Food Storage Orders in Effect March 1, Across GYA
Keep Bears and Yourself Safe by Being Bear Aware, Always
Bozeman, MT- March 1, 2023 – Food Storage Orders go into effect on March 1 across much of the Custer Gallatin National Forest, the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, and many neighboring Greater Yellowstone Area forests. On the Custer Gallatin Forest, five of the seven Ranger Districts (Bozeman, Hebgen Lake, Gardiner, Yellowstone and Beartooth) implement an annual food storage order from March 1 – December 1.
“Food storage orders help reduce adverse human-wildlife encounters with bears and other species, said Josh Hemenway, Custer Gallatin Wildlife Program Manager. “Food storage means that all unattended attractants such as food, garbage and toiletries be stored using an approved method.”
Appropriate storage of attractants includes:
• Hard-sided vehicles or trailers
• Approved bear-resistant containers or other approved products, certified by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee or
• Hung at least 10 feet above the ground and four feet away from a tree/pole, out of reach of wildlife.
Attractants include items such as scented toiletries like toothpaste and deodorants, pet food and certain horse pellets. All beverages except water are included, as are empty food and beverage containers.
As spring approaches and bears emerge in the coming weeks from their winter dens, it is important to remember general safety in bear country. Carry bear spray and have it readily accessible, travel in groups, make lots of noise and watch for signs of bears in the area, and hike during daylight hours. Keeping a clean camp is essential for your safety, the safety of other forest users, and the wildlife we are fortunate enough to share the landscape with.
For more information on bear safety and details regarding the food storage order visit online at: www.fs.usda.gov/main/custergallatin for additional information on the Interagency Grizzly Bear Subcommittee and approved products visit: www.igbconline.org. Food storage order violations are a punishable offence and individuals can be held civilly liable for any damages that occur from non-compliance. General information follow: Custer Gallatin National Forest on FB.