Currie Craven: Dog safety in the forest
The Board of Directors of the Friends of the Eagles Nest Wilderness (FENW) appreciates your coverage of local hiking opportunities and providing information for readers to research responsible recreational options on our public lands. We specifically mention Caddie Nath’s interesting article in the Aug. 28 edition of SDN. The article was well researched and written, as is usual from Caddie. We offer the following observations, referencing the clich about a picture being worth one thousand words. In designated Wilderness, dogs are required by law to be leashed, something the appears to have misplaced.
Volunteer Wilderness Rangers with FENW and our esteemed colleagues in the Friends of the Dillon Ranger District (FDRD) Forest Stewards programs fulfill part of their educational mission by providing forest visitors a small pamphlet with “a few good reasons to leash your dog.” Among these are; > Leashes protect dogs from becoming lost and from wilderness hazards such as porcupines, mountain lions, bears and sick, injured or rabid animals.> Unleashed dogs intimidate other hikers and their dogs, depriving them of the peace Wilderness provides. > Unleashed dogs harass, injure, and sometimes kill wildlife.> Failure to leash your dog may result in a fine.Most land in Summit County is not the large “W” of designated Wilderness. In areas other than designated Wilderness, the county and Forest Service allows dogs to be off leash if under voice control, providing ample opportunity to indulge leash-free urges. FENW encourages dog owners/companions to be responsible for your four-legged friend and to others by become acquainted with their local ordinances. U. S. Forest Service Wilderness Rangers can issues citations to violators as is noted in the regulations posted at trailheads. Rangers and user surveys have detailed increased compliance with leash requirements since our volunteer patrols began a few brief years ago. Our volunteers are partners with the U. S. Forest Service and we welcome the Summit Daily News as another partner in educational outreach as we encourage all users to play nice in the sandbox and perhaps, leave at least one day a year to volunteer to make our public lands a better place. Along the way, it is a good thing to protect our furry friends who are such a meaningful, integral part of our lives.
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