Requesting temporary closure by the Bureau of Land Management of an undeveloped campsite a little east of the Eagle Valley Resort, was approved by the Lincoln County Commissioners Monday.
The request stems from local residents who are asking the BLM to look into the issue of a potential health hazard stemming from those who are using the campsite.
Eagle Valley resident Ronda Hornbeck said the creek that runs along side the undeveloped site is the source of irrigation water for the residents of Eagle Valley.
There are no restrooms at the campsite, located about half-a-mile from Eagle Valley Resort, and Hornbeck said ranchers are now having to clean non-biodegradable toilet paper attached to the grates that creek water flows into for the purpose of catching leaves, small branches, twigs, and other debris. “It’s the irrigation water for our alfalfa fields, and when you turn the valves on, you’re walking and wading in it, if the water hits you in the face, it’s all right there. I can’t afford to be in the hospital for what that health issue could cause,” she said.
Hornbeck said she does not necessarily want to see the campground closed, “I just think some restrooms need to be put there.” It is not known if the irrigation water is getting into the wells for human drinking water.
Victoria Barr, BLM Field Manager, Ely District, Caliente Office, said BLM can definitely look at putting in some toilets, although she did not know when. In the meantime, the campsite can be closed off, and seek to arrange some kind of alternative. She suggested Commissioners state the need for vault toilets at the campsite in the request letter to be sent to the Schell Field office of the BLM in Ely, but did not know when a decision would be made.