Glacier Spur Road closure extended

Posted: Monday, September 21, 2009

JUNEAU - The U.S. Forest Service extended the closure of Glacier Spur Road until this morning as a safety measure following a bear encounter Friday afternoon.

Forest Service officials issued a road closure order Friday evening to allow a bear sow a cooling off period after she was sprayed with pepper spray.

The road will be closed from the bus parking lot to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center until 8 a.m. today.

Acting District Ranger Barbara Adams said there have been no further encounters with the bear, and the road closure has been extended as a safety measure.

The sow and her cubs encountered a group of tourists at about 2 p.m. Friday on the Trail of Time. Tourists alerted Forest Service employees after the sow popped her jaws - behavior that indicates a bear feels threatened.

Forest Service employees acted to ensure tourists and bears were separated using blasts from a horn as a deterrent. When the bear lunged at one employee, he sprayed it with pepper spray. The bear and her cubs retreated from the area at that time. There were no injuries.

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