Flags point out the poop on western Colorado trail | VailDaily.com

Flags point out the poop on western Colorado trail

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado
Janet Urquhart/The Aspen TimesLauren Fox of Basalt, Colorado, plastic bags in hand, heads up the Arbaney-Kittle Trail Tuesday with pooches Roscoe, left, and Sky.

BASALT, Colorado ” John Armstrong, ranger for the Pitkin County (Colorado) Open Space and Trails, was feeling a bit crappy about conditions on the Arbaney-Kittle Trail Tuesday.

So to make a point, he marked all the visible piles of feces along the first section of the popular midvalley trail with flags.

“It’s a corridor of feces,” he said.

The trail, located above the Holland Hills subdivision, upvalley from Basalt, gets heavy use by people with dogs. As the snow recedes with warming temperatures, the dog poop left along the trail emerges.

In the first 200 yards, Armstrong said he posted at least 100 flags.

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“It’s just a method to call attention to the poop,” he said. “We’re trying to raise awareness, so people pick up after themselves.

“It’s actually ridiculous.”

The trail climbs through an 11-acre county parcel and is one of two Pitkin County open space holdings where voice and sight control of pets is allowed. The other is Smuggler Mountain on the edge of Aspen.

But even in off-leash areas, dog owners are required to carry bags and dispose of poop properly, per open space regulations.

The Arbaney-Kittle trailhead even sports a bag dispenser, trash can and sign directing users to pick up after their dogs, Armstrong noted.

The fine for violating the rule is $100, but Armstrong said catching people in the act of ignoring their dog’s poop is tough.

So, he’s hoping a little education might make a difference.

“We’re trying to raise the bar,” he said.

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