HELENA – Late last month, Forest Supervisor Bill Avey signed two new food storage orders to cover the areas of the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest (HLC) that were not previously covered by such an order.
Now, the HLC has three food storage orders that cover its 2.8 million acre landscape.
“Food storage orders are an important step in helping provide for human safety on the forest, especially as bear numbers and ranges increase and more people move into, work, or recreate on our forest,” Avey said. “Our primary focus this year is to educate people on the specific requirements within the new food storage orders; citations will not be issued across the newly covered areas this year to give people adequate time to learn the new orders.”
With these signed orders, the HLC now has three food storage orders that cover the Forest:
- Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) Food Storage Order*—Covers the Lincoln and Rocky Mountain Ranger Districts
o No changes were made to this multi-forest NCDE order; this is not a new order, therefore enforcement will continue across these two Ranger Districts.
- Crazy Mountains’ Food Storage Order—Covers ONLY the HLC-portion of the Crazy Mountains on the Belt Creek White Sulphur Springs Ranger District
o This order is specifically written to mirror the food storage order that is already in-place on the Custer-Gallatin National Forest’s portion of the Crazy Mountains; therefore, the entire mountain range will have the same food storage order requirements, regardless of different forest boundaries.
- Remaining HLC Areas’ Food Storage Order—Covers the Belt Creek-White Sulphur Springs (excluding the Crazy Mountains), Helena, Judith-Musselshell, and Townsend Ranger Districts
This order will be adopted by Elkhorns-portion of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest (B-DNF) since the Elkhorns are managed cooperatively with the B-DNF.
Definitions of phrases used within the orders can be found on the actual food storage orders; as can a map of the area for which a particular order will cover.
For more bear safety information go to the Forest’s Bear Aware webpage.
The Forest’s signed food storage orders can be found online on our Bear Aware webpage or by clicking “Alerts and Notices” at www.fs.usda.gov/hlcnf.