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On Bozeman’s M Trail, dog poop is becoming a bigger issue



Bozeman, Montana – Although there are clean-up stations with bags at the M track intended to keep canine waste off the track, more people recently have noticed that there is more dog excrement on the trails, creating an unpleasant scenario.

“Just seeing like, the bag with the plastics out there stuff, it’s just like, oh, they’re littering and stuff,” says Kaden Ramos, a regular hiker at the trail.

Since starting to walk their dog Maggie on the M route more than three years ago, Ramos and Talyn Hagleberg claim to have seen an increase in the number of bags of dog waste. According to Kat Barker, the Bozeman District’s Recreation Program Manager for the Custer-Gallatin National Forest, the district receives several reports regarding dog feces.

“We do have folks calling in with varying degrees of frustration, and it’s been it’s been an ongoing problem for sure,” says Barker.

According to Barker, the beginning of the route is where the rangers observe the most animal waste.

“Really within that first quarter mile to half mile, that’s where we see the biggest impact of dog waste,” says Barker.

While the poop can be unsightly and smell bad, according to Barker, it can also result in worse issues.

“It can also impact water quality, which can be a concern for people in the area,” says Barker.

According to Barker, rangers currently pick up trash from one collection, but soon, dog owners can anticipate a new location to dump their dogs’ excrement.

“We have one waste receptacle right now. We are adding one other one by the end of the summer,” says Barker.

Even though the route is crowded, Talyn and Kaden claim that won’t stop them from having a good time.

“Now, that COVID’s kind of less of a thing now, people are like, you know, out about more,” says Ramos.

According to Barker, rangers have the authority to issue citations for trash, but they often have trouble locating offenders.

Always follow proper trail etiquette and clean up after you and your four-legged pals, advises the forest service workers, so that everyone may enjoy the area.

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