Unsecured Food Creates Bear Problem at Idaho Campsites
KETCHUM, Idaho (KLIX)-Idaho's wildlife agency says food not properly secured by campers have attracted bears near two camping areas in the Magic Valley region. According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, biologists and conservation officers received reports around the July 4, holiday weekend of a bear that walked into several campsites in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA) raiding unsecured food, damaged camping gear and tried to get into several cars. Similar reports were made near the Baumgartner Campground in the Fairfield Ranger District where a bear has become food-conditioned by finding unsecured food around campsites and overflowing dumpsters. Idaho Fish and Game says food-conditioned bears create an unsafe situation for the public. Conservationists have set up a trap to capture the bear at the SNRA and euthanize it. People camping in the SNRA are reminded of a food-storage order designed to protect the public and wildlife, you can find more information on the order here. Idaho Fish and Game says it is important to keep a clean campsite so as not to attract bears. The agency provided the following tips:
- Never store any food or scented products in your tent.
- Store all food, camp garbage and even toothpaste, soap, lotions and bug spray in your vehicle or camper. Never leave food outside on your picnic table, or even in an unattended or improperly stored cooler.
- A clean camp is very important to not attract bears. Clean all dishes and cooking utensils away from your tent and campsite after each meal.
- If food storage in a vehicle is not possible, hang your food in a tree 10 to 15 feet off the ground, at least 100 yards from your campsite. Make sure that the bag is at least 4 feet from the tree trunk. Ideally, campers are encouraged to have a bear-resistant food canister to store their camp groceries.
- Remember that pet food can also attract bears to your campsite. Be sure and secure any pet food after feeding your pet.
- Do not bury food scraps or pour cooking grease on the ground, or in your fire pit.