Help Save a Bear

Below is information regarding a bear that is being fed near the McCloud Reservoir. The USFS is concerned that this bear will get more aggressive and eventually have to be destroyed if people keep feeding it. You can help by spreading the word and perhaps volunteering to inform the public at the site.

STRONG MESSAGE: A Fed Bear is a Dead Bear.


A black bear yearling has been observed near the popular boat ramp at McCloud Reservoir. The Forest Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) have received reports of forest visitors feeding the bear, and as a result, the bear has become conditioned to fearlessly approach humans and their vehicles for food. The bear is old enough to forage for itself without a mother. It does NOT need supplemental feeding from people. A person knowingly feeding a black bear could be subject to criminal penalties pursuant to California Code of Regulations, Title 14, § 251.3.

The Forest Service is currently working with partners at CDFW to resolve this ongoing issue. In the meantime, we recommend that the public avoid the McCloud Reservoir boat ramp area. If you do choose to recreate in the area, please take the precautions:

  • Do not feed the bear
  • Do not leave food out and unattended
  • Ensure the bear-proof trash cans are properly closed

If you are approached by the bear, CDFW recommends that you:

  • Keep a safe distance. Back away slowly.
  • Make yourself look bigger by lifting and waving arms.
  • Make noise by yelling, using noisemakers, or whistles. If small children are present, keep them close to you.
  • DO NOT run. Do not make eye contact. Let the bear leave the area on its own.
  • Carry bear spray and know how to use it properly. If a black bear makes contact – fight back. Then call 9-1-1.

Any encounters can be reported through CDFW’s wildlife incident reporting system at or directly to the Human-Wildlife Conflicts Specialist for Siskiyou County, Ian R. Keith (; 707-415-6120). 

Thank you for recreating responsibly. 

If you wish to help save this bear, call Daniel Hewitt (USFS Recreation Officer) at 530-926-9210.