Letter: Portland should protect Baxter Woods

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Thank you for your recent front-page coverage of issues regarding shared use of Baxter Woods. I have been walking my dog there regularly for the past five years or so and have been very concerned about the amount of dog waste that is not picked up. While there are many responsible pet owners who do pick up after their dogs, I am very distressed by the significant quantities of dog poop left behind even along the trail. I am glad there will be some discussion regarding this issue and how we can work together to preserve this gem in the heart of the city and maintain it in a way that all members of the community can enjoy using the shared space.

Not only is it disrespectful of other users of the park not to pick up, the potential harm to the park is of significant concern. Even healthy dog waste contains almost twice as much fecal coliform bacteria as human waste. In addition to this concern, there is the possible presence of giardia or other parasitical infections dogs may harbor and spread.

The issue here is not just about dog poop, it is about caring for our wild spaces. I am so glad those who care will be coming to the table so we can work together to preserve this precious space for generations to come and develop a plan that respects the concerns of all those who want to share use of the park.

Phyllis Reames