By Jean Pocha
of the Pathfinder 

Potomac to add bear regulations as concerns over trash grow


August 31, 2023

Photo submitted

A black bear finding an unsecured dumpster In Seeley Lake in 2021. The dumpster has since been protected with a bear-proof enclosure with help from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. The landowners have not seen a bear stop by since.

The Missoula City-County Health Board is hoping to reduce bears' access to garbage in Potomac by requiring bear-proof trash cans after multiple years of food conditioned bears visiting the area.

The City-County Health Board approved a bear mitigation zone in the Potomac Valley at its Aug. 17 meeting, along with expanding the Bear Buffer Zone and related trash requirements across the Missoula Valley.

"The Potomac Valley, especially in the Union Creek area, is one of the worst 'bear behavior traps' I have seen in western Montana," said Jamie Jonkel, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks (FWP) Regio...

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