Vault Toilet Screens

Sponsored by:

Environmental Resource Center

Project Champion:

Kaz Thea

What are the appropriate grade levels:

K through 12

Is there a limit to the number of participants:


Is there an opportunity for community service:


Is this a new or existing project:


Estimated project cost:




This project is a simple fix to prevent wildlife entrapment within vent pipes at vault toilets (Sweet Smelling Toilets – SST’s) throughout the Sawtooth National Forest and BLM lands within the Wood River Valley and Sawtooth Valley. The Environmental Resource Center will be the main non-profit sponsor for this project in conjunction with the federal agencies, and Kaz Thea, Wildlife Biologist the main contact will lead the students through the project from start to finish.

Each year thousands of cavity nesting animals that prefer small dark spaces for nesting and roosting become entrapped in the vertical open-ended pipes that serve as ventilation for the SST’s at area campgrounds and picnic sites. These ventilation pipes mimic natural cavities and are chosen by many area cavity-nesters such as owls, mergansers, bluebirds, kestrels and other species. Once in the pipe the birds then become trapped in the effluent.

The Teton Raptor Canter located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming have designed screens to fit on the open end of these ventilation pipes to prevent cavity-nesting species from entering the pipes and becoming entrapped within the toilets and pipe structures. The screens can be permanently secured to the top of the pipes without compromising proper ventilation of the SST’s.

The solution is simple and the conservation affect immediate and positive. The screens can be purchased from the Teton Raptor Center for .95 per screen. Installing the screens is a win-win for students involved and for wildlife. Working with the Sawtooth National Forest Ketchum District and SNRA, as well as the Shoshone BLM to identify vault toilet locations and total number of pipes (some toilets are double therefore have 2 ventilation pipes at one structure) order the pipes, and install the screens is a highly effective solution to eliminate entrapment by our area cavity-nesting wildlife species.

Project Images

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Classrooms who have adopted this project

Pioneer Montessori
1st, 2nd and 3rd
Carolan McAvoy
24 students

Wood River High School
Wildlife Biology
Larry Barnes
9 students

Wood River High School
Water Club
Erika Greenberg
25 students