Poop epidemic at Minnesota state parks

gooseberry falls state park.jpg
Deb
Gooseberry Falls State Park, before the poopers took over.
With no bathrooms and no one around to clean them up during the shutdown, some of Minnesota's state parks are starting to look and smell like crap. Literally.

Minnesotans are still trying to take advantage of the parks, which have areas that are still open for daytime use. But restrooms are locked, and backpackers and picnickers have been forced to relieve themselves in the woods, according to the Pioneer Press.

There might be no better metaphor for the shutdown than otherwise responsible adults pulling down their pants and defecating on public land.


Parks are also besieged with overflowing garbage, because no Department of Natural Resources staffers are around to empty dumpsters or collect litter.

Not every park is going through the poop problem, Col. Jim Konrad of the DNR told the Pioneer Press. Among the worst he's heard about is Gooseberry Falls State Park.

"Gooseberry is the one that keeps popping up," Konrad said, in a line that sounds absolutely disgusting in this context.

Another park's trash problem could lead to terrifying results. As food waste piles up in Crow Wing State Park, black bears are beginning to feed off the park-goers leftovers. Konrad fears that when the shutdown ends, the bears will have become used to the free food, leading to confrontations with humans.

The DNR's 186 staffers who are still on the job are dealing mostly with fishing and boating regulations, leaving no one for No. 2 duty. 

Konrad, a nature lover and a pragmatist, offered his own solution.

"Bring your own little baggie along. I think if I had to poop, that's what I'd do. I do that for my dog."


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11 comments
Forwardpride
Forwardpride

Leave No Trace isn't really all that difficult, either. 

harrison13
harrison13

agree with mr mollet - we're a leave no trace family. i understand being upset about the shutdown, but state park users should still be employing the simplest of outdoor rules: leave no trace and be prepared.

Jonathan Mollet
Jonathan Mollet

This pisses me off. I'm sure the article exaggerates the problem slightly, but nonetheless its disgusting that people are unable to cleanup after themselves. I've spent years camping in state parks and elsewhere and always practice leave no trace. It isn't hard to carry your garbage out with you or to dig a whole to go to the bathroom in a decent ways away from the trail. People need to learn to be adults because its people like them who the government uses as examples to keep growing bigger and bigger.

Mn Voter
Mn Voter

Good naturalists will clean up their own mess. PERIOD! "The DNR's 186 staffers who are still on the job...," - can't we have a plan next time to use 10 or so to keep the rest rooms open? Who the hell plans the work for these people?

soapboxgod
soapboxgod

Okay so there are some random turds along the walking trails I get it. But, to say that the problem is "epidemic" is a load of crap. Yes there's a pun there and yes it is intended.

Andrew Hine
Andrew Hine

"The DNR's 186 staffers who are still on the job are dealing mostly with fishing and boating regulations," to seek out and fine those of us who are unable to get an angling license to try to live off the BWCAW land for a few days.  (And yes, I should've planned ahead.)

Al Schafer
Al Schafer

They are FINALLY talking on the news about the fact that politicians only have one driving aim and that is reelection. The country will always come second.

The_Fuse
The_Fuse

Yeah that's right... who do you think you people are screwing??? The politicians that can't pull their collective heads out of their asses??? NO! You are screwing the other people who, like you, went out or are going out to enjoy a day at the park. Yeah fine, we pay taxes blah blah blah, does that really give us the right to not be responsible for ourselves? Suck it up babies, take of your shit (literally).

jiayou
jiayou

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Lia B
Lia B

MN residents pay (relatively high) taxes so that bathrooms are open and waste is properly dealt with. Since we still have to pay taxes for these services we're not receiving and clearly our legislators aren't doing anything, I think they should have to come clean up/man the bathrooms. 

John
John

That's our Minnesota!  Thank your Legislature!

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