Park service considers new bridge over Katmai bear zone

Associated PressJune 26, 2012 

The National Park Service is considering replacing the Brooks River floating bridge.

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE PHOTO

The National Park Service is reviewing alternatives to a bridge at Alaska's Katmai National Park that people occasionally have to share with the park's brown bears.

The floating bridge crosses the Brooks River at its outlet with Naknek Lake. The bridge connects the Brooks Camp with trails, bear-viewing platforms and a road leading to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.

The park service says bears often walk on the bridge, nap along access trails or catch salmon alongside the bridge.

The agency is considering alternatives that would reduce human conflicts with bears. The preferred alternative is a 350-foot bridge that's at least 10 feet above the river. It also includes about 1,200 feet of boardwalk with viewing areas.

Public comment can be submitted until Aug. 20.

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