An Idaho woman whose carelessness with food at a Grand Teton National Park campsite helped put a young grizzly bear’s life in jeopardy must pay more than $5,800 in restitution.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark L. Carman in Mammoth Hot Springs handed down the sentence Tuesday. In addition to paying $5,826.99 for the misdemeanor offense of improper food storage, Belinda J. Arvidson will serve four years of unsupervised release.
The grizzly involved in the incident is No. 1028, believed, but not confirmed, to be the offspring of one of the park’s star bears, 610. Earlier this summer, the 2 1/2-year-old was relocated across Jackson Lake after being fed by visitors and getting into unattended trash and beverages.
In Arvidson’s case, a press release from acting U.S. Attorney L. Robert Murray said she “failed to properly store garbage and beverages resulting in a grizzly bear receiving a food reward.”
People camping in the area took photos and videos of the bear rummaging through trash and other food items at Arvidson’s campsite, the press release said. The site had signs about bears and proper food storage as well as bear boxes for storing food and other items.
“It could pose a danger to humans if the bear were to have another similar incident, and euthanizing the bear may become necessary,” the release said.
The dollar figure to be paid by Arvidson covers the National Park Service’s costs for the operation, including the cost of a GPS collar to track the bear’s movement.