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Boise National Forest shares ‘disturbing’ photo, pleads with Idahoans to pick up trash


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The Boise National Forest posted this photo of trash overflowing from a bathroom at Kirkham Hot Springs on Facebook on May 4, 2021. | Boise National Forest via Facebook

BOISE (Idaho Statesman) — Officials with the Boise National Forest are pleading with Idahoans to pack out trash from campsites and day-use areas, sharing a photo on Facebook on Tuesday showing garbage piled up in a restroom at Kirkham Hot Springs.

“This is the very disturbing situation that is occurring at many Forest Service campsites,” the post said, adding that the photo was taken in April.

The post had been shared nearly 800 times on Tuesday afternoon and garnered dozens of comments and “angry” reactions. Several commenters called for hefty fines to be leveraged on individuals spotted littering.

Many Forest Service vault toilets, like the one pictured in the post, do not have trash cans or provide only small waste receptacles. While some trash cans are available at the Kirkham Hot Springs site near Lowman, the Boise National Forest stops trash and restroom services between late fall and early spring.

Last fall, officials told the Statesman they were converting the Kirkham Campground to a day-use only site in the hopes of remedying issues with late-night drinking and partying at the hot springs. John Kidd, Lowman District Ranger for the Boise National Forest, said excessive trash — including human waste — was an issue in the area last year, as well.

The Boise National Forest also issued an emergency closure for the Grimes Creek area south of Idaho City last September, citing excessive trash, human feces and illegal off-road vehicle trails degrading the area.