Be Bear Aware
Contact: Al Nash, NPS, 307-344-2015
Contact: Marna Daley, USFS, 406-587-6703
Contact: Mel Frost, MTFWP, 406-994-6931
U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks
For Immediate Release – October 22, 2009
Bears are out and active this time of year in the Greater Yellowstone area, including the Gallatin National Forest, Yellowstone National Park, the Beartooth Ranger District of the Custer National Forest, and state and private lands.
The National Forest, Yellowstone National Park, and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks join in urging visitors who use these areas to practice the tips and guidelines outlined by the Be Bear Aware campaign.
This time of year, bears are in constant search of food before denning for the winter. Bears are moving up and down in elevation and moving along river valley bottoms looking for calories—fruits and vegetables, unsecured food in residential areas (pet food, garbage, bird feeders), and carcasses from hunter harvests. Hikers, campers, hunters—all recreationists—should use care and be familiar with how avoid encounters in bear country.
Tips for recreating in bear country:
The Gallatin National Forest, Beartooth Ranger District on the Custer National Forest, and Yellowstone National Park require all attractants be stored appropriately. Unattended food, refuse, and attractants must be stored in hard-sided vehicles or bear-resistant containers, or be hung above the ground out of the reach of wildlife. Food, cooking utensils and garbage may not be left outside at any time unless in immediate use.
In Yellowstone National Park, regulations require visitors to stay at least 100 yards away from bears at all times. Finally, while in the Park, remember to store your water appropriately.
For more detailed information on how you can be bear aware, please visit www.BeBearAware.org. Information on avoiding bear encounters can also be obtained at all Gallatin and Custer National Forests, Yellowstone National Park, and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks offices and visitor centers.
Did You Know?
Prior to the establishment of the National Park Service, the U.S. Army protected Yellowstone between 1886 and 1918. Fort Yellowstone was established at Mammoth Hot Springs for that purpose.