Friday, April 25, 2008

Volunteers sought for trails cleanup

Participants needed to help clean up dog waste on valley trails

Express Staff Writer

The Ketchum-based Environmental Resource Center is seeking volunteers to participate in the first annual Canine Clean Sweep next week.

During the event, scheduled for Thursday, May 1, at 5:30 p.m., the ERC and several local businesses will sponsor a cleanup to rid local trails of dog waste before the summer recreational season begins.

In a news release, the ERC states that as the snow melts, a winter's worth of dog waste becomes exposed, leaving local trails a mess.

"We are asking residents to spend just a couple hours helping to clean up these trails in preparation for the spring and summer seasons," the news release states.

Not only does dog waste on trails lead to an unsightly mess, but it is also an environmental and human health problem, the ERC contended. The organization stated that dog waste is a frequent contributor to pollution of streams and rivers.

According to the ERC, dog waste also contains fecal coliform, salmonella, strep and giardia, all of which can threaten human health. It is because of these problems that the organization has implemented a program that provides bins and plastic bags at local trailheads so hikers and other recreationists can clean up after their dogs.

"The regular use of these bins, along with yearly events such as the Canine Clean Sweep, will ensure that our trails stay clean and that dogs will continue to be allowed on these trails in the future," the news release states.

While bags and gloves will be provided during the May 1 event, participants will have to bring their own shovels. The cleanup will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Adams Gulch, Trail Creek, Lake Creek, Carbonate and Colorado Gulch trailheads.

For additional information about the event, contact the ERC at 726-4333.

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