Visitors to the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest (BDNF) and the greater Yellowstone area have been advised for years that odorous items attract bears and must be properly stored out of reach of animals. Attractant storage is generally a simple process while car camping but can become difficult on bicycle, motorcycle, backpacking or horse packing trips.
The BDNF has a bear-resistant container loaner program to help forest visitors comply with food storage regulations. Forest visitors can check out bear-resistant horse panniers, backpacking “bear barrels” and the popular yet cost-prohibitive bear-resistant coolers for their planned outings.
This popular loaner program has these containers at offices in: Dillon, Wisdom, Wise River, Philipsburg, and Butte. Each office has a limited number of containers –and as this program grows, more containers will become available. The goal is to eliminate bear habituation (bears becoming too accustomed to living or feeding in human areas) while helping the public access containers they would use too infrequently to justify the cost. Visitors are encouraged to check out a bear resistant container for their next outing and help prevent dangerous, food-conditioned bears in our backyards!
For more information about being safe in bear country go online to https://go.usa.gov/xQBQS.