Originally Posted by lhowemt
Plus, it is easier for authorities to just ban them than to deal with them. It is also easier for them to close trails, trailheads, campgrounds, etc. They start to take the easy way out, and we all lose. Managing people is the hardest part of any job, but it is the first thing people try to regulate out thinking it will solve problems. It doesn't, and it is just lazy management.
Precisely why I think they should allow dogs and heavily penalize owners who don't respect other users. The previous poster who is clearly a BLM employee (technical understanding of the matter + first post = anonymous BLM employee) made some good points that alter my earlier argument. So I will lose on the leash issue because of county law, oh well.
But I suspect the whole complication of BLM calling in the LEOs in order to cite a dog owner could be easily fixed by the BLM granting the rangers authority to issue a citation for an unruly dog. Denver parking wardens issue tickets every single day and none of them carry a badge and a gun. Those in government service have a moral and ethical duty to manage the resources FOR the people, not take the easy way out. Instead of saying "We can't do that because of this bureaucratic issue" I would like to see them say "Well, one priority is to protect the canyon, which is why we have to fix the dog problem, and the other priority is to help the public, who owns the canyon, to enjoy it. If the rangers can't sufficiently enforce a rule about dogs, then we should grant them the authority to write a citation for it so that we don't have to punish the majority because of a few bad apples."
While it is possible that eventually a dog ban will be necessary to protect Westwater, the solution is through incremental steps in regulation, targeted at the bad apples. If the BLM does that, via some idea like my idea of heavy fines or some other method, and dogs and dog poop are still a problem, I'll accept the necessity of a complete ban.
P.S. I also have met and/or boated with a fair number of BLM/NPS guys over the years and they are very good people in my experience. A couple are downright some of the best river people I've ever met. I don't know if those are the kind deciding on this regulation or not, so I am pushing my agenda because in my experience, gov't agencies at any level, federal, state or local, often lean towards taking the easy way out and I want to emphasize that as users, some of us want the government to remember the citizen-owners of the resource first.