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Old 01-27-2012   #61
Down by the River, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 197
Last I checked Big Brother, BLM or whatever other agency wasn't banning dogs from our public resoureces out of fear for the dog's safety. Rather, they were being banned b/c of some poor rule enforcement and idiot dog owners and some out of control minority dogs. So lets not pretend this is for the safety of the dogs. Come on...

That whole safety thing and worrying about someone else's decision as to what passenger he or she chooses to take down the water is a slippery slope. How about we put a ban on people that are obese, smokers, high blood pressure, non swimmers, intoxicated, too young, too old, too strong, too weak, or just plain too stupid as well?

The BLM's stated mission is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Dogs don't have rights. People have rights! If I want to take my dirtbike and go screaming through the BLM backcountry, that is my right. Or if I want to take my fishing pole and go to my favorite spot, also my right. If I want to go hiking with my friend, dog or human, also my right. Also, if I want to go rafting with my friends, regardless of whom, still my right. At least according to the BLM and their mission satement.

Yeah, some dogs need more control directed towards them. That is why there are leash laws, THAT NEED TO BE ENFORCED. However, you can't say with a strait face that dogs harrass wildlife more than motors on the river, OHVs screaming up and down and all over the countryside, gas and oil extraction, the free range cattle stealing the resources of the native animals, or even the target shooters that love to practice their Constitutional rights on our public land. So I find that the harrassing wildlife argument is a complete line of BS!

Dog poop? Really? Two words.... Horse Shit! Go almost anywhere and you'll see more horse shit than dog shit. Horses are better represented than dogs hence, their "protection".

Also, as far as trips go... My dogs did a 22 day, 311 mile, trip last year. MFS, Main, Lower. A 15 day MFS, Main. And typically we do a fall Deso trip but not last year. OH, yeah and 5 WW runs. Happy to report, 0 fatalities, 0 injuries and minimal swims by both humans and dogs.

So if you are uncomfortable with your dog on your boat. Cool. Leave your dogs at home. Just don't try and tell me what I should and shouldn't be doing for the safety of my dogs. Because that mentality leads to a very slippery slope.

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Old 01-27-2012   #62
placerville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 732
does this rule apply to any other sections? ruby or daily?

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Old 01-27-2012   #63
placerville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
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Originally Posted by okieboater View Post
If all the dog owners at WestWater put in followed the rules IE kept their dogs on a leash, picked up the poop and kept the dog from barking at all hours of the night - I would agree that having your dog along was ok.

This is not the case. The dog owners that obey the rules are outnumbered big time by those who do not. I have not camped at West Water camp ground as much as a lot of you have but have been there most years over the last ten or so years. I cannot recall a time when camped there that one or more dogs ran thru our camp peeing and pooping, barking multiple times at night or what ever. I lost count of when I have seen the Ranger finally ask a dog owner whose pets were racing around the ramp peeing and pooping on peoples gear and the dog owner put on a leash but let the dog run free soon as the Ranger went back to the trailer. It is unfortunate but the only way to keep the dogs on a leash and under control is 24 hour 7 day Ranger walking the camp and ramp area.

I am very sorry that the dog owners that do the right thing cannot take their dogs on this river trip.

I am extremely glad the Rangers stood up and started enforcing the no dog rule for the camping enjoyment for those of us who follow the rules and enjoy a bit of enjoyment on the river relatively free from outside distractions.

I am a dog owner, would like to take my leash trained Auzzie Shepard on some river trips but realize my fun having my dog along most likely will interfere with some one else's fun who is not a dog lover.

Flame away all you want, but I bet most campers at West Water put in are really glad the no dog rule is gonna be enforced.

nailed it.
case closed.
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Old 01-27-2012   #64
zbaird's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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if the rangers would have stood up a little sooner and enforced the written rules sent to the permit holder, the ban would be a moot point. the problem simply wouldnt exist. no enforcement= broken rules. while the writing on my pfd was being examined with a magnifying glass dogs were shitting on the steps of the trailer and off goes the group. just seems silly to enforce one rule and not the other. especially one that affects others experience so much not just the group at hand.
zach baird
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Old 01-27-2012   #65
gore creek valley, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1976
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6
another era passed...

Really, it is not about dogs. It is about control. For the 'good of the river... for the experience....for the saftey of the people...whatever the reason, it is about control!
I remember WW with no permits (yes puppies there was a time). When we were considered psyco crazy idiots. You found an old 'disco' and gave it a shot! Kayaks... a dream yet to be seen.
Permits? Groovers? Fire pans? All of the crap we must carry now...just a toss off in the furture. (not saying it's bad....)
Well all of that happened. There are more restrictions yet to be seen!
It is goverment! it is all about some kind of control. Good or bad, Just a fact jack.
We have let the weak, the whiners, the stuipid, the burnt out take control!
Too late to bitch 'BOATERS'. We gave it away!
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Old 01-27-2012   #66
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Hi zbaird,

I've now seen it all -- someone on the Buzz arguing for more rigid, rigorous law enforcement on the river. (grin)

Personally, I'm pretty close to your point of view on this. But there's a balance to be struck somehow. Hammer too hard and it throws an oppressive shadow over the river experience. Don't hammer hard enough and some small number of folks will take advantage.

Plus, I'll bet you'd agree that if the WW rangers had started denying launches for dog problems at the ramp, that this board and BLM's Moab field office would have been swamped with commentary and complaints about the heavy-handed methods being used to deny boaters their right to enjoy public lands and get on the river with their pet companions.

