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The Brown Frown

by Mark Robbins





Brown trout.

The brown frown.

The psychedelic fart.

Dropping the kids off at the pool.

Making a deposit at the backside bank.

Do I have your attention yet? Yes, I am posting today about a most serious subject, nothing to be laughed at…. excrement.

More specifically, dog excrement.

Dog poop in the backcountry.
Let’s face it, dog poop is everywhere on our most popular trails. I especially enjoy it when the aroma follows me all day long after accidentally walking or skiing or snowshoeing over a pile of it.

While us humans usually save this most un-funny and un-yucky of endeavors for the privacy of the bathroom, our canine companions don’t share our fecal hangups – in fact they seem to constantly seek out the most public of places to proudly produce their poop.

Speaking of public places, the drainages around Crested Butte are a great place to take your dog for some exercise and to do their “business.” Whether out Kebler road, Slate River, Washington Gulch, Brush Creek, etc., your furry friend’s affections are certainly appreciated by the great variety of users of our public lands – walkers, cross-country skiers, fat bikers, backcountry riders, and snow machine users alike. What isn’t so much appreciated are the little brown blobs that are sometimes left behind.

Let’s be real for a minute – no one wants to deal with your dog’s crap. Ironically, many of us retreat out these drainages to get away from some crap, or get some perspective on some crap, or to process some crap. We certainly aren’t interested in someone or something else’s crap. To see, to smell, to step in, to ride through dog crap while traveling our public lands is just, well, yeah. Crap.

How to pick up poop in the backcountry

So this post is a friendly reminder to please pick up after your four legged friend when they accompany you on your adventures past where the road ends. Beyond the aesthetic detriment (poop on the trail is icky to look at, smell, step in, etc.) is the environmental impact of introducing foreign waste to our drainages. On this low tide year the issue is probably no worse but it is certainly more obvious as nature’s temporary eraser that is snow has failed to do its thing this winter.

Here’s the bottom line – all solid waste must be gathered in a waste bag and packed out. Simple enough, right?

But here’s a big head scratcher – apparently some folks are putting their pet’s poop in waste bags and then LEAVING THE POOP-FILLED BAGS OUT IN OUR WINTER DRAINAGES! I mean, that’s kind of like putting your groceries in a re-usable canvas shopping bag, only to throw away the bag after using it – perhaps somehow your heart was in the right place, but you actually ended up making the situation worse and you kind of look like an a-hole. If you’ve taken the first steps to be responsible for your pets waste, please finish the job and pack out your full steamy waste bags!

Dog poop in a bag
Don’t be one of THOSE people. Take your bag of shit with you!

So here’s to continued shared use and stewardship of our public lands. Whether on skis or sled, by foot or by paw, all are welcome and encouraged to experience the beauty that lies just beyond the pavement. But as my mom used to say, yelling into my bedroom, “pick up your shit.”

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