DEAR EDITOR: 

To the roads and campgrounds of the Telluride Valley and San Miguel Mountains, we are writing to you to express our sincere apologies for treating you so poorly. As a member of the human race we are embarrassed and disappointed by the behavior of many of our fellow trail lovers.

We want to apologize for:

Leaving dog poop-filled bags on the trails.

Leaving human feces uncovered in Bear Creek and various camping areas on Lizard Head Pass.

Leaving beer cans and cigarette butts around the beaver ponds, on Firecracker Hill and up Bear Creek.

Leaving broken fishing line around the beaver pond.

Leaving empty lunch and plastic water bottles in Town Park and Trout Lake.

Leaving candy wrappers, facemasks and water bottles on the River Trail.

Dumping car ashtrays in parking lots at Carhenge.

We want to apologize to the wildlife that have eaten the plastic and trash that we have left behind or been tangled in the fishing line, and to the bears that have had to be euthanized due to our carelessness.

As humans, we promise our beautiful land to treat you better and to help educate visitors and locals of the meaning of “leave no trace and “pack it out.” 

Our hearts are broken by how we treat our public land. Have we lost our minds? What happened to our manners? Are you enjoying our incredible forests without being thankful and grateful to it?

 Let’s work together to keep our trails, roads and mountains trash and poop free!

I, along with many other friends, now carry garbage bags on hikes and walks along the river and trails to clean up the mess that others leave behind.  

Here are a few simple reminders:

Pick up after your furry friends and don’t forget the poop bag on the trail.

Leave no trace on trails and roads.

Be kind to mother nature.

Remember to respect this beautiful place many of us call home.

Judy Haas

Telluride