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The environment desk at Aspen Public Radio covers issues in the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout the state of Colorado including water use and quality, impact of recreation, population growth and oil and gas development. APR’s Environment Reporter is Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

Bear-proof containers required for next five years in Maroon Bells area

Courtesy of White River National Forest

Campers in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness will need to store all food and garbage in bear-resistant containers for the next five years.

After several years of issuing emergency orders, the U.S. Forest Service has placed a more permanent regulation requiring bear-proof canisters in the Maroon Bells Wilderness area. Campers might remember a similar rule last summer; that was an emergency measure that expired in the fall.

Easy access to human food has caused bears to become habituated. According to recreation staff supervisor Martha Moran, the traditional hanging method of storing food is no longer working. Habituated bears have become adept at reaching food in trees, and the trees are not tall enough in some high alpine areas.


Click here to see the list of approved bear-resistant canisters.


Aspen native Elizabeth Stewart-Severy is excited to be making a return to both the Red Brick, where she attended kindergarten, and the field of journalism. She has spent her entire life playing in the mountains and rivers around Aspen, and is thrilled to be reporting about all things environmental in this special place. She attended the University of Colorado with a Boettcher Scholarship, and graduated as the top student from the School of Journalism in 2006. Her lifelong love of hockey lead to a stint working for the Colorado Avalanche, and she still plays in local leagues and coaches the Aspen Junior Hockey U-19 girls.
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