There’s nothing quite like hiking in the Rocky Mountains. The region boasts beautiful views, challenging terrain, and an abundance of horse shit. No, we aren’t talking about the Alberta Progressive Conservatives, we’re talking about actual equine feces on regional trails. The Town of Banff recently decided to do something about it.
While Justin Trudeau would have paid millions for sociologists to find the source of the problem (hint: horses’ butts), Banff took a more streamlined approach. The Town conducted a survey of approximately 100 residents to see how they felt about the situation. The results were ass-tounding.
According to a CBC report, “more than half of respondents said that horse poo negatively affects their trail experience.” Duh. What about the other half? Are they coprophiles? Are they seven years old? A good survey would have contained questions about sexual preference and age. This is an appalling shortcoming.
Following the survey, the Town is leaning toward asking riders and wranglers to pick up after their horses. This could mean writing bylaws that force riding companies like Holiday on Horseback, the only commercial horse operator in the area, to clean up after themselves. Despite the hard line, the Town promises that it won’t kick horse riders off plopular local trails. Reports suggest that bylaws will only formalize user rights and expectations.
As the Town’s plan comes into focus, the biggest question on residents’ minds has to be whether or not this will become a political issue. If so, these new bylaws could expose a rift in council. They could unseat the Mayor! While it’s too early to say if this issue will determine the outcome of the 2017 election, it’s never too early to prepare for that outcome. Politics is a shitty business.