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Some Backcountry Travelers At Canyonlands National Park Will Have To Pack Out Poop


Some backcountry travelers in Canyonlands National Park will have to carry out their human waste as the National Park Service strives to better protect resources.

Beginning September 22, overnight backcountry permit holders for Chesler Park and Elephant Canyon backpacking campsites and the Peekaboo vehicle campsite in the park's Needles District will be required to pack out their human waste.

Additionally, the park will be removing vault toilets in two of the district's backcountry locations, Paul Bunyan's Potty and the Peekaboo vehicle campsite. These toilets are being removed due to the increasing difficulty of servicing the toilets, and in an effort to return the areas to their remote backcountry condition, the park said in a release.

Use of a toilet system that is either: 1) washable and reusable, allowing for the sanitary transfer of waste to sewage treatment facilities, or 2) of the type that treats solid waste with dry chemicals and is EPA-approved for disposal in landfills (a.k.a. "wag bags") will be required.

Disposing of untreated human waste in landfills is prohibited by the Environmental Protection Agency. Landfill-safe waste bags must be disposed of in a designated human waste receptacle, and portable toilet system contents must be emptied into a designated sewage treatment/dump station facility. Dumping portable toilet system contents and/or putting wag bags into vault or flush toilets are prohibited.

Human waste in the backcountry is becoming a greater resource protection and human health concern as park visitation increases. Park officials encourage all visitors coming to enjoy the region's backcountry trails and roads to plan ahead for ensuring they can properly contain and dispose of their human waste.


Must be pretty hard to keep your distance. Those bison must pretty well fill the entire room.

Sorry . . . . . .

At Theodore Roosevelt NP they had signs in the restrooms warning you to keep your distance from bison....

Hey, I know how we can take care of ALL the challenges of the NPS through education.

I don't remember which park it was, but one of the places I visited this summer had posters of rules and some interpretive offerings posted on the walls and doors of restroom stalls.

What can be more educational than some good reading while answering nature's call? Just think of the possibilites if some pertinent messages were printed on those poopy bags for backcountry travelers.

Agree with #1. Can't agree with #2. Monopolies? The only monopoly is on the thought process not in the ownership. #3. they will notice when their freebees are cut off.


Sorry Kurt, you post came in while I was writing mine.

OK, going from packing out poop to the Founding Fathers' intent and educational agendas is quite a leap. So, unless you have anything germane to the post, let's move on....

Three ways "education" could get accomplished. 1) Find a way to get American families to actually value education and make sure their children live in an atmosphere in which knowledge is treasured and efforts of teachers are fully supported, 2) return our news media to local ownership and control by eliminating the growing monopolies of huge news corporations that are able to exert far too much power over what is published, 3) A catastrophic event -- might help, but most Americans probably wouldn't even notice unless their TV and other entertainment was cut off.

Rick,Until the school systems get out from under the grasp of the teacher's unions there will be no real change. School vouchers and local control (not common core) and getting the Feds out of the educations business (where they have no Constitutional right to participate) are the mechancial answers. Focusing the curriculum on core education - history, economics, english, science and getting the schools out of sex education, diversity training and other progressive agendas is the only way to improve the actual educational experience. I am pessimistic this will happen.

ec--As you no doubt know, there are many attempts now to change the education system. Too many, I am afraid, over rely on standardized testing to evaluate progress and teacher performance. I just read an article in the Albuquerque Journal where a charter school was trying to reverse that trend. They are stressing project development in small groups following a classroon unit on a subject. The idea is to stress those skills needed in a real life job--active listening, working together, the more ideas brought to the table the better the project, making use of the group's best resources, giving everyone a chance to express his/her opinion, choosing the best leaders for that task, etc. This seems to me to be a better way to measure what a student will be able to do upon leaving school and a much better way to measure the ability of a teacher to promote real education rather than rote memorization. I will be anxious to hear how this works. As to the rest of the state, it is soldiering on with the adoption of the core curriculum and increased testing. Sigh, pretty soon there won't be any time remaining for learning.


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