No one will be ticketed for using the popular Skinny Dipper Hot Springs east of Banks as long as they respect laws on behavior such as parking and littering, the head of the local Bureau of Land Management office said Tuesday.
Four Rivers field office manager Tate Fischer said he's also working on a response to a proposal to establish a non-profit organization that would manage the hot springs permanently.
Clean water advocate Growing Change filed the proposal as part of an appeal of Fischer's April decision to close Skinny Dipper. At the same time, the group filed a request for a stay of Fischer's decision until the appeal can be sorted out.
The Interior Board of Land Appeals, a four-member panel that decides disputes of this kind, recently denied the request for a stay. The board has yet to issue a decision on Growing Change's appeal. Fischer said that could take months or even years.
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Fischer's reasons for closing Skinny Dipper included concerns about human health, safety and the degradation of nature around the hot springs. Besides trash, human waste and steep trails, Skinny Dipper features PVC pipe installed to direct hot and cold water into pools. The pools themselves are lined with cement.