Food Storage Restriction Order 2009-01

Florida black bear grabs garbage canORDER NO. 2009-01



Pursuant to the provisions of 16 U.S.C. Section 551 and Title 36 C.F.R. Sections 261.50 (a) and (b), the following acts are prohibited within the National Forests in Florida. This food storage order remains in effect until terminated by an authorized official:

  • Possessing, storing, or leaving any food, refuse, or bear attractant unless it is: properly stored in a bear-resistant container;
  • suspended at least ten feet clear of the ground at all points, suspended at least four feet from the supporting tree or pole, and suspended at least four feet from any other tree or pole adjacent to the supporting tree or pole;
  • stored in a closed, motor vehicle without a soft, convertible top; or
  • being eaten, being prepared for eating, or being transported.
  • Discarding or abandoning any food, refuse, or bear attractant unless it is:
    • disposed of in a bear-resistant trash receptacle with has been provided by the Forest Service for that purpose.
    • Burning or burying any food, refuse, or bear attractant.

36 C.F.R. Section 261.58 (cc).


The following definitions shall apply to this Closure Order:

  • Bear attractant: means any substance having an odor that may attract bears, such as food, cooking grease, toothpaste, soap, and garbage.
  • Bear-resistant container: means a securable container constructed of solid non-pliable material capable of withstanding 200 foot-pounds of energy. When secured and under stress, the container will not have any cracks, openings, or hinges that would allow a bear to gain entry by biting or pulling with its claws. Wood containers are not considered bear-resistant unless they are reinforced with metal.
  • Food: means any nourishing substance, solid or liquid, which is not native to the immediate area, including nourishing substances for humans, pets, and livestock. Food does not mean water and baled hay. Refuse: means any discarded material or solid waste.


Pursuant to 36 C.F.R. 261.50(e), the following persons are exempt from the above prohibitions:

  • (a) Persons with a special use permit specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission, issued by the Distrct Ranger.
  • (b) Any Federal, State, or Local Officer, or a member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty

These prohibitions are in addition to the general prohibitions in 36 C.F.R. Part 261, subpart A.


Executed in Tallahassee, Florida, this 30th day of June 2009

Susan Jeber Matthews
Forest Supervisor
National Forests in Florida

Violations of the above prohibition set forth are punishable by fine of no more than $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, or both. See 16 U.S.C. 551, 18 U.S.C. 3559 and 3571. A physical copy of any original signed Supervisor's Order can be obtained from the National Forests in Florida Supervisor's Office. Please contact us at (850) 523-8500 to request a copy.