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THURSDAY, JULY 14, 2011, 8:33 A.M.

Kootenai Forest enacts food storage rules in bear country

CAMPING -- The Kootenai National Forest, which manages the Cabinet Mountains of northwestern Montana and a portion of Idaho, has enacted stricter food storage rules to help prevent campers, hunters and cabin dwellers from luring bears in to trouble.

Storing food in a vehicle satisfies the rule for most campers.  But campers without hard-sided RVs or vehicles must take extra measures.

Details have been posted on the forest's website.

Bear resistant containers are required for campers in some cases.

Hanging food properly continues to be an option for backpackers and other backcountry campers.

The diagram at left indications how campers who must go light can meet the forest's "approved storage method."

Storing food in a bear resistant manner means hung 10 feet off the ground and four feet horizontally from a tree or other structure; stored in a hard-sided camper; vehicle trunk, or cab or trailer cab: in a hard-sided building, or stored using an electric fence.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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