Forest Service issues draft decision for food and refuse storage
The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) has issued a draft decision for a proposed Forest Order that would require proper storage of food and refuse at developed recreation sites on National Forest System lands in Lake Tahoe Basin. The proposed decision now enters a 45-day objection period.
Because bears are attracted to anything edible or scented, improper storage of human food and other scented items and improper disposal of refuse is a leading cause of human-bear conflict. The proposed Forest Order would require the use of wildlife-resistant dumpsters and food lockers provided at developed recreation sites on the LTBMU.
Implementation of the Forest Order would begin at Fallen Leaf and Meeks Bay campgrounds and at Meeks Bay Resort due to a rise in the number of human-bear conflicts at these sites. Implementation at additional developed recreation sites would be prioritized based on the frequency of human-bear conflict. Requiring proper food and refuse storage is expected to reduce human-bear conflict by preventing bears and other wildlife from obtaining human food sources.