Be sure to pay attention this spring

HELENA – As we welcome the weather spring this month and head into the great outdoors, it’s incredibly important to take precautions and remember that we’re not the only ones out for a walk in the woods again. .

Food storage orders across much of Montana go into effect March 1. These commands vary by location, but generally apply to most areas where grizzly bears or black bears live, such as the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. These ordinances require people to put their food and garbage in an approved bear-proof container and out of reach, such as putting it in an enclosed hard-sided car or properly hanging it from a tree.

Common items that most people don’t think to include in your bear proof container include things like toothpaste, lotion, soap, petroleum products, cooking utensils, and pet food. pets or birds. All of these items smell appealing enough for a bear to come snooping around.

Chiara Cipriano, spokeswoman for Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, says making your food more odor resistant and out of reach not only protects us, but also protects the bear from consequences beyond government-led relocation. ‘man.

“But generally I remember growing up with the phrase ‘a fed bear is a dead bear.’ You know, once they associate the human with food rewards, you know, it’s usually a condemnation death to them in some way or another where they will clash and so the best thing we can do to protect the bears is to make sure that we keep our campsites clean, you know, by making sure anything that has an odor is secured at night,” says Cipriano.

It’s important to stay aware and alert when out in the wild, Cipriano says, keeping an eye out for bear tracks, claw marks or droppings. In Montana, bears typically emerge from hibernation the first or second week of March.

Here are some other tips for staying bear-aware on your next outdoor adventure: make noise, have bear spray handy (not just in the bottom of your pack), and pack up.

If you want more information on how to be mindful, you can follow this link: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/hlcnf/home/?cid=fseprd582844

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