LARAMIE, Wyo. (RELEASE) - Visitors to developed recreation sites on the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests must now comply with a forest order that requires proper storage of food and refuse which might attract bears.
The order was signed on June 15, 2020 and is necessary to minimize adverse interactions between bears and humans. USDA Forest Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Wyoming Game and Fish coordinated to put the order in place.
“Signing this order is important to our state wildlife agency partners and for the safety of forest visitors,” said Forest Supervisor Russ Bacon. “We do not want bears to be tempted to visit recreation sites where close encounters with the public could occur. Bear/human encounters are becoming an all-too-frequent issue, so we are working with our partners to resolve this issue before it becomes an even larger problem.
“The order I signed applies to our developed recreation sites, but the same safety message applies to dispersed sites throughout the forests. The Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests are bear country and the recreating public should properly store anything that could attract bears.”
Bear attractants can include, but are not limited to: food and beverages, garbage, BBQ grills and stoves, cooking utensils, pet food and dishes, game meat and carcasses, fish and bait, toiletries and bug spray.
According to the Forest Order, unless food or refuse is being prepared for eating, being eaten, being transported, or being prepared for acceptable storage, it must be stored in bear-resistant containers or inside vehicles in sealed containers while in a restricted area.
Any harvested animal carcass must be acceptably stored, and if hung, be at least 100 yards from a developed recreation site.
Developed recreation sites include campgrounds, day-use sites, visitor centers, and picnic areas.
Be “Bear aware” and “Bear wise” when camping and recreating. Visit Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Wyoming Game & Fish webpages for more information.