Temporary toilets keep public lands cleaner

Nearly 30 portable toilets were placed at more than a dozen trailheads and popular recreation areas this year, part of a Chaffee Recreation Council “Keep it Clean” initiative to manage growing recreation, paid for by the Chaffee Common Ground Fund.

Projects are managed by the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA), Salida Mountain Trails and Buena Vista Singletrack Coalition. Public land agency staff recommended high-traffic areas for the privy sites where human waste has been prevalent.

The Chaffee County Visitors Bureau has provided advertising on the loos to promote educational messages to visitors at the high-use areas. Messages focus on campfire safety and other Leave No Trace-style ethics.

The project addresses an immediate need as visitation grows while providing time to pursue permanent vault toilets, GARNA Executive Director Dominique Naccarato said. “Keeping the outdoors clean is an important objective to protect natural resources such as the Arkansas River’s water quality, and to make sure we, as a community, can provide continued quality experiences for everyone,” she said.