Forest visitors leave nasty ‘flowers’ for the next guy
July 5, 2009
To the Editor:
The long-awaited Summer is finally here again in the high country. Pleasant temperatures complemented by sunny days followed by cool evening temperatures. Perfect weather for camping, hiking, biking. All these wonderful activities being enjoyed by all sorts of people from all sorts of places.
The birds are singing, everything is so green. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking in the summer. Mountain wildflowers seem to be in full bloom; Mountain Bluebells, Aspen Daisy, Blue Violet, Rocky Mountain Iris, Star flowered Pyrola. And let’s not forget the Poopy Paper Petunia.
The what? Yes, a not so rare flower anymore here in Grand county. Otherwise known as the Pit Toilet Poppy. Found in great quantity very close to popular hiking and biking trails. And especially very easy to find next to popular campsites. Just follow the little trail a few yards back in the woods from your campfire. The not so rare flowers are now in full bloom. It seems these flowers are almost always accompanied by disgusting, foul smelling, nauseating piles of human excrement. On your favorite trail? Just stop and smell the flowers, you don’t have to venture too far. ( The guy before you sure didn’t.)
Getting to the point: People are using the forest as a great big toilet and have absolutely no respect for others.
Common sense, it seems, is a rare trait among people who come up here to enjoy the National Forests. If someone had the proper planning to bring toilet tissue with them into the woods, then one would think they would also carry a trowel or suitable digging device. And, walking 100 feet or so off of the trail or away from the campsite does not automatically make someone bear bait.
Apparently, there is a misunderstanding that the term “Forest Service” means these folks provide a service to clean up after outdoor enthusiasts after they leave for the weekend. Hanging garbage from the trees in grocery bags is not being courteous to the “Forest Service.” Pack out your trash. Use of Forest lands is a privilege, not a right.
And remember, the next time you step off the trail to make a deposit, you may end up stepping in someone else’s.