Messy Campsite Earns Idaho Woman $5,826 Fine After Grizzly Found Rummaging Through Unattended Garbage

Messy Campsite Earns Idaho Woman $5,826 Fine After Grizzly Found Rummaging Through Unattended Garbage

bear-resistant food storage locker“Irresponsible behaviors have consequences, and many times it is the wildlife that pays the ultimate price. We all have responsibilities to preserve and protect the incredible wild animals of Grand Teton National Park and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.” –Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Chip Jenkins 

Belinda J. Arvidson, 50, of Idaho, got slapped with a $5,826.99 fine after she got busted for improper food storage, a misdemeanor offense, in Grand Teton National Park. County 10 reports Arvidson failed to properly store garbage and beverages resulting in a grizzly bear receiving a food reward when it found the unattended garbage and drink at the campsite.

Other campers in the area took photos and videos of the grizzly bear while it was in Arvidson’s campsite sifting through the trash and other food items. The campground had multiple warning signs about bears and proper food storage as well as bear boxes in which food and other items could be stored.

Due to the bear receiving a food reward, upon locating the bear, it was tranquilized, collared, and relocated by boat to another area of the park. It could pose a danger to humans if the bear were to have another similar incident, and euthanizing the bear may become necessary. The amount of restitution to be paid by Arvidson covers the National Park Service’s costs for this operation, including the cost of a GPS collar now necessary to track the bear’s movement.

Remember folks, all food and items with a smell must be stored in a bear-resistant food storage locker or in a hard-sided vehicle with the doors locked and windows closed day and night. Never store food, garbage, or toiletries in tents. For info about bear safety in Grand Teton National Park visit the U.S. National Park Service website.

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