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Old 12-11-2011   #41
Nessy's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
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Originally Posted by phlexicon
good idea nessy. not being a dog owner, i wasn't aware of th permitted dog policy. i like it! in these economic times it may be that th BLM cant afford th expense of administering it. but if we are lucky and they already have a staff member that's capable/qualified then that might be an excellent solution. ive heard that they monitor th discussions here at MtnBz. and if that's true i'm hoping they will weigh-in and give us some needed feedback.
Thanks Phlex. I don't have a dog either but like to be around them. I hope you're right about the BLM reading this thread. There's always a better way than imposing absolutes, IMHO.

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Old 12-11-2011   #42
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I'm still not totally buying the BLM explanation for the ban. I do agree that a dog bite is a big problem, and not to be taken lightly. But was this an isolated incident or a trend that warranted a complete dog ban. The rest of the BLM explanation doesn't make sense to me based on many years of experience running rivers that allow dogs. In 14 years on rivers in Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, and Oregon, I have stumbled upon dog poop in camps maybe twice. I have never seen a dog chasing wildlife. I usually only get a few wildlife sightings myself during a weeklong river trip. I can only remember once having bighorn sheep anywhere near our camp. Stray dogs in our camp, or excessive barking.....can't recall either of these. Having a high enough numbers of these events happening that would call for an outright ban seems very odd, since dogs were only on the river for three months out of the year during low use season. Why not make an effort towards user education, with a clear expectation that non-compliance would lead to a ban.


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Old 12-11-2011   #43
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Grand Junction, Colorado
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Sound like this may be a repeat of what has already been said, and certainly won't clear up the confusion regarding what the real reasons may be on this BLM decision. The following comes directly from the Desolation BLM webpage:

This decision was not arrived at lightly. Desolation Canyon has been one of the few extended river trips where dog owners have had an opportunity to bring their pets with them during the low-use season, which extends from August 16 to November 15. For the most part the dogs have been well-behaved and the owners have been respectful of the canyon, its wildlife and other boaters.

In the last few years, however, there have been a number of incidents involving dogs, including an incident this summer where a dog bit a person at the Sand Wash boat ramp. Dogs have also been observed by boaters and river rangers chasing bighorn sheep and other wildlife. Rangers and other boaters have reported numerous occasions where dog droppings were found in camps and on trails. The BLM Price Field Office has also received numerous complaints from boaters regarding unleashed dogs, barking in camps and other incidents.
"If you boat with your mouth open in the wind and put your tongue against the roof of your mouth, its impossible to pronounce a word that begins with the letter 's'."
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Old 12-11-2011   #44
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Sandy, Utah
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Yep, that's the information that prompted me to start this thread. My post was to find out from people who did Deso trips during the low use/dog allowed season what was going on that would warrant a total ban. So far I've gotten a lot of opinions about dogs on the rivers in general, but very little feed back to verify the problems that were cited in the BLM statement. My main concern as someone who routinely floats with a river dog, is how to avoid this from happening on other rivers. I'm struggling to make the problems that caused this ban on Deso jive with my personal experiences over many years of multi-day rafting trips where my friends & I have experienced little to none of these problems with river dogs. It really comes down to being a respectful & responsible river dog owner. If I had a dog that was aggressive or nervous with people or other dogs, had a tendency to chase wildlife or to wander away, wasn't well trained to voice command, and that I wasn't willing to take responsibility for, I would not take them on the river.

Thanks to all who have responded to this post. I'm truly sorry for those who won't get to enjoy Deso with their River Dogs. I'm with Laura, guess the doggies will have to stay in Idaho & Oregon.
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Old 12-12-2011   #45
OlyPen, Washington
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Originally Posted by lhowemt View Post
If it is just due to poop, then all dog owners are to blame. If you have a dog, pick up all the poop you see. Inevitably your dog left some behind somewhere else.
Not true for those of us dog-owners who ALWAYS keep our dogs leashed when outside. There is no "Gee, I didn't know he pooped there!" for us (you know--out of sight = out of mind for some dog owners).

If you see someone letting his dog's poop remain, hand him a bag. We have done this. It is a way of helping him get the point without enabling him to continue being a burden on everybody else.
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Old 12-12-2011   #46
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I think typically this is not really based on actual impacts, but a perception of problems and anti-dog attitude. How many complaints of camp running (other rivers), obnoxious boaters, loud parties, etc etc happen every year and nothing gets done. A few whiners call the office and over dramatize an interaction with a dog (or even just observation) and bam, they are banned. It happened on the Smith River in Montana, give me a break they still allow hunting dogs. It's just who you know, or how powerful your lobby is. Maybe we should start a pro-dog boating lobby. More than 50% of river trips in Idaho seem to have dogs, and there are few problems, no talk of banning them. I don't know why but the BLM is almost as bad as the park service for regulation, while the FS seems much more laid back.
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 12-12-2011   #47
Up High, Colorado
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Dog Ban

Does your dog pee in the river? My favorite river dog Dozer does. No pee left for the next nights campers but he does dig a lot and may have sprained more ankles than we will ever know. Has anyone tried to reason with them? Proposed an even more limited season , Dog Fees , Dog registration ?
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Old 12-13-2011   #48
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up in them thar hills, Colorado
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the black dog pictured here peeing in the river. And both of the dogs crashed after a great day playing and swimming. I can't say that maybe once or twice maybe we missed picking up a poop, but we try as best we can.You will also see the spare leash wrapped around the cross bar in case we lose one. I just hope people realize that a lot of river dog owners try to do the right thing. The joy of having them along is next to none!
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Old 12-13-2011   #49
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Sandy, Utah
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Originally Posted by billfrenchvail View Post
Does your dog pee in the river? My favorite river dog Dozer does. No pee left for the next nights campers but he does dig a lot and may have sprained more ankles than we will ever know. Has anyone tried to reason with them? Proposed an even more limited season , Dog Fees , Dog registration ?
I think we should send Dozer's picture to the Price BLM office with the caption..... "Please let me run Deso with my human. I promise to be good."

Who could say no to that face. I mean seriously, that's the poster dog face for river doggies everywhere.
And yes, our river dog pees in the river. Of course she listened to the river ranger Leave No Trace talk at the put-in......Duh.
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Old 12-15-2011   #50
Down by the River, Idaho
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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)


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