IDAHO — You've probably seen this photo shared by the Boise National Forest's social media page of trash piled up inside a restroom at Kirkham Hot Springs.
People leaving trash and human waste behind while recreating outside is not a new problem, but it's only getting worse here in the Gem State.
"With Boise growing and with the pandemic, people are exploring the outside a lot more and getting into their backyards, and they just aren't preparing for the amount of waste they are going to create when they are out," Evan Worthington, BLM Wilderness Ranger said.
The one principle Worthington is asking Idahoans to follow is "Leave No Trace,"
Check out and share the brand new Leave No Trace Basics! pic.twitter.com/8EaNZYFLzv— Leave No Trace (@leavenotrace) November 13, 2020
"If you are planning a trip into the outdoors or anywhere, you do spend a certain amount of time on planning for food, planning your equipment, checking your equipment," Worthington said. "So you also need to plan and be aware of the area that you are traveling in like what kind of facilities are going to be available. That is going to help you organize a better trip which is ultimately going to lead to a better experience for you and also the group that comes behind you."
Not only is the garbage and waste left behind disgusting, but it is also hurting our wildlife and their habitats.
"Plastic in wildlife is a huge problem nowadays," Worthington said. "At any given point you can see certain bird nests that are out there that are going to have trash bags built into them so it is a big impact hurting wildlife."
So, if we want to keep Idaho beautiful and be able to continue to enjoy the Great Outdoors this state has to offer, it's quite simple. Pack out what you pack in.
"We live in one of or probably the best outdoor state in the country, and so when you see things like that are going on at Kirkham and areas like that it is just a simple matter of planning your trip and taking the time and caring about the area," Worthington said. "I would encourage everyone if you love the outdoors to take a look at the "Leave no Trace" principles and take the time to plan your trip carefully.