tom gattiker from swimba and i were on 94.9 the river this morning to talk about muddy trails. for more info check the following website for some information on foothills soil types, good trail choices for damp days, and other muddy topics: http://swimba.net/education/muddy-trails
there is also a trail conditions page on the SWIMBA site. http://swimba.net/trails/trail-conditions.
before we went on the air, one of the morning guys was talking about how he knows people with dogs who have an attitude of entitlement about having dogs off leash on the trails. he was worried about offending me, but i agree with him that this is a problem.
dog owners do not have more of a right to trail use than anyone else. everyone has the right to a pleasant trail experience. many people are frightened of dogs or just don't like them. we have a responsibility to respect those people's feelings- just like we expect mountain bike riders to respect our space on the trails.
regarding the dog walker with 5-8 dogs, 8 dogs is too many for one person on a busy trail system. sorry. dogs need to be leashed to get to the trails, and i don't know how anyone walks 5-8 dogs on leash (i've walked 3 before and it ain't easy).
even with the best of intentions, there is no way to keep up with poop or to keep the dogs from bothering other dogs or hikers or wildlife. off leash dogs on the Ridge to Rivers trail system need to be within sight of the owner and come back when called.
boise trail dog does not advocate a free for all off leash trail experience. we expect dog owners to follow the rules, to understand the impact our actions have on others and to minimize that impact. we believe that this is the only way we will be able to retain off leash access.
it's about sharing and being polite and thinking about how our actions impact others.