Basin Recreation District pleads with trail users to pick up after their pets
Trail manager cites a growing problem with dog waste
March 17, 2017
Complaints about some of the dog owners who use the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District's trails are starting to pile up.
Bob Radke, the recreation district's trail's and open space manager, said there has been an ongoing issue lately with dog owners who don't properly dispose of their pet's waste.
"A lot of owners are really good and responsible and pick up after their pets. We appreciate that and we know that there are a lot because we go through thousands of dollars of mitt bags a year," Radke said. "But there are a lot of people who don't. What we have had this year is people not throwing away their mitt bags or just not picking it up."
The result, Radke said, is that the trailheads are lined with dog waste.
"You see it concentrated around the dog parks and trailheads," Radke said. "As the snow really starts to melt, it becomes a lot more visible."
The Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District operates six parks, including three dog parks and two off-leash areas, and more than 140 miles of non-motorized trail systems. The Run-A-Muk Trail area near Utah Olympic Parkway includes approximately two miles of trails and 43 acres. Radke said Round Valley, which became dog-friendly last year, is suffering from the same problems.
Last year, Radke said the district spent about $10,000 on pet waste bags at nearly 40 stations. As an example, he said about 1,800 bags are placed at the Run-A-Muk Trail each week and nearly 15 bags of dog waste are collected.
"What we had this year was someone made a pile of mitt bags in front of one of our signs that says, 'Pick it up and pack it out.' We've had requests from people that we put garbage bags out along the trails, but it is so hard for us to manage," Radke said. "They weigh about 30 to 40 pounds and it would be pretty much impossible for us to manage that."
Radke said the district has plans to place more signs around the trailheads and on the trails to encourage pet owners to pick up after their animals.
"We rely on them to do their part. We can't implement any fines because it would have to be a county ordinance enforced by the county," Radke said. "Your dog does poop. We know that. But I think a lot of people let their dogs run around and they are not paying attention to what they are doing sometimes. It gets concentrated around the trailheads and we just ask that you please mind where your dog is. We have those waste receptacles at every park."
For more information about the county's dog-friendly parks and trails, go to http://basinrecreation.org/master_dog_parks.html#top.