Safeguarding Campgrounds for People and Bears

Thanks to our loyal supporters, starting today, U.S. Forest Service crews will begin installation of bear-safe bins at campgrounds throughout the five National Forests spanning Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. The Shoshone National Forest was first to install these bins.

Visitors who camp and picnic in national forests in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem can rest assured, knowing that all 164 Forest Service campgrounds will be upgraded with bear-safe food bins and other bear management related features within three years.

The upgrades, part of a new partnership between the Greater Yellowstone Coalition and the U.S. Forest Service, feature steel bins that deter bears and other wildlife from accessing human food and garbage.

“We all enjoy hiking, sight-seeing, and camping in Yellowstone as well as the surrounding national forests, and with the help of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition the region is safer than ever,” said U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.). “These investments in bear-safe bins will protect people and support the recovery of Grizzly Bears throughout the Greater Yellowstone.”

"As a fifth-generation Montanan and lifelong sportsman, I have a strong appreciation for local partnerships that help to protect Montana’s outdoors heritage. These bear-safe bins will help keep hikers and sportsmen safe and will help ensure Grizzlies have a sustainable home in Yellowstone National Park and our National Forests for generations to come,” said U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.).

Officials estimate that more than 700 adult grizzly bears roam the 20 million acres of the Greater Yellowstone. Surrounding Yellowstone National Park, the ecosystem includes the Gallatin-Custer, Beaverhead-Deerlodge, Shoshone, Caribou-Targhee, and Bridger-Teton National Forests. There are 164 USFS developed campgrounds on those national forests, each with numerous campsites.

“The conservation of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone has the potential to be a remarkable success story, a shining example of how people and wildlife can exist together in harmony,” said Caroline Byrd, Executive Director of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. “This a significant, unique partnership that is resulting in great work on the ground. We are leveraging private donations, Forest Service resources and our passion to make huge, high-impact steps forward in an effort to keep people safe and grizzlies and other animals in our region wild.”

For more information, contact Chris Colligan at ccolligan@greateryellowstone.org