bear storage box

Bear-proof food storage containers are required in the Sawtooth National Forest until Labor Day.

New food storage rules were implemented in the Sawtooth National Forest meant to cut down on the interactions between campers and bears.

Area Ranger Kirk Flannigan said in a news release the rules are in place until Labor Day. The order mandates all food, garbage and other attractants be stored in a hard-sided vehicle or bear-resistant container. All bear-resistant containers must be approved by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee. The committee’s website has a list of certified containers and can be accessed at http://igbconline.org/bear-resistant-products/.

Yhere have been multiple bear incidents in the forest in recent years, according to Flannigan’s release. In 2017 there were more than 20 incidents. When a bear develops a taste for human food, it becomes emboldened and will return for more, forest personnel say.

Violation of the rule is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 for a person and $10,000 for an organization and up to six months in jail.