Banff trails being damaged by horse poo, residents complain

Some people in Banff have a problem with horses using trails in the area — or, more specifically, with what the horses are leaving behind.

Town of Banff wants horse riders, wranglers to pick up after their horses

The Town of Banff is looking at ways to address residents' concerns over the amount of horse poo on the town's trails. (Michael Zamora/Corpus Christi Caller-Times/AP file photo )

Some people in Banff have a problem with horses using trails in the area — or, more specifically, with what the horses are leaving behind.

Horse poo is emerging as a problem for residents who say they want to use the trails without having to side-step around piles of the mess.

As part of the effort to develop a Trails Master Plan, the Town of Banff consulted about 100 residents for their thoughts on how to solve the issue. 

More than half of the respondents said the horse poo negatively affects their trail experience, and now town officials want to do something about it.

"One thing on our side would be to formalize this into our bylaws," said Chad Townsend, Banff's environmental co-ordinator. "We aren't talking about very many trails that are used within the townside by horses."

Townsend says he's confident officials will be able to sort out the concerns with Holiday on Horseback — the only commercial horse operator in Banff.

The owner of Holiday on Horseback, a horseback tour company in Banff, told CBC News she had not read the report and so couldn't comment on it but would be willing to work with the town if they put forth recommendations.

Those who enjoy heading out onto the trails on horseback won't have to worry about getting kicked off either. Townsend says that's not the goal of the report.

"There are recommendations within the plan not to ban horses or take away from the trails they already use, but just to formalize the use and make sure we have communicated to the operator our expectations on the use of our trails."


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