Idaho woman ordered to pay $5,826.99 after grizz got into garbage at GTNP campsite

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. — An Idaho woman was ordered to pay $5,826.99 in restitution for improper food storage in Grand Teton National Park, according to a recent press release from the Department of Justice, District of Wyoming.

A grizzly bear received a food reward after Arvidson failed to properly store garbage and beverages at her campsite in Grand Teton National Park. The site contained multiple warning signs and a bear box to store food.

The bear was located, tranquilized, collared and relocated by boat to another area of the park. The restitution Arvidson was ordered to pay covers the National Park Service’s costs for the operation including the GPS collar now necessary to track the bear.

If the bear were to have a similar incident, euthanizing the bear may become necessary.

Individuals camping in the area captured photos and videos of the grizzly at Arvidson’s campsite rummaging through the garbage.

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.”

In addition to the misdemeanor offense, Belinda J. Arvidson, 50, will also serve four years of unsupervised release.

The sentence was handed down by United States Magistrate Judge Mark L. Carman on July 20.

Odors attract bears into parking lots, campgrounds and picnic areas. 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. Never store food, garbage, or toiletries in tents. Visit Safety in Bear Country – Grand Teton National Park to learn more.

About The Author

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.

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