Boulder, Colorado’s Patrick Murphy is a plant ecologist.
And like many of Boulder’s proud residents, Patrick is extremely environmentally conscious. Being a plant ecologist and wanting to be environmentally-friendly sort of go hand-in-hand – but throw in the Boulder mystique, and Patrick’s really got something.
A disclaimer: Web Watch loves Boulder. We have a number of friends who live there, and we enjoy every opportunity we get to spend some time out there.
But like Austin, Texas’ reputation, Boulder is a bit quirky.
And that’s okay. We like those folks anyway. And Patrick does bring up a vitally important point that pet lovers around the world should take notice of:
Patrick is concerned about the environmental impact of dogs.
More specifically, dogs that roam about off-leash that decide to destroy the landscape with their dog poop and free-wheeling urinating everywhere they have a chance to do so.
As Patrick says, “the negative impacts of dogs cannot be ignored and must be documented and mitigated”.
More specifically, his point is:
The accumulation of dog excrement, damage to vegetation and promotion of weed invasion, and the negative impacts on people and wildlife that are sensitive to dogs, make dog off-leash areas incompatible with more heavily utilized wildland management areas. Dog parks are the only place where dogs off-leash should be allowed on high utilization public lands
In other words, Patrick has wandered the lovely park areas of Boulder and documented the dog piles that had not been picked up by those irresponsible dog owners.
In one piece showing area near a school, he documents 663 piles of dog poo, which (according to some quick math) would be worth up to $331,000 if the local law enforcement had ticketed each of the offending pet owners for not picking up after their pet.
Patrick is reasonable.
He does admit that even if every poop pile is picked ip, there would still be damage to weeds, soil, and water that un-leashed dogs would have caused.
He’s not asking for much. He just wants people to follow the existing laws to keep their dogs on a leash when required, and to pick up their dog’s crap along the way.
Make the world (or, at least Boulder, Colorado), a nicer place to be.