Snowmass trail talks: There is no poop fairy
Special to the Snowmass Sun
Editor’s note: The Snowmass Sun and the town of Snowmass Parks and Trails Department have partnered to launch “Trail Talks,” a bi-weekly series that will explore trail issues, etiquette and rules for shared trail-use in the village.
Spring is here and green is peaking through the last remaining snow piles. By green I’m not referring to that emergent grass or tulips, but the unsightly smelly, withered, deteriorating poop bags.
One of our biggest complaints here at the town of Snowmass Village is, “Why do people leave those bags along the trail?”
I’m not certain why pet owners leave those foul smelling piles, or even worse, the plastic bags for all of us to see four months later.
Maybe they think dog poop is natural, or their four-legged friend had to poo twice, perhaps a poop fairy will graciously pick up after their pet, oops, maybe they forgot a bag or didn’t want to carry it out on their daily adventure.
Dog poop is a major contributor to stormwater pollution.
Rain and melting snow flows across yards, down trails, etc. on its way to creeks via our streets and storm water drains. Dog poop contains bacteria and is high in nitrogen and phosphorus (nutrients that negatively affect our waters).
Pets and urban wildlife are major sources of water contamination because pet waste contains harmful bacteria and parasites. Dog feces can contain fecal coliform bacteria, which can spread diseases like giardia, salmonella, and campylobacter that cause serious illness in humans.
The Parks Recreation and Trails Department spends thousands of dollars on supplies and maintenance for poop stations because picking up your pet’s waste is required by town ordinance. We value this ordinance as it is an important way to help preserve our environment and prevent the spread of disease. What is the ordinance?
Sec. 7-82: Animal litter prohibited.
Any owner of any animal shall promptly, and in a public place immediately, pick up, remove and dispose of in a sanitary fashion any and all animal litter attributable to such animal. (Ord. 3-1992 §2; Ord. 4-1999 §1)
This rule applies year-round; snow on the ground does not mean that you should leave the solid waste behind. Yes, we know that it is gross to pick up dog poop but it is part of your responsibility as a dog owner. Please respect your neighbors and take responsibility for your dog’s solid waste. Failure to pick up and properly dispose of your pet’s waste may result in a $25 fine. The Town has placed 18 poop pick-up stations in select locations, but it is always a good idea to tie an extra grocery bag to your dog’s leash before leaving your house just in case.
For any questions regarding Animal Services, contact 970-923-5330; for trails issues, call the Parks and Trails manager at 970-922-2249.
To view all domestic ordinances, check out our website http://www.tosv.com/DocumentCenter/View/17.
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Scott and Beau Toepfer see outdoor stewardship as an act of preservation — and a way to earn some good karma.