From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 3, Number 20 - August 14, 2003
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Food storage order delayed

by Cat Urbigkit

U.S. Forest Service officials are still working on finalizing an expanded food-storage order for the Yellowstone region, but it appears the expanded order will be delayed until next spring.

Bridger-Teton National Forest spokesman Jay Anderson said in an interview Tuesday that the federal agency is still working on the order, but time is running out before hunting season begins in western Wyoming.

Anderson said it's his understanding that Bridger-Teton National Forest Supervisor Kniffy Hamilton does not intend to sign the order in the immediate future, but to have it ready to go into effect next spring.

The food-storage order is already in effect within the official grizzly bear recovery zone in the national forests of western Wyoming. The order imposes certain food storage requirements as a way to reduce the possibility of conflicts between people and bears (both black bears and grizzlies).

The proposed expansion of the order down the Wind River and Wyoming mountain ranges caused a public outcry last year and national forest officials backed off the proposal to solicit more public input.

Last month the agency held a few small meetings with invited members of the public to solicit their input. Anderson said the meetings resulted in a lot of good feedback from the public and helped the agency to make changes to the proposed order. Those changes are now being reviewed by the agency's legal counsel.

"We are awaiting the outcome of that review," Anderson said, before the agency finalizes the order.

"This season is not the season to implement it," Anderson said. "It's too close to hunting season."

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