Food Storage Information

The current food storage order requires specific food storage practices across the Colville National Forest to reduce the potential for human-wildlife conflicts. The food storage requirements described in the order apply to all Colville National Forest systems lands and campgrounds.

Food, carcasses, and attractants must be stored in a bear-resistant container or stored in a bear-resistant manner at all times unless being prepared for eating, being consumed, being transported, or being prepared for storage.

If you have additional questions related to food storage requirements on the Colville National Forest please contact your local Forest Service office.

Photo: Grizzly Bear in a field.

Approved Storage:

Per special forest order 36 CFR 261.50(cc) forest visitors at all times (day and night) must store all wildlife attractants. 

When car camping, all wildlfe attractants must be stored in a hard-sided vehicle or animal-resistant container. 

When camping away from your vehicle (ex. backpacking) suspend all wildlife attractants at least 10 feet above ground (usually in a tree) and 4 feet from any vertical support. When using an IGBC approved animal-resistant contaniner, it is recomended that it be suspended or kept at least 100 feet away from any tent or sleep area.  Do not keep container in your tent!

Animal attractants include:

  • food
  • beverages
  • pet food
  • garbage
  • other attractants (scented items like soap, candles, deodorant, toothpaste, wildlife carcasses). 

An animal-resistant container is one that has been approved by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee(IGBC) (  Most bear-resistant containers sold in local outdoor retail stores meet these requirements.  Pop-up campers are not bear-resistant.  Most food coolers are not bear resistant and must be secured in a hard sided vehicle.

Wildlife Carcasses:

Any harvested animal carcass must be within sight and control at all times, day or night, unless the carcass is:

  • at least 0.5 mile from any camping or sleeping area or 200 yards from a National Forest trail or,
  • acceptably stored.

Burning Attractants:

Attractants are things like leftover food, bacon grease, secented oils, sunscreen, deodorant  etc. They cannot be buried, burned in an open campfire, or left behind in camp. All attractants must be stored in a sealed container and packed out with garbage – or disposed of in a bear-resistant garbage container.

Store your food and attractants, livestock food and garbage in a bear-resistant manner or use a bear-resistant container


Image: A diagram showing a tree with a proper food cash stored in it.

Image: Two types of bear resistant containers, One boxed shape the other cylinder shaped.













Any harvested animal carcasses,

Any harvested animal carcass shall be attended (within sight/control) at all times (day or night) unless the carcass is: at least 0.5 mile from any camping or sleeping area or 200 yards from a National Forest System trail or, is acceptably stored as identified in the 2019 Food Closure Order.

Additional resources on bear-resistant containers:
Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, Bear-Resistant Equipment