Those of us in Utah that live near any of the Big 5 National Parks know that they are an invaluable economic resource to rural communities. But after you leave pavement down any dirt road around these communities, human feces deposits are found behind any bush, rock or rise of the landscape that provides shelter from prying eyes. As an Environmental Health Scientist for the local Health Department, my job is to ensure that human waste is disposed of properly so that the public is not exposed to potentially hazardous pathogens. In this unique arid climate, human waste can take many years to fully decompose. Because of this fact, and the sheer number of visitors that frequent the area around Moab, the San Rafael Swell, and other locations in the state, we are facing a Poo-pocalypse.
We need help from the state and federal government in curbing this trend through educational campaigns and more sustainable infrastructure. Possible names that capture public interest could entail, “I Poop Responsibly,” or “The Bowel Movement.”
I live here, and I know that everyone that enjoys my backyard wouldn’t want me pooping in their backyard, so let’s start the conversation with our representatives to preserve the beauty of our amazing state for many generations to come.