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CSKT offers to loan bear-resistant garbage cans

by CSKT Natural Resources
| March 28, 2024 12:00 AM

Unsecured garbage is the number-one reason for human-bear conflict on the Flathead Indian Reservation. The CSKT Wildlife Management Program encourages reservation residents to practice good stewardship to help prevent these avoidable human-wildlife conflicts.

To facilitate Bear Smart practices in local communities, CSKT is continuing its Bear-Resistant Garbage Can Loaner Program to reservation residents who self-haul garbage to a local transfer station.

“We are increasing the distribution area of our Kodiak Can Program to include communities that grizzly bears are currently expanding into, or are likely to expand into, in the near future,” says Stephanie Gillin of the Division of Fish, Wildlife, Recreation and Conservation.

Those who live in bear habitat within the Flathead Indian Reservation and haul their own garbage to the Lake County Transfer Station, or other local designated container sites are eligible. 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 one-time donation fee of $20, which can be paid via cash or check. The money collected will go back into the loaner program to purchase future cans. Due to high cost and demand, there is a limit of one Kodiak can per household.

To sign up for the loaner program, visit the CSKT NRD-Division of Fish, Wildlife, Recreation and Conservation Permit office at 406 6th Ave. E. in Polson, open from 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Residents are asked to bring a driver’s license or Tribal ID for verification of their residential address.

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/repairs.

Should the Kodiak can need to be replaced, the $20 fee will be reapplied.

This program is offered in partnership with the Blackfoot Challenge, Natural Resources Defense Council, and other agencies and stakeholder groups within western Montana.

For questions about Kodiak bear-resistant garbage cans and availability, call the permit office at 883-2888, ext. 7200.

For residents who have Republic Services, please contact their representative about their bear-resistant options at 406-676-4330 or 406-543-3157.