Virtual Camping Trip with New Bern Now

“Get back to nature, get off the grid, and have a good time”

If you’ve submitted information to New Bern Now in the past 2 ½ weeks, I want to apologize if it wasn’t published in a timely manner.

Due to an unexpected family matter, I drove to Western NY to take care of things.

During my travels, I had the opportunity to stay overnight in my favorite place – Allegany State Park!

Above is a video of my overnight camping trip. I even tried to start a fire with the magnesium fire starter kit from Mitchell Hardware in New Bern.

Growing up in Western NY, my family would spend every summer in Allegany. It’s where my Dad taught my brother and I to fish, appreciate nature, and observe wildlife in their natural habitat. My Mom taught me how to cook in a primitive setting. Allegany State Park hasn’t changed much over the past 40 years.

Back in the 70s, my folks would take us to the “dump” to watch the bears scavenge for food. We would sit around the campfire trying to eat marshmallows as a family of raccoons would fight us for the goody bag.

Times have changed and we realize how our behavior impacted the eco system. Back then, campers fed the animals because we thought they were hungry and cute. This practice ended up creating a major problem as the animals relied on humans for food instead of searching for it. The animals became “humanized”, meaning they lost their fear for people.

Imagine sitting around a campfire and raccoons, skunks, and other animals aren’t afraid of you and they are trying to take food off your table or chair when you’re sitting right there. Then imagine seeing a bear walk through your campsite…only 10 feet away, because they have no fear of humans.

To try to prevent animals from harassing campers and ultimately being dispatched, Allegany State Park officials have removed all trash cans from the campsites and have an electric fence surrounding the “dump”. This has helped but the only thing that can change decades of humanizing behavior is for campers to stop feeding wildlife.

I’m sure Allegany is not the only place where wildlife has found it easy to find alternate food sources by raiding peoples trash cans or eating seed out of bird feeders to name a few.

Bottom-line; let’s protect wildlife by changing our way of thinking.

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Wendy Card

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