Dondo, I called the RMNP backcountry office again this morning, hoping to get a different ranger (I did). I asked him the same questions, about why they have shut down the privies. He said it was because they were filling up, from too much use, and that they were hard to clean/empty. I then asked him if there was any contamination danger to the nearby streams, and he said he didn't know anything about that (guess he's not in the loop). I asked him if this was a temporary situation, and he said it's probably permanent. I then asked what he thought might happen to the rest of the park's privies, and he said that they all were being stressed, and that it could turn out that they'll later choose to shut them all down (he had no firm evidence that it will happen though, so it likely is casual conjecture on his part).
Now I'm pretty confused by all this. I stayed at Ouzel Lake in July '09, and they had just completed a brand-new walled privy for the 2 campsites. Lots of RMNP privies are used by 2-4 campsites, so I guess they don't fill up all that fast. I'm wondering just what the problem really is with the Glacier Gorge and Andrews Creek privies, which service just one campsite each (but which are occupied almost every night June-Aug)). It might be time to start talking with our Fed. legislators (fortunately, we have Sen. Mark Udall, who seems to listen). Certainly, we need to contact the park's superintendant and voice our concerns. I'd hate to see RMNP evolve into a completely research-oriented day use NP. It's OUR park, after all...