I have never seen anything quite like this in all my years growing up in Montana, and I wonder if this could happen in Bozeman.

The Daily Inter Lake reports that Columbia Falls in Northwest Montana passed an emergency law to deal with their ongoing bear problem. This law requires residents to secure garbage and other attractants, like fruit, in trees. This means residents will need to secure their garbage in bear-proof garbage cans. 

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Grizzly and black bears have been causing trouble the whole summer in Columbia Falls, and the problem might continue through the fall. The cold spring and dry August have driven bears to find more sustainable food before the winter. 

Photo by Becca via Unsplash
Photo by Becca via Unsplash

Columbia Falls is in the middle of bear country, and bears can smell food from miles away. The town is also thinking about measures they can take with their compost facility. 

I am not surprised by this at all. My parents, who live in Polson, told me a black bear has been getting into neighbor's garbage cans and leaving an absolute mess. Luckily, my dad saw this 300-lb guy trying to get into their garbage can and scared him away. 

Photo by Jack Charles via Unsplash
Photo by Jack Charles via Unsplash

Bears are creatures we need to live with harmoniously in Montana because we share the landscape. While this particular situation isn't typical in Montana, this incident can help other towns prepare. 

Remember, never approach grizzly bears by yourself. Black bears tend to be more skittish, and if you make a lot of noise and make your presence known they will run away. The Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks have some fantastic tips too. 

Just be careful out there and lock up your garbage. 

For more details, check out the Daily Inter Lake

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