Weigh in on dog ban proposal
September 15, 2009
On a recent run up Conundrum Creek with my trusted running companion, Rip, the wonder border terrier, I was greeted by a U.S. Forest Service employee and informed that I have until Sept. 18 to submit a written comment and suggestions as to the upcoming policy decision the Forest Service is making about not allowing dogs (period) in Conundrum Valley. The way I understand it, they are not considering banning unleashed dogs, banning dogs not in voice control and dogs not in back packs – but banning all dogs all the time, not just on the trail but from the whole drainage.
I found this thinking a bit out of balance and inquired about the change in policy. I was informed that it is because many people take their dogs up to the Conundrum hot springs and then keep them tethered one-quarter of a mile from the springs for the night. The cacophony of noise and disturbance is the reason that the Forest Service wishes to understandably change the policy.
I have been living and running up that valley for 20-plus years with my “little buddies” and feel strongly that to ban dogs from the valley is a bit over the top. I offer that an obvious solution would be to simply ban dogs from overnight camping in the vicinity of the hot springs.
To their credit they want to hear from the public, and I hope that people will weigh in on this subject in a timely manner and not just say yea or nay but give the Forest Service some direction and some concrete ideas.
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