Trails, Disc Golf Course Closed due to Possible Bear Sighting

Several walking trails, including a portion of the popular Molalla Forest Road Logging Trail, and the Eco Park disc golf course are being closed due to a possible bear sighting in north Canby, officials confirmed Saturday.

That morning, area resident Rosemary Hands reported finding a pile of scat — which the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife later confirmed was consistent with bear droppings — on the walking trail that connects Spitz Road to the Logging Road Trail near Eco Park.

An Oregon State trooper with the Fish and Wildlife Division, who also reviewed the droppings and other evidence in the cas, told local police that it appears the bear has been staying in the area.

Hands told The Canby Current that she had seen a large black bear almost one week earlier — Sunday, June 6 — on the opposite bank of the Willamette River near the unfinished 50,000-square-foot mansion property started by Hollywood Video founder Mark Wattles.

“He was a good-sized, big bear, walking on the Peach Cove beach,” she recalled. “It was not a quick sighting; I watched him for probably 50 yards, just ambling along the beach. It was definitely a bear — and a big one.”

Based on this evidence, we have identified the animal as a Pooh bear. Courtesy the Canby Police Department.

Hands said she had never seen a bear in the 21 years she has lived in her home off South Dutch Vista Court, which overlooks the Willamette River. Canby Police Chief Jorge Tro said he also does not recall a bear ever being sighted in Canby.

“We’ve had cougar sightings before, but this is the first time I remember a bear being reported in Canby.”

Tro said “Closed Due to Bear Sighting” signs are being placed on the Logging Road north of the city shops, in Eco Park and along the Spitz Road trail. City staff will be working with the county and ODFW to humanely trap and relocate the animal.

The chief said residents should be mindful of the possible danger.

“We just want people to use caution when close to that area,” he said. “Be aware of your surroundings. If you do see a bear, call Canby Police or Clackamas County dispatch.”

The Non-Emergency Dispatch for both the county and Canby Police can be reached at 503-655-8211. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.

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