2 Yellowstone Area Campgrounds Reopen
The Gallatin National Forest has reopened Chief Joseph and Colter campgrounds following last week’s emergency closure after a grizzly bear mauled three people, one fatally in nearby Soda Butte Campground, KULR-TV, Billings, Mont., reported.
Soda Butte Campground remains closed. All three campgrounds are located just east of Cooke City, Mont., along the Beartooth Scenic Byway (Highway 212).
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks verified that the four grizzly bears captured were those involved in last Wednesday’s attacks. This verification has addressed the initial concern for public safety at Chief Joseph and Colter campgrounds. Although the grizzly bears responsible for the attacks were removed, forest staff reminds visitors to remain vigilant because of the presence of bears throughout the Greater Yellowstone Area.
Soda Butte Campground will remain closed while Gallatin National Forest managers determine how best to administer this facility. Specifically, Soda Butte Campground including the riparian area down to Soda Butte Creek is closed to human entry.
Grizzly and black bears frequent this and other key habitat areas found within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Managers remind people visiting and recreating anywhere on the Gallatin Forest to follow the food storage order by appropriately storing all attractants. Visitors are also asked to have bear spray readily available in the event you should have a negative encounter and whenever possible to travel in groups of two or more.