Monday, January 31, 2011

Pick Up Poop

I went for an early, snowy and cold hike this morning with my dog on a local trail. While the trail was quite and lonely this morning (it was 15˚ snowing...), on most days it's one of the most heavily used trails in Boulder. Lots of people in this part of the world hike with their dogs, and this trail is a hot-bed for dog activity. As I was nearing the end of my hike I stopped to look at the trailhead signage and saw this sign:

I was a welcome reminder to all who enjoy the trail that picking up your dog's waste is the right thing to do. The City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks estimates that 40 tons of pet waste is deposited on lands they manage. Much of this waste is picked up and properly disposed of but there is a large quantity that remains on these lands.

From the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP):

Why is dog waste such a big deal? Who cleans up after coyotes?

Besides its bad smell, dog waste can pollute water sources and encourage noxious weeds to grow. Coyotes and other wildlife eat what is available to them on OSMP land. Dogs eat dog food or table scraps, so their waste is different from wildlife droppings. Dog waste can harbor microbes and drain to Boulder's resevoirs. It is also rich in nitrogen, which encourages noxious and invasive weeds to grow.

Check out this video done by OSMP on dog poop:


Anonymous said...

Besides the City of Boulder's valid concerns over the content of dog poop making it a different issue than coyote poop, I have long maintained that dog population densities are hugely inflated by domestication. Natural dog pack sizes would never approach the number of dogs per square mile in areas of concentrated human settlement. Therefore, the few open spaces available near those human settlements are susceptible to concentrations of dog waste that would never occur in nature in so small a space, and therefore have a disproportionate impact.

Lskyway said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lskyway said...

And, put those dogs on a leash too please!