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

Jul 13, 2016

A bear digs into campers' food at a campground.
Credit 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.