Nature Noted

Notes on a changing Nature

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Location: Bellville, Texas, United States

I never would have predicted this one

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Dogs gone Wild

Here's a new twist on what happens when people and the environment mix.... they bring their dogs. And having just cut a lawn that needed a fair amount of pooper scooping from just one dog... I can imagine what happens when everyone brings their four legged friend along. This is from the Las Vegas Sun
Dogs may be man's best friend, but they pose a risk to Lake Tahoe.
Conservationists are urging dog owners to pick up after their pets, saying dog waste contains chemicals that can feed algae growth at the lake and harm its famed clarity.
The California Tahoe Conservancy estimates that dogs produce 81 metric tons of nitrogen and 17.5 tons of phosphorous each year at the nation's largest alpine lake.
"A lot of folks have that attitude of being in the mountains and that you can do what you want. It takes some help for them to understand there are other people and their usage affects those other people," conservancy resource manager Rick Robinson told the Tahoe Daily Tribune.
The conservancy distributes fliers at trailheads urging hikers to pick up after their pets.
South Lake Tahoe codes target dog owners who do not pick up after their animals in public places or while trespassing on private property.
The bistate Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, charged with protecting the lake's environment, has no ordinance concerning the issue.
But the agency could address it in the future, and any decision rests with local governments, TRPA spokeswoman Julie Regan said.
Last year, a volunteer cleanup day netted 65 pounds of dog waste at one lakeshore location alone.
Concern about the issue coincided with a first-of-its-kind conference Thursday on Lake Tahoe's role as a drinking water source for thousands of people in the Reno-Tahoe area.
While the lake's continuing loss of clarity has received national attention, officials say, it's equally important to protect Lake Tahoe as a drinking water source.
Dan St. John, public works director at Incline Village, said there's no question dog waste affects Lake Tahoe's water quality.
"Part of our water source protection is to educate dog owners," he said. "But that's certainly an area we need to work on."

Yuck.

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