Tent Ban Lifted in Many Glacier

Park officials issued numerous citations to visitors about food-storage compliance

By Tristan Scott
In this 2018 image, a food-conditioned grizzly bear prompted camping restrictions in Glacier National Park. Courtesy National Park Service

A human-habituated grizzly bear forced Glacier National Park officials to temporarily ban tents and soft-sided campers from the popular Many Glacier campground, prompting rangers to ramp up enforcement and issue a stern reminder to visitors about proper food storage.

The park announced it had lifted restrictions on tent camping in the Many Glacier Campground on July 15 despite not having captured the grizzly bear involved in an incident late last month involving a brazen bruin.

Over a two-day enforcement blitz last weekend, rangers made 19 contacts for food storage violations, issuing both citations and warnings. They confiscated 12 unattended coolers from parking areas, and moved unattended food to bear boxes at two campsites.

The park will continue to monitor for unusual grizzly bear behavior in the Many Glacier area, according to a press release.

Park officials enacted the temporary ban on tents and soft-sided campers June 29 after a brazen bear repeatedly entered the campground, stealing trout from two visitors who were cleaning the fish on a picnic table.

The same bear involved in the Many Glacier Campground incident was reported on the Swiftcurrent Nature Trail several days earlier. At that time the bear was not exhibiting aggressive behavior, but was reportedly unafraid of visitors.

“The park takes a proactive approach to food storage, and urges visitors to follow proper food storage protocols to prevent bears from obtaining human food and becoming food conditioned,” according to the press release. “The park welcomes bear sighting reports from visitors at ranger stations to help monitor bear activity.”