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Oregon Parks and Recreation Department accepting comments on proposal to allow WAG bags on the Deschutes River Scenic Waterway

Oct. 31, 2016

Bend OR -- The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is proposing changes to portable toilet rules for the Deschutes River Scenic Waterway. The proposed amendment would allow use of Human Waste Bags as an approved portable toilet. Current rules require overnight boaters in the Deschutes River Scenic Waterway to use an approved portable toilet or an agency provided toilet facility for all solid human waste.

Human Waste Bags, commonly called WAG bags, are now very common on rivers in the U.S. They are allowed, by administrative rule, in Oregon on the Owyhee Scenic Waterway and John Day River Scenic Waterway. WAG bags meet environmental requirements and would likely make river conditions more sanitary because they are so convenient.

The proposed rule change is a recommendation from the Lower Deschutes River Interagency Implementation Team and Lower Deschutes River Managers that include representatives from the BLM, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), Confederated Tribes of The Warm Springs Reservation (CTWS), Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB), Oregon State Police (OSP), Sherman, Wasco and Jefferson counties, as well as the City of Maupin.

The full text of the amendment to Oregon Administrative Rule 736-040-0070 is available online at oregon.gov/oprd. Click on Rules and Regulations on the right side of the page (oregon.gov/oprd/RULES). Comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. Dec. 15, 2017 and can be made online; in writing to Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, attn.: Katie Gauthier, 725 Summer St NE, Suite C, Salem OR 97301; or through e-mail to OPRD.publiccomment@oregon.gov

After reviewing public comments, agency staff plan to present a final recommended rule for consideration by the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission at its February 2018 business meeting.