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.