Trail stewards: Rover needs cleaning up after
By RACHEL BRANT
Central Kitsap Reporter Staff writer
February 12, 2009 · Updated 1:06 PM
Clear Creek Task Force urging dog owners to be prepared.
When pets gotta go, they gotta go.
However, the Clear Creek Task Force wants dog owners to be prepared if it happens on the trail.
Tex Lewis, of the Clear Creek Task Force, said dogs have always been welcome on the Clear Creek Trail and dog owners need to take extra care to clean up after their pets and keep them under control.
“They’re responsible for both ends of their dog,” Lewis said.
He said the task force hasn’t received an influx of complaints regarding dogs on the trail, but he wants people to be proactive and take responsibility for their animals.
“We’re just trying to get people sensitized to taking care of their dogs,” he said.
Lewis said more people are bringing their dogs to the Clear Creek Trail and, with that, comes more opportunities for dog waste. Lewis said dog waste pollutes the environment and the Clear Creek Task Force would like to continue to be good stewards of the environment and keep the trail waste-free.
“Nobody would want to see their backyard full of poop and we don’t want to see the trail like that,” he said.
Lewis encourages dog owners to bring the proper tools to clean up after their pets should nature call while walking or running on Clear Creek Trail.
Dogs also do not have to be on leashes to join their owners on the trail. Lewis said dogs should be under the owner’s control, whether by using a leash or voice commands, at all times on the Clear Creek Trail.
“We have very few rules on the trail. We like to see people use their good judgement,” Lewis said. “We don’t want the dogs to infringe on anyone else’s enjoyment of the trail.”
Lewis said signs are posted at trail entrances instructing owners to clean up after their pets and keep them under control.
He added that some people are good about keeping their dogs under control as well as keeping the trail clean, but some folks just need a friendly reminder to clean up after their dogs along the Clear Creek Trail.
“I really enjoy seeing dogs enjoy themselves on the trail,” Lewis said.
If dog issues on the trail get worse, the Clear Creek Task Force may be forced to tell people they can no longer bring their pets to the trail.
“I’d hate to do that,” he said. “There’s very few places where people can take their dogs out and enjoy themselves. I’d hate to see them curtailed.”