Smuggler proposal is a real stinker
A fair, if not ample, number of Smuggler Mountain Road users routinely ignore the leash law, letting their dogs run wild. Now it appears that the leash law will be abandoned, at least for one year.
At first blush, this proposed experiment makes sense. After all, few dog owners obey the law, which rarely is enforced in the first place. And other counties, such as Summit, don’t have leash laws and appear to be doing fine.
We also see this as a situation spinning out of control. It doesn’t seem that Smuggler’s gatekeepers have carefully crafted the proposal, which is one element in the preliminary draft of the master plan for Aspen and Pitkin County Open Space and Trails’ Smuggler Mountain Open Space.
Namely, we’re talking about poop. We don’t fear a killer golden retriever terrorizing Smuggler users, not to mention little Fifi, whose owner is too busy jabbering on the cell phone during his or her arduous journey to the sun deck.
But we are concerned about what these pooches will leave behind. Part of the draft calls for owners being required to pick up their canines’ poop. That seems like wishful thinking to us, especially when dogs running around unleashed can’t be accounted for.
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After all, does anybody really think that the same people who have ignored the leash law are going to obey the pick-up-your-dog’s-crap law? We certainly don’t.
This is not to say that all dog-owners who use Smuggler are irresponsible. But most Aspenites know some Smuggler users who have stepped in it, had to navigate their bike around it or at least gotten a whiff of it.
It’s no secret that Aspen is a dog town, but let’s not get carried away. We were able to see the level of the poop problem when someone spray painted all of the dog piles this past winter.
Perhaps the dog owners should demonstrate more responsibility before they are given more freedoms.
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After 14 years, a lengthy lawsuit by area residents and nearly $4 million in construction costs, a half-mile trail to two school campuses in the Castle Creek Valley was finally completed this week.