Northwest NEWS

June 14, 1999

Editorial

New rules needed about pets in watershed

   My wife and I recently drove to the trail head at the Redmond Watershed to take our old, fat dog Beamer for a stroll on the new trail system. We were shocked to learn that the city has prohibited pets from the trails.

   Yet the trails' system is open to horses, which I always thought of as pets. We walked a few hundred yards and found that the horses have made an awful mess of the trails.

   There are copious quantities of horse poop every few yards throughout this area reserved to ensure a safe water supply. I would love to understand why horses are not considered pets and why we allow, and apparently encourage, all this equine fecal matter in a watershed.

   Unlike horse owners, dog owners can, and often do, pick up the messes made by their pets. I live on 216th Ave. NE, which is a route taken by many horse riders on their way to various trails in the area. Almost every weekend, I find big piles of fresh horse poop on my driveway and the adjacent shoulder of the street. Never have I seen a horse owner clean up the mess left behind by their pets.

   I believe that we should require all pet owners to clean up after their pets. Once that rule is in place there is no good reason why any pet should be barred from the watershed. If we are unwilling to make horse owners become responsible for their pets' messes, we should bar horses from the watershed and allow only dogs, which do not pollute nearly as much as horses.

Dave Vedder, Woodinville