Wednesday, September 24, 2008

dog trails update from david gordon

Hi Marianne -

Chuck and Jim asked me to touch base with you regarding the agenda items with respect to dogs at next week's FCAC meeting.

Polecat Gulch Policy: The Ridge to Rivers Sub-Committee of the FCAC is recommending that the Polecat system be open to dogs, but all trails there will be on-leash. The FCAC will decide whether to adopt this recommendation or formulate another. Rationale for recommendation is based on following factors:

  • Aase's Onion habitat - The area actually has far more onions than originally thought. Idaho Fish and Game biologists recommend that dogs be kept on leash in the Reserve from February through May to minimize disturbance to flowering plants (when they are most vulnerable).
  • Wildlife Habitat - The Polecat Reserve contains a healthy herd of deer that move between that area and Dry Creek. Disturbance to these animals will be minimized by having dogs on leash.
  • Social Factor: We received a number of requests to consider leaving this area closed to dogs, to provide a dog-free trail experience for those desiring such. We felt that this was too stringent a measure, especially in consideration of dog owning west Boise residents. The sub-committee feels that requiring dogs to be on-leash will largely prevent unwanted dog-human encounters on the trails, while still allowing for a dog experience in the Polecat Reserve.

The FCAC will wait until November to decide how to proceed with any dog policy changes on the remainder of the Ridge to Rivers system. They will utilize information gathered from Idaho Humane Society officers over the 2 months that they will have been patrolling (by then), to help formulate any decisions. An IHS employee will be on-hand at next week's meeting to provide an update on their patrols.

Please feel free to share this information with your peers!

dgDavid GordonRidge to Rivers Trails CoordinatorBoise Parks and Recreation Department

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