Support walking dogs using voice control at Willowcreek Trail |

Support walking dogs using voice control at Willowcreek Trail

Steve and Myriah Blair

This letter originally was sent to Summit County Commissioners.

With open space being available to hunters and 60,120 elk and 37,908 deer being killed in Colorado in 2000, we have trouble seeing much validity in your point of protecting the wildlife from dogs unless you are thinking merely in the economic sense of protecting the hunting industry in Summit County. (Note that dogs are already restricted to leashes during calving time).

As far as a bear attack, your point is correct that a dog off the leash may be more dangerous. However, shouldn’t the safety from such a statistically unlikely event be our decision. We feel much more threatened by myriad hunters in the open space during hunting season than we have ever felt about a bear attack. Granted, most hunters are careful and make little adverse impact on the environment. We support hunting, but with this type of recreation there are problems, just as there are a few problems with recreational hiking with our dogs under voice command.

Statistically, there are many more deaths in Colorado from hunters killing people than from dogs killing people. Are the commissioners saying that death due to recreation is OK as long as the activity is good for the local economy? Maybe dog owners can pay a fee to let their dogs run free under voice command. That way we are stimulating the economy, like hunting, making the activity viable and therefore good for the county. Please help us understand the conflicting stances of how you are protecting the people in Summit County.

Why punish responsible dog owners? We support the right of dog owners to walk with their dogs under voice control and off-leash on the Willowcreek Trail. There are only a few people complaining about dogs just like there are a few people complaining about hunters. We are still a small community. Could hunting in open space take place anywhere but a small community? Often times we are the only car parked at the trailhead. The most cars we have ever seen parked there at one time is five. Our small community does not need big city rules. The lack of such rules makes Summit County special and unique.

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