By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
An Idaho woman was ordered to pay a fine of more than $5,000 for improperly storing food in Grand Teton National Park.
Belinda J. Arvidson, 50, was ordered to pay $5,826.99 for improper food storage and will serve four years of unsupervised release.
While camping in Grand Teton National Park, Arvidson failed to properly store garbage and beverages, resulting in a grizzly bear receiving a food reward when it found the unattended garbage and drink at the campsite.
“Irresponsible behaviors have consequences, and many times it is the wildlife that pays the ultimate price,” said Chip Jenkins, superintendent of Grand Teton National Park. “We all have responsibilities to preserve and protect the incredible wild animals of Grand Teton National Park and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.”
Individuals camping in the area took photos and videos of the grizzly bear while it was in Arvidson’s campsite rummaging through the trash and other food items. The campground contained multiple warning signs about bears and proper food storage as well as bear boxes in which food and other items could be stored.
Due to the bear receiving a food reward, upon locating the bear, it was tranquilized, collared, and relocated by boat to another area of the park.
The bear could pose a danger to humans if it were to have another similar incident, and killing the bear may become necessary, the park said.
The fine to be paid by Arvidson covers the National Park Service’s costs for relocating the bear, including the cost of a GPS collar now necessary to track the bear’s movement.
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.