As reported in the Loveland Reporter-Herald,
State officials have said the ban was the result of complaints from neighbors and hunters about aggressive and unruly off-leash dogs.Now there is an online petition to get the CDOW to reverse its decision.
The local wildlife manager received 15 complaints over two years, and her boss took seven in the same period, state officials have said.
The meetings were public, but the residents who have come together to try to reverse the ban say they never knew the proposal was even out there.
The information was posted ahead of time on the Colorado Division of Wildlife website. But it was not easy to find.
Loveland resident Connie Kogler — one of the leaders of the Stop the Dog Ban committee — said it took her two full days of digging on the website to find anything.
Neither the petitioners nor the newspaper seem to be addressing the larger issues, however.
One is that state wildlife areas near urban areas are often treated by the non-hunting/fishing public as just more parks or "green space"
This is not their purpose: they provide wildlife habitat and basic hunting/fishing/birding opportunities and only minimal amenities: a parking lot, a boat ramp, maybe an outhouse.
Since hunters and anglers pay for them (the CDOW gets no state tax money), the Division in 2006 required users without a hunting or fishing license to buy a $10 "habitat stamp."
In 2009, that requirement was quietly dropped, possibly because the CDOW saw it as unenforceable.
Another is the uncontrolled dogs off-leash problem.
Yet another is the "neighbors" issue. How often have we seen someone move in next to a state wildlife area because it is "green space" and then freak out when hunting season comes and ohmygod they are shooting over there.
Of course, if these were state parks there would be lots more regulations, including on dogs, not to mention entrance fees and all the rest.