White Mountain National Forest Pleads: Take Your Trash with You
Trash and even human waste are being left behind as the numbers of people getting outdoors in the White Mountain National Forest this year surges beyond the usual summer crowds.
“We have seen everything from human waste to trash being left behind after use, overcrowding at trail heads and parking areas on roadsides,” the letter says. “The latter of which can often lead to accidents and more serious situations of emergency personnel not being able to gain access to a visitor in need. We are strongly encouraging you to help us take care of these wonderful lands while enjoying them.”
Tiffany Benna, who oversees recreation for the US Forest Service, told New Hampshire Public Radio: “We’re seeing human waste along trails. We’re seeing graffiti which we haven’t really seen, on boulders and rocks along the trails, not just on our signs. And we’re also seeing a lot of people, like 100 volunteers, you know, go into the forest and pull out, you know, 300 pounds of trash.”
“We have a lot of what we would maybe consider ‘new users’ to the forest that maybe aren’t prepared to come to a place that has limited facilities,” she said. “You know, there aren’t bathrooms everywhere, there isn’t trash pickup everywhere. And so these folks need to pack it in, pack it out but that includes human waste. So if you are going in the woods, you need to bury it or pack it out.”
The WMNF asks visitors to take their trash with them; do not relieve themselves in an improper way or location; if there is no parking, look for another area to explore; and don’t park in undesignated parking areas.
“We love that you want to use your public lands to help with mental and physical health during these difficult times almost as much as we love this forest,” the WMNF statement said. “So please share your love and respect for White Mountain National Forest and help us keep it beautiful.”
Featured photo courtesy of Dori.
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