Have a good one.

Rich Phillips
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Old 01-27-2012   #67
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,120
You take your dog on river trips for weeks at a time? Where? (curious, not sarcastic).

2011 river trips with dog - Southfork Snake for 3 days in May,Owyhee for 6 days in June, Rogue for 6 days in July, Main Salmon for 7 days in August, Middle Fork for 7 days in September. Add in travel days, and that's a lot of kennel time, or house sitting time, and a lot of $$$. This is a pretty typical summer for our group. But it's not about money for us. This dog has been raised on the river, ever since my rafting buddy rescued her from the pound as a puppy. She doesn't do well when she is left behind, no matter who is babysitting her (doesn't eat, mopes around). In her 5 years on earth she has swam two rapids.....Orelano on the Middle Fork, and the new Black Creek on the Main Salmon. She wears a CFD at all times on the boat. Would it suck if she drowned? You bet. But leaving her at home or in a kennel all summer long would suck even more. On the other hand.....I only take my dog on trips like the Southfork Snake. He is not a mellow raft dog like my buddy's dog. He does ok, but he makes me nervous. So I will not take him on real whitewater trips.

Thanks for the feedback Rich. I haven't done WW a ton, but every time I went, we were kept up until well after 1:00am at the put-in by loud partying. The one time we asked the folks to shut up and go to bed, we were treated to mooning by them on the river the next day, and an all night drum circle by them at Little D. I'm surprised that the dog situation was as bad as you report. I have to wonder if the idea of "don't follow the rules/don't get to launch" would have worked. Accountability & Peer pressure can be a strong tool in behavior modification.

My alcohol ban comments were only meant to say that we all have "pet peeves" (pun intended) on the river. Whether it's dogs, drunks, screaming kids, or blaring music, we each have a different definition of what we want our river experience to look like. The world doesn't revolve around any one group.....we all just want the chance to experience the river in a way that makes us happy.
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Old 01-27-2012   #68
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Hi Cataraftgirl,

Night-time noise in the WW camp is a problem that started in the pre-Alvin era, when there was a lot less emphasis on the rule. Alvin has taken a different approach, but old habits (and the reputation of WW as a party spot) die hard. However, rangers living on station are quite ready to go out and talk to folks when we hear the noise in the station or the ranger trailer beside the boat house, or if someone comes to complain.

Frankly, I have never understood why people feel the need to carouse so close to others in the campground. Why don't they take advantage of the hundreds of thousands of acres of vacant BLM land away from the river, and drink and party to their heart's content? Nor do I understand why folks didn't have more consideration in a more basic sense -- allowing others to have a decent night's sleep. Gets back to that old thing about my freedom extending only to the degree that it doesn't infringe on that of others...


Rich Phillips
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Old 01-28-2012   #69
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rich, certainly not trying to attack you or the rangers in general. I have had great experiences at westy with the rangers overall. i understand that what i am saying sounds like it is asking for more regs. The regs were there, just like pfd and groover regs, just not enforced. I also understand there would have been somebody who got on here or called moab in an uproar. I feel like that would have solved the problem through word of mouth where the current ban may not. In that case it would have been a bad apple saves the bunch instead of spoiling it. If trip leaders knew that they may not launch if their dog toting participants couldnt follow a simple rule, they may have worked a little harder to keep their peeps under wraps. I cant imagine it would have been common practice to have dogs at large if there were consequences. I do not understand why common courtesy cannot prevail without consequence but obviously some people have a hard time controlling themselves. It is solely the fault of the dog owners for not controlling themselves and i am not pushing this off on the rangers by any means, but if they have to enforce the dog rules now why not then. Somebody is gonna show up with a dog and the ranger will have to send them packing.

Mainly I am wondering if there will still be dogs pissing on my gear at the put in, or will it be cats now. Does the ban encompass the whole ranger station area or just dogs getting on the water? What about people spending the night there after loma? What about campers that dont boat coming down? What about day trippers camped there planning on leaving the dog in the truck? I will be bummed if there are still dogs at large at the put in which seems to be the main reason for the ban. More rules that dont solve problems are no good. Certainly if there are still dogs at the put in annoying people then loma is next for the ban. Where does it stop.
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Old 01-28-2012   #70
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Hi zbaird,

Well it's one of those "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situations. I can't speak for others, but my first approach always was a warning. Then if there were still compliance problems at the ramp, from time to time I had to mention the nuclear option -- no launch. But I never actually pulled the trigger on that one. And that was a non-option for Loma folks anyway.

You've put your finger on the remaining issue. Dogs are still going to be allowed at the ramps (for both Loma and WW groups) and still will be required to be on leash there.

(The new stipulations say, "Dogs are no longer allowed in Westwater Canyon as of March 1, 2012. Dogs must be kept on a leash at the Westwater Ranger Station and under control at all times. Dogs may not be left unattended at Westwater Ranger Station or at Cisco Landing.")

As to the latter, human nature being what it is, a few people still will gauge the likelihood of detection and ticketing if they leave their dogs unattended at Cisco, versus the known costs of kennelling, as has been mentioned as a downside to this new regulation.

I "retired" from long-term volunteering there last year, so it won't fall to me to make decisions on this in the future. But since I know the BLM Moab people scan this board from time to time, maybe some of these comments will be useful in framing a new approach to the remaining problems with WW boaters. What to do about the Loma people -- for whom a "no WW launch" threat has no force, is for someone higher up in the food chain to think about and decide.

Have a good one.

Rich Phillips

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