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Bear resistant garbage cans available

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News from CSKT

FLATHEAD RESERVATION — Unsecured garbage is irresistible to bears and quickly leads to bears frequenting homes and homesites, leading to conflicts. Due to human safety concerns, and the ability to prevent conflicts, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ wildlife management wants to work together with local residents to reduce grizzly bear and wildlife conflicts associated with unsecured garbage. 

“We are increasing the focal distribution area of our Kodiak Bear-Resistant Garbage Can Loaner Program to include communities that grizzly bears are currently expanding into or are likely to expand into in the near future,” CSKT wildlife management states. 

In order to get ahead of conflicts in these communities, people are eligible for the Kodiak Bear Resistant Garbage Can Loaner Program if they live in bear habitat within the Flathead Indian Reservation and self-haul garbage to the Lake County Transfer Station or other designated container sites. 

The CSKT Wildlife Management Program has a limited number of 65-gallon bear-resistant Kodiak garbage cans available at this time for distribution. There is a donation fee of $15, which can be paid by check, debit or credit card (no cash, please). The money collected will go into an account to purchase additional cans. Due to high cost and demand, there is a limit of one loaned Kodiak can per household.

To sign up and receive a Kodiak can, please visit the CSKT NRD-Division of Fish, Wildlife, Recreation and Conservation Permit office at 406 6th Ave. E. Polson, Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Residents must self-haul garbage to a depository station on a regular basis to ensure that the can does not overfill, and the lid must remain closed and latched properly at all times. Should any damage alter the function of the can, the Wildlife Management Program must be contacted immediately for maintenance and repairs. Should the Kodiak can need to be replaced, the $15 fee will be reapplied.

This program is in partnership with the Blackfoot Challenge and other agencies and stakeholder groups within western Montana. Again, these resources are limited, for questions about Kodiak bear-resistant garbage cans and availability, contact at the Natural Resources Department Division of Fish, Wildlife, Recreation, and Conservation permit office at 406-883-2888, ext. 7217.

For residents who have Republic Services, please contact your representative, as bear-resistant options are available. For more information, call 406-676-4330 or 406-543-3157, Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday. 


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