Friday, July 24, 2009

Sheep make a mess

On my bike commute from Bellevue to Hailey this morning I found our beloved trail not to be its wonderfully smooth, recently sealed, deep black self. Rather, our only non-motorized path had become a smear of brown sheep poop with sporadic pools of urine and bits and pieces of weed strewn about everywhere. The smell made me nauseous and as soon as I made it to Woodside Blvd., I turned off to avoid the nasty mess.

The mountain maggots need to be reigned in. With their fabricated heritage they seem unregulated, causing swaths of damage to the fragile ecosystems in our hills, littering our public property with their feces, and likely costing tax payers thousands of dollars in costs associated with rehabilitation and cleanup. Head up into our canyons to see for yourself—go up Townsend or Lee's Gulch and get off the road. Democrat or Quigley are not in any better condition, neither is Ohio Gulch and many others. In the Spring, where the sheep have not trespassed you'll find beautiful lupine and arrowleaf balsamroot, then a wide path of destruction. Sheep are the agent orange of our valley. Look at the soils, how loose they are, look for the invasive weeds that have sprouted thanks to their fleece and poop, look at the erosion in stream beds. How about some regulation from the BLM and the Forest Service keeping the migration period to a few weeks instead of months? How about keeping sheep off the bike trails? Before I sat to write this letter, I had to make sure my shorts didn't have bits of sheep poop on them before I sat in my office chair—something I shouldn't have to do.

Craig Wolfrom


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