Wasatch Environmenntal Update for July 31, 2016
By John Worlock, Member of the Board of Directors of Save Our Canyons
“Overpopulated and Polluted!”
Recently visitors to the popular and awe-inspiring Lone Peak Cirque are reporting evidence of too much careless human presence. In other words, to put it bluntly, too many people and too much poop! Overpopulation and pollution: a microcosm of our global problem.
Fortunately it’s a microcosm, and the problem has a solution. We are not suggesting limiting access to the Lone Peak Cirque, as it isn’t really the numbers of people but their excretions that cause the problem.
Here comes the solution. So listen up.
Save Our Canyons is partnering with the Forest Service, the Salt Lake Climbers Alliance and the City of Draper to install a kiosk just outside the boundary of the Lone Peak Wilderness on the Jacob’s Ladder Trail. At this kiosk, hikers will be able to pick up what is sometimes known as a Wag Bag to carry up into the wilderness; to fill, if necessary, and bring home and toss into the garbage bin. It should come with adequate toilet paper and a hand-sanitizer to complete the job.
Fun? Heck yes! To study this process in advance, we recommend googling Wag Bag or Biffy Bag, for example. There are even some instructional pictures! Fun!
The Jacob’s Ladder – Lone Peak Kiosk will have a very limited supply of Wag Bags, so we recommend that you stop off in advance at the Black Diamond store, the Gear Room, IME or REI. Pick up a supply for yourself and your hiking companions. When you go up into the Lone Peak Wilderness- or any of the local wildernesses, you can take along your Wag Bag and use it!
Recall that you are probably in the Salt Lake City watershed, and you don’t want your poop to wash into the water supply!
And, always in the wilderness, remember this motto:
“Tread lightly and Leave no trace.”