The wildlife in our national forests are so important to the health of the forest. They are such an essential part of the eco system that forests can not thrives without them. When we are visiting our national forests it is up to us to protect and respect the wildlife there.
Protecting the wildlife means following the rules put in place by the parks.
So here are the essential rules for protecting our wildlife and keeping our parks beautiful.
- All food and anything with a scent must be in a sealed container.
This includes: garbage, recyclables, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, sunscreen, first-aid kits, baby wipes, lotion, hairspray, scented tissue, air freshener, pet food, insect repellent, tobacco products, baby car-seats, and window cleaner. Bears recognize ice chests, cans, bottles, and grocery bags, so store them also.
There was a story recently about a bear who got into some visitors packs and got very sick because he ate an entire bottle of Venorex, a varicose vein treatment. So smell it, if there is a scent you need to put it in a hard, airtight container or don’t bring it at all.
- How to properly store your items if you are camping
Use a metal storage containers with a lock. Make sure all your scented items are in this box, especially if you are camping overnight.
If you can’t get a metal box use an ice chest, but seal your items in airtight containers then store them in the trunk of your car and lock it.
If your trunk has windows make sure you cover the ice chest with a blanket or other items. Believe it or not bears recognize ice chests and will do anything it takes to get into them.
Make sure you dispose of trash properly.
Never leave your campsite with unattended food.
- If you are hiking
Make sure all of your items are sealed in airtight containers in your bag. Have a specific airtight container for trash and NEVER EVER leave trash on the trail.
Don’t ever leave your backpack unattended. Bears knows backpacks have food.
- If you see wild life
Never approach wildlife, no matter what size. Remember the babies have protective mamas nearby. If you believe an animal is hurt then call the park ranger and do not approach it.
Keep yourself safe and the wildlife.
Even if you follow all of these rules there is still the chance of encountering dangerous wildlife. So always use caution.