While awaiting the outcome of a court case involving alleged illegal actions at Hanging Lake, Virtika founder David Lesh seems to have continued his string of disrespectful acts in Colorado's outdoor space.
A photo posted on Lesh's personal Instagram account on October 21 appears to depict a shirtless Lesh defecating in Maroon Lake near Aspen with his pants around his knees. While this destination is typically quite crowded, the caption of the photo claims that no one was around to witness the act.
According to the Aspen Times, part of Lesh's bond conditions in the ongoing Hanging Lake-related case include following the rules on open National Forest System lands at the risk of arrest and forfeiture of $1,000 for bond violations. Lesh's next court appearance related to this case is set for October 30.
Language on the White River National Forest website in regard to the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area that surrounds the Maroon Bells Scenic Area is as follows: "visitors [not removing waste with them] are required to deposit solid human waste in holes dug 6 to 8 inches deep at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails."
It is unclear if the Maroon Bells Scenic Area operates under the same rules as the surrounding wilderness area. Public restrooms are available at the Maroon Bells Scenic Area site.
The Aspen Times has raised the question of whether or not the photograph is real. According to their report, the incident is under investigation by the US Forest Service.
Rules regarding defecation in nature are put in place to prevent polluting waterways and spreading disease.
Here are a few guidelines for pooping in the backcountry:
1. Taking your poop out of a natural space with you is the best practice when using a proper bag for removal. If this isn't possible, poop at least 200 feet from water sources, trails, and campsites.
2. If you're not taking your poop with you, dig a hole for it. The hole should be at least six inches deep and covered with dirt once you've finished your business.
3. Don't bury your toilet paper, pack it out with you.
4. Fallen leaves can be used to wipe – but don't use a leaf from something you don't recognize. You don't want to be wiping something poisonous on your body, especially not there.
5. Wash up after you're finished with hand sanitizer.
Everybody poops, and many people poop outside. If you're one of those people, please plan ahead to do so responsibly to help take care of Colorado's natural space.
Editor's Note: Taking care of Colorado's outdoor space is a team effort. Not only does this help preserve natural spaces for years to come, it also helps reduce the necessity for additional restrictions to be put in place. Read more about the best practices of Leave No Trace here.