Letter: Some horse owners just don’t want to be bothered
To the Editor:
Oh, to be a horse in Ridgefield! They are welcome on our trails, they have beautiful pastures to graze, and their manure can stay where it lies (to be carried into our ponds and rivers when it rains). Why? Because some of the horse owners just don’t want to be bothered with cleaning up after their animals. What would these owners have to do to keep these pollutants out of the water? Grow some grass (to act as a buffer) and keep their manure piles away from wetlands (which are particularly sensitive to pollutants).
We have complicated and expensive systems to keep human waste out of our water, we bag and throw out dog poop, we hire dogs to keep geese (and their droppings) off the golf course, but we have scant rules about manure. Many of our rivers in town are classified as “impaired” due to nutrient loading and bacteria. Manure contains nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (the “nutrients” that create algae blooms and deplete oxygen in water) and bacteria — and a horse creates a lot more waste in a day than a human, a dog or a goose. If you live downstream from where horses are grazing, your right to clean water isn’t acknowledged by the proposed horse “guidelines.” But horses? Their freedom is secure.