Volume 2, Number 14 - July 3, 2002
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Food storage order
Bridger-Teton National Forest spokesman Jay Anderson said both the Bridger-Teton and Shoshone National Forest have been working on infrastructure and educational efforts to have visitors to the forest practice clean camping and safe food storage.
Earlier this year, U.S.D.A. Forest Service officials proposed instituting a food storage order for the majority of the two western Wyoming forests. The order requires that all food, refuse or carcasses be hung above ground, be placed in hard-sided vehicles, or otherwise be placed out of reach of bears. The resulting public outrage over the proposed order was a factor in the agency deciding to delay implementing the order until a later date.
Anderson said both forests have decisions to make as to where and when the order will be put in place, but the end goal is to resolve the food-storage problem.
"Right now the public seems to be much more willing to work with us on infrastructure and education," Anderson said, so that is where his agency is putting its emphasis.
Bridger-Teton Supervisor Kniffy Hamilton is currently on detail to the agency's regional office in Ogden, and should return at the end of July, Anderson said. Likewise, Shoshone National Forest Supervisor Becky Aus is currently on detail in the agency's Denver office.
When Hamilton returns, she will examine where the agency is in terms of safe food storage, Anderson said. She may decide to postpone implementing the order, or may choose to go ahead and sign the order for an expanded area.
"I don't think she's in an all-fired hurry to sign that decision," Anderson said. Instead, there is currently more interest in working with outfitters and other users of the forest in installing needed infrastructure. But an order can still be enacted this summer, Anderson cautioned, noting that the Wind River Mountain range is still under consideration.
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