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Bear spray promoted for YNP visitors

Jul 2, 2013 - The Associated Press

A nonprofit organization is teaming with seven retailers around Yellowstone National Park to sell bear spray at discounted prices during the week of July 4.

Keystone Conservation also plans to distribute bear safety information as part of its "Keep Calm and Carry Bear Spray" campaign.

"Many people, particularly area visitors, are unfamiliar with bear country and do not understand how important it is to carry bear spray, or how to use it," said Elisa Prescott, Keystone Conservation's program coordinator, in a statement.

"We are working to increase awareness of the importance of carrying bear spray, and are offering opportunities for people to use bear spray."

Bear spray usually costs about $45 and can't be taken on airplanes. But with the discount, shoppers at Northern Lights in Bozeman, Mont., will get $10 off from Wednesday to July 7.

Other retailers in various locations in Montana and Wyoming are offering the discount from Monday to July 7.

Besides discounted bear spray, Keystone Conservation has also created a bear spray rental program through some businesses.

Keystone started the campaign earlier this year at the Montana Outdoor Science School's Watershed Festival, where participants practiced discharging bear spray with inert cans.

Officials at Yellowstone National Park say hikers should stay in groups of three or more, carry bear spray and make noise on the trail.

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