Partly cloudy skies greeted Girdwood this morning. By late morning, we had this nice view toward Raggedtop Mountain beneath mostly blue skies. As this photo may imply, it is a little warm outside for February, 40° to be exact. It seems a fourth spring is upon Glacier Valley for this 2012 - 2013 winter season. Walking outside is quite pleasant, as I imagine skiing is as well due to a low wind chill factor gliding down the mountain.
I ventured out to Moose Meadows for a ski around the loop. At this time, around 5 pm, fog started to rumble into the valley. Although the air temperature was warm today, the surface of the nordic track was nice and crisp. The snow seemed to glaze over rather than turn mushy and sticky. Aside from all the dog poo mushed into the tracks, the skiing was fast and fun. Please dog owners, if you walk your pet in Moose Meadows, please pick up after the dog. There are mitts provided at the entrance to the meadows and all along the path in Girdwood.
Why is it preferable for dog owners to pick up and dispose of their pet’s waste instead of letting it decompose in the park? Besides it being unpleasant to ski or walk around and getting stuck in the groomer, it is un-neighborly. Because of the pathogens it will release in the environment when the snow melts. And if you do not like your neighbors asking you to properly dispose of dog waste, hear it from the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA long ago declared pet waste a non-point source pollution problem. Read more on this EPA publication, a .pdf file.
Abundance in parks is what makes dog waste especially noxious to the environment. When lots of people with dogs walk their pets in the same location over and over, the high concentration of dog poo in one area creates a water contamination problem. Residents of Girdwood should be sensitive to this issue as many homes here have wells as their source of water. Many of these wells are very shallow, 20 to 40 feet deep. This means the wells are recharged with surface water run-off frequently. When I first moved to Girdwood, I lived in a cabin with water supplied by its own well. This well did not even have a filter on it. I am sure there are many residences in Glacier Valley supplied by well water that is unfiltered. As a result, wouldn’t you like to know the water flowing into your well was clean and free of bacteria dissolved out of dog poo?!
Moose, bears, porcupines and squirrels poo in the forest, why can’t my dog? Because wild animals are spread over a larger range than our domestic pets. Just look at the ski loop in Moose Meadows or the walking path along the Alyeska Highway in Girdwood. How many moose droppings do you see? How many dog poos do you see? A heck of a lot more dog poo. Leaving your dog’s poo in walking areas is just irresponsible, rude, and trashy. Take pride in your neighborhood, keep it clean, please!