By Montana Grant

Posted: May 26, 2019

“Human feces taints lakes and streams in the Beartooth Mountains!” A recent study targeted 21 lakes up to 12,807 feet. Out of 21 lakes tested in the Froze to Death plateau and Granite Peak area, 11 tested positive for E. coli. This hearty bacterium can survive long cold winters.

These bacteria are found in the digestive tracts of humans. Once out of the gut, they pose a health risk that can cause hepatitis, salmonella, giardia, and other gastrointestinal diseases.

Fecal contamination of popular high mountain lakes and our loved wild places is getting worse. Park officials are not surprised. They often spend their time afield burying human wastes that line the trails and private places.

The Leave no Trace ethic is being wasted. The outdoors folks that crap where they want are probably the same pet owners that fail to clean up after their pets.

Packing out their poop or digging Cat Holes seems to be a waste of time and effort. Their marks are left for others to deal with. They literally crap on the lakes and wild places they supposedly love.

Make sure that you filter water before drinking it in the backcountry. Humans produce over 2 pounds of crap a day. That translates into thousands of pounds of crap afield along popular remote places.

The proper poop requires that you dig a Cat Hole 6-8 inches deep away from water sources. Go in a discreet area at least 200 feet away from a water source. Sadly, some campers enjoy relieving themselves while bathing in a lake or creek. Nature’s Bidet may be clean for them but filthy for everyone else.

Please be responsible for your waste!

Montana Grant

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