West Yellowstone, MT – The Custer Gallatin National Forest has issued a closure for the Rainbow Point Campground due to a problem grizzly bear and the safety of all campground users. The bear reportedly was able to access food from the area subdivision and has returned to the area and Rainbow Point Campground repeatedly.
“When a bear receives food and becomes a food conditioned bear it can be very dangerous,” said Jason Brey, Hebgen Lake District Ranger. “It is unfortunate that this bear appears to have associated people with a food reward and we are working with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to trap the bear for public safety concerns.” Rainbow Point Campground is closed until further notice. All campers need to vacate, concessionaires are doing their best possible to reallocate campground guests to other available campground sites across the Hebgen Lake Ranger District.
Five of the 7 districts on the Custer Gallatin National Forest are within bear country, including the Hebgen Lake, Gardiner, Yellowstone, Bozeman and Beartooth districts and food storage is required from March 1 – December 1 every year. Food Storage Orders are in effect to reduce adverse human wildlife interactions including bears and other wildlife species. Food Storage Order require that all unattended food, garbage and attractants be stored:
• In hard-sided vehicles;
• In bear-resistant containers;
• Hung at least 10 feet above the ground, and 4 feet away from tree/pole, out of the reach of wildlife; or
• Placed within a fenced area that meets the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee regulations (www.igbconline.org)
for approved bear resistant products list.
It is always good practice to maintain a clean camp and keep food properly stored in containers out of the reach of wildlife and secured for both the safety of bears, other wildlife and for human safety. Individuals who do not comply with the food storage order can be issued a violation and held civilly liable for any damages that occur from non-compliance.⊕