During the first half of the 20th century, grizzlies within Yellowstone could be easily spotted feeding in the trash dumps located in the park, and every night hundreds or even thousands of visitors would gather to see the spectacle of hundreds of bears eating food waste. In the 1960’s and 70’s park biologists started to realize the negative consequences of these feedings, and dumps were systematically closed and trash within the park was “bear proofed.”
Since the 80’s big steps have been taken to reduce the potential for human/bear conflict in Yellowstone National Park, and the population has steadily grown. These steps include installation of bear safe boxes in every campsite, as well as better bear safety education and training for both frontcountry and backcountry visitors. In 2022, grizzly bears are thriving and there are more than 150 grizzly bears within Yellowstone National Park, and roughly 800 within the entire greater Yellowstone ecosystem.