Letter to the Editor: Dog poop in Incline
It’s time to make a stand on the excessive amount of dog poop that is being left on the ground all around the lake—in neighborhoods, on streets, on trails and even on the beach.
There are many reasons why this is a problem:
1. The threat to our water supply.
2. Dog feces carry disease, bacteria, and parasites. Yuck.
3. It’s unsanitary, unsightly and smells bad.
I have created a website, compiled articles, collected resources, and plans of action that the average person can take. This is also a call to action to numerous agencies (many of which I have contacted—for example: PetNetwork, League to Save Lake Tahoe, Keep Tahoe Blue, PetStation, the Rotary) to TAKE A STAND AND TAKE ACTION!
In my opinion, this issue is of paramount importance to the health of the lake. I also think it’s a matter of education. I remember a time when I thought it was OK to leave the poop on the ground, as long as it was in the dirt, out in the woods, and out of the way. WRONG! Unfortunately, many people still believe this.
A year ago, I decided that I’d had enough. The turning point was when I was driving along Mays Blvd. and I spotted a woman walking her dog near the thrift stores. The dog made a deposit and she continued walking. I pulled alongside her and asked if she was going to pick up the dog poop. She said, “What dog poop?” I said, “The one your dog just left!” She said, “Mind your own business!”
To which I said, “This is EVERYONE’S business”.
I created the website https://doesabearpoopinthewoods.org/ and began my campaign. I have posted on social media, put up four bag stations in my neighborhood, created signs to mark the poop and created a sign up for Poop Patrol.
What we can do is begin issuing citations to the people who aren’t picking up. Of course, we need to catch them first.
Issuing a citizen citation will require:
• Seeing the infraction occur
• Taking a photo
• Identifying them
• Making a formal complaint
This is considered littering and we, as citizens, can issue a citation that could result in a fine of up to $1,000! Forcing people to pay with their wallets will bring about change in behavior.
But the only way we can accomplish some lake-wide change is for people to get involved. Check the website for links to purchase your own stations, print the signs, talk to people. For under $100, you can put up your own station and adopt your neighborhood or favorite walking trail.
We also need to educate the people in the vacation rental business and make sure they are giving renters the information they need to be good stewards to the lake. Download PDFs from the website, include the information in your welcome packages.
Together we can do this. Join the Poop Patrol!
Toree Warfield, Incline Village
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