Updated food storage restrictions for Flathead National Forest

From the press release. (See also the official order, which is much more detailed and contains supporting material.)

Sow grizzly bear spotted near Camas in northwestern Montana. - Montana FWPKalispell, MT, July 19, 2021—The Flathead National Forest has updated the existing food storage restrictions for all Flathead National Forest lands outside of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex and reminds the public to be bear aware.  The updated order can be found on the Flathead National Forest website. The intent of food storage restrictions is to reduce the likelihood of a bear getting into unsecured food and garbage.  Bears can become food conditioned if they receive a food reward.  Food conditioned bears can lead to an increase in conflicts between humans and bears, which compromises the safety of both.

The order requires all attractants to be stored in an acceptable manner when unattended.  Attractants can include, but are not limited to;

  • Human Food
  • Garbage
  • Pet Food
  • Livestock Feed

Acceptable methods of food storage include;

  • Secured in a hard-sided recreational vehicle, vehicle trunk, trailer cab, or dwelling
  • Suspended at least 10 feet up and four feet out from an upright support
  • Stored in an approved bear-resistant container
  • Stored within an approved and operating electric fence

As always, there is inherent risk to recreating in bear country and it is vital that everyone does their part to be Bear Aware and Recreate Responsibly.  It is often said, “a fed bear is a dead bear.”  Please don’t be responsible for a bear becoming conditioned by receiving human food rewards. For more information on approved bear-resistant containers please visit the Flathead National Forest website.