Doing This at a National Park Could Cost You $5,000
Being careless will cost you at a national park. Take it from Belinda Arvidson from Idaho! She was ordered to pay $5,826.99 in restitution for improper food storage, a misdemeanor offense, in Grand Teton National Park. In addition to having to pay that hefty fine, Arvisdon will also serve four years of unsupervised release.
Even if it's your first time ever camping inside a national park, you should know that grizzly bears are a main concern. For the most part you shouldn't have to worry about encountering one as long as you follow the rules.
Don't be like Arvidson and fail to properly store your garbage and food. Bears are fantastic at sniffing out odors. Any food items with a smell will attract a bear to which ever campground, picnic site, or parking lot you're at, which is what happened at Arvidson's campsite. Other individuals camping in the area reportedly snapped photos of the grizzly bear while it was rummaging through the trash and other food items.
There a multiple warning signs posted around the campground about bears and proper food storage. Bear boxes are also nearby which are specifically for storing food and other items. "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," The U.S. Attorney’s Office stated in a news release. "Never store food, garbage, or toiletries in tents."
The bear was ultimately tranquilized, collared, and relocated to another area of the park. That way it won't come back again looking for more food and posing a danger to humans in the area.
Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Chip Jenkins said, “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.”