ASPEN, Colo. – Forest rangers have a messy, stinky situation on their hands at Conundrum Hot Springs: Lots of human waste left behind, unburied and out in the open.
It’s problem that’s getting so bad, the U.S. Forest Service is considering requiring visitors to pack their waste out with them when they leave.
Rangers told Colorado Public Radio that on one summer evening, they filled an entire trash bag with excrement at the popular spot.
Officials already request that visitors pack out their waste and they even provide the bags at the trailhead, CPR reports, but it could soon become a requirement as part of a new management plan for the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.
In some parts of the wilderness area, the number of visitors has increased by nearly 300 percent since 2006 and that leaves rangers picking up after more people than ever before. The Conundrum trailhead alone saw more than 5,300 people in 2015.
The U.S. Forest Service has released a draft version of its proposed management plan. A 45-day objection period is open only to those who already submitted written comments.