(Click here for printable PDF of the Product Testing Frequently-Asked-Questions)
Q: What does IGBC approval of a bear-resistant product mean?
A: If a product appears on the list of IGBC-approved bear-resistant products, it means that the commercially-available product has met minimum standards related to the effort that must be expended by grizzly bears to access the container’s contents. These standards were established through consultation with North American human-bear conflict experts and bear biologists. Please note that IGBC approval does NOT guarantee that the product is BEAR-PROOF and does not guarantee that the container will never be breached by bears. The intent of this bear-resistant products testing program is to approve products that minimize easy and direct access to attractants by grizzly bears. IGBC approval also does not guarantee that small amounts of the contents of the containers won’t be able to leak or spill out. In conjunction with properly utilizing certified bear-resistant products, the IGBC strongly encourages people living or recreating in grizzly bear habitat to take personal responsibility for maintaining a high level of diligence in their sanitation and attractant storage to further minimize the chance of a human/bear conflict.
Q: If a product is approved, does it mean that the product can be used on any public lands in the United States?
A: No. While many public land managers use the list of IGBC-approved products as a means for approving products for use on the lands within their jurisdiction, IGBC approval does not imply that products have automatically been approved for use on all public lands. Manufacturers and consumers should consult with specific land management agencies to confirm whether or not a product complies with local requirements.
Q: How long does it take to get a product tested?
A: The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center (GWDC) is the only facility testing commercially made products for IGBC approval at this time. The GWDC makes every attempt to test products on a first-come, first-served basis within days of receiving the product(s). The GWDC cannot guarantee any particular timeframe for completion of testing. Many variables affect the amount of time it takes for product testing, such as the number of products being received for testing, weather conditions, special events being held at the facility, staffing shortages and level of interest on the part of the bears doing the testing. Once a product is started through the testing process, testing is USUALLY completed within a week.
Q: If my product passes the required tests, does it mean that the product is automatically approved by the IGBC?
A: Successfully passing the required testing at the GWDC is the first step toward IGBC approval of a product. After a product passes GWDC testing, results are forwarded to the US Forest Service (USFS) in Missoula, Montana where test results and product information are collated and reviewed. Products are not officially approved until the USFS has received all the necessary data and issued an IGBC Certification Number. Manufacturers will be notified of product approval through written correspondence from the USFS. Approved products and their assigned IGBC Certification Numbers will then be added to the list of approved products on the IGBC website. The list of approved products can be accessed through the IGBC website (www.igbconline.org).
Q: Is there a fee to have a product tested?
A: Yes. The fee depends on the size and complexity of the products submitted. The fee is payable to the GWDC prior to product testing. The current testing fee schedule is posted on the IGBC website (www.igbconline.org) and can be accessed through the “Arranging to Have a Product Tested” tab.
Q: If I submit a bear-resistant product for testing and it is approved, does that mean that ALL of my products within the same product line are approved?
A: No. IGBC approval applies ONLY to the model submitted for testing, as described on the product’s submission form. Each approved model will have its own unique IGBC Certification Number. If there are multiple models in a line of products that differ only in size, it may be possible to test the smallest and the largest containers in the product line. Then, if both of those models pass, the intermediate sizes could be considered for approval without having to be submitted for testing. This situation will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Q: Can I use the IGBC logo to market my market?
A: Yes. An electronic version of the IGBC logo will be made available to manufacturers at the time they receive their notification of product approval.
Q: The IGBC website provides a list of approved bear-resistant products that are manufactured commercially. Can products not commercially available (i.e., homemade) also be approved as bear-resistant by the IGBC?
) or the US Forest Service (406-329-3664) for information about courtesy inspections.
Q: If my product is approved as bear-resistant by IGBC, how do I identify the product as having been approved?
A: Upon notification of approval, an IGBC Certification Number will be provided for each product. This number will be specific to the model of product approved and needs to be displayed in some manner (e.g., etched, stamped, sticker, etc.) on each individual product that is produced.
For more information about bear-resistant products in addition the IGBC-approved list, visit the Living With Wildlife Foundation website.