Seems to me that there are some questionable decisions being made regarding our public lands. It seems beyond unfortunate that dogs are no longer welcome on river trips down Desolation Grey. It is understandable that with increase in usage and perhaps, even the occasional "incident" that something may have to be adjusted in order to appease as many people as possible. However, an outright ban is not the answer.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) stated mission is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. If that is their intended purpose, then how can they possibly just shut dogs out with barely a half ass explanantion?
What about the OHV user? Tearing up existing and carving out new "trails" for their exhaust spewing recreation! I'm sure their "few bad apples" never chase wildlife! Are they banned?!
What about the hunter that uses BLM land? Do they pack out all their trash/waste? Do they not harrass wildlife? Last I checked, hunters sometimes even use dogs. Don't their dogs specifically chase wildlife!? Are they banned from BLM land/the Deso river corridor?
What about cigarette smokers? I find more cigarette butts along river corridors than I ever find dog poop. Are they banned?
What about the Equestrians? Are their iron hooved "trail dozers" banned from tearing up the trails? Or from defecating in our rivers and on our beaches? Do they "poop scoop"? What about the dogs that tag along with these BLM land users, are they banned?
What about adult beverages? Are they banned? How many times have you seen trash from alcohol around compared to dog poop? I've seen it! Is booze banned?
What about the Free Range Cattle that pay about $2 a head to graze our public land eating the food that the native animals compete for?! What about when they defecate in our water and on our beaches? Are they banned!?
What about the hiker/backpacker? They dig holes, urinate wherever, and hopefully... leave no trace. What about their dogs? Are they banned?!
What about the BLM allowing big oil and gas companies to rape our public land in the name of corporate greed? Are they less impactful on wildlife, the watershed and the big picture than a few dogs?! Are they banned?!
If we can figure out a way to have multi use on BLM land with hunters, hikers, OHVers, free range cattle, oil and gas extractors, equestrians and infinite other users certainly there is a way to help ease any conflict with dog owners than an all out ban. It certainly is not clear cut enough to only see extremes. How about finding a compromise?
What about the bear "incidents" that happen along the Deso Grey River corridor? I have found that in the river community, trips with dogs tend to have less or no inncidents with bears. It seems that dogs tend to be a deterant for bear in camp problems. I'm betting that the 70 year old man who was attacked and then his grandson shot and killed the bear did not have a dog with them. If they did that bear may not have had to be killed, leaving Deso Grey that much more ecologically balanced.
What about all the dogs that are destroyed every year by dog rescues simply because no one wants them? If we continue to eliminate places that we can recreate with our dogs, will that not directly impact people adopting and having dogs? Thus, creating more unwanted, euthanized pets.
Humans and dogs have been together over 15,000 years. With urban sprawl continuing to spread like a disease, are we supposed to leave our dogs confined to a life of "dog parks" and kennels?
How can you be in a "wild" place if they regulate everything? I'm not saying that stepping in dog poop at camp is great. It sucks and we need to EDUCATE and figure out a more agreeable situation than an all out ban. For every new law that is one less freedom. Even if it is "just a dog on a boat". It is our dogs, it is our boats and it is our public land!
"....For our use and enjoyment...." is the BLM's mission statement. So wether you are a dog owner or not, remember, they just laid a rule down that eliminated dogs. No questions asked! Who says they won't just lay a rule down on something that you care about? It is our land! All of ours!
Please call Utah BLM State Director Juan Palma and express your dislike for limiting our use on our rivers on our lands.
Juan Palma 801-539-4010
"There is no friendship on this planet as intense, profound, and finally mysterious as that between dogs and humans” (Masson)