Yes. That's right. Bear! A big one! A bear recently broke into the dining hall. It was looking for food and obviously did not check the schedule. If it had bothered to look up the meal plan online, it would have noticed that the dining hall doesn't open for quite sometime and there isn't much to eat right now besides pots and pans. But in all seriousness, RMBL has had a rather large bear problem over the past years. During the summer of 2009, bears repeatedly broke into the dining hall as well as several cabins. In fact, a marmot field assistant was interrupted from a peaceful sleep by this particularly frightening brand of intruder. Thankfully, there have been no injuries and the bears typically retreat once they are spotted and chased. However, this conflict between researchers and wildlife is of great concern.
According to the Colorado Division of Wildlife "Bears that become aggressive in their pursuit of an easy meal must often be destroyed." At RMBL, we therefore take every precaution to keep bears wild and deter them from thinking that are cabins and dining hall are part of the buffet line. It's their wilderness and we are simply visitors, so it is our responsibility to prevent encounters wherever possible. The dining hall staff has posted signs on the kitchen door stating "No bears allowed". And in case the bears are illiterate, the rest of us will properly dispose of our trash and appropriately manage our food storage.
Click here for more information on bears in Colorado and living with bears.