened as soon as possible.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildlife division staff will be trapping and relocating black bears, which have been raiding garbage at the roadside park.

The roadside park is situated along the south side of the highway, a popular place for swimmers, anglers and picnickers. A DNR boat launch located on Deer Lake nearby is not affected by the closure of the roadside park.

MDOT has a similar roadside park in Alger County a few miles to the east, along Lake Superior, near Scott Falls. The state’s transportation agency maintains several pullout sites along M-28 between Marquette and Munising where motorists and others can stop, rest, picnic and access Lake Superior.

Alger County has had issues with problem bears in other areas in the past including the Grand Island National Recreation Area where sheriff’s deputies used cracker shells and other devices to scare bears aware from blueberry patchers located near island residential areas.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.