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Smith River floaters not ready to be bear savvy

Fly fishers cast for brown trout along the stained rock-garden limestone cliffs that border central Montana's Smith River where special permits are required to float a 59-mile scenic stretch. (Rich Landers)
Fly fishers cast for brown trout along the stained rock-garden limestone cliffs that border central Montana's Smith River where special permits are required to float a 59-mile scenic stretch. (Rich Landers)

CAMPING -- Just about every outdoor park  and forest in North America that has bears requires bear-resistant camping methods. 

But even in the wake of having to kill eight bears that had become camp robbers, Montana lags...

Montana Parks Board won't require bear-proof food containers on Smith River
Over the past two years, eight black bears were killed along the Smith River corridor due to conflicts with people floating the river, prompting the staff of the agency to recommend that campers and boaters use bear-proof containers, a recommendation the Montana State Parks and Recreation Board rejected. Instead the board ordered parks staff to come up with other recommendations to keep bears from being attracted to camps and stops along the river. The board will take up before permits to float the river are issued next spring.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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