Backpackers face new regulations in some areas of Canyonlands N.P.
Aug 22, 2013 | 1613 views | 0 0 comments | 127 127 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The National Park Service (NPS) has announced that overnight backcountry permit holders for Chesler Park and Elephant Canyon backpacking campsites and the Peekaboo vehicle campsite in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park will be required to pack out their human waste beginning Sept. 22.

The Park Service will also be removing vault toilets in two of the district’s backcountry locations – Paul Bunyan’s Potty and the Peekaboo vehicle campsite – due to “the increasing difficulty of servicing the toilets, and in an effort to return the areas to their remote backcountry condition,” according to a news release.

Use of a toilet system that is either washable and reusable, allowing for the sanitary transfer of waste to sewage treatment facilities, or of the type that treats solid waste with dry chemicals and is EPA approved for disposal in landfills, known as “wag bags,” will be required, park officials said.

Disposing of untreated human waste in landfills is prohibited by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 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, park officials cautioned, adding that dumping portable toilet system contents or disposing of wag bags into vault or flush toilets is prohibited.

“Human waste in the backcountry is becoming a greater resource protection and human health concern as park visitation increases,” park officials said in the news release. “[The Park Service] encourages 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.”

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