Unleashed dogs in Bent Creek- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Unleashed dogs in Bent Creek

    I've ridden in the pisgah district with unleashed dogs for the better part of 30 years. I train my dogs to do this and I'm pretty good at it. I'll leave that at that. Bent Creek has always been off leash legal, and I've confirmed it with the FS numerous times over the years, until recently. Signs have popped up indicating that dogs must be leashed, even while on trails. I'm told that the reasoning has something to do with the fact that Buncombe county has a leash law, and Bent Creek is a bear sanctuary. I've never had an issue until recently, when I had a very negative encounter with a very bizarre dude on a bike, who took great issue with my dog, and thus me, being off leash, though she presented no issue for him, other than being off leash. Bent creek is full of unleashed dogs, and I will continue to ride with mine unleashed. Any body have this encounter? Thoughts?

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    The USFS is going to start ticketing this summer. So beware. But most of the rest of the forest is fair game.

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    Unfortunately this is true. The USFS and Buncombe County have agreed to share jurisdiction regarding leash laws/enforcement within Bent Creek Experimental Forest. I would expect parking lots/ trailheads to be patrolled in coming months.

    65, you know I ride with dogs too and I think this is awful and should never have become necessary. If all us dog owner/riders had just used some common sense and not let our dogs run loose in the parking lot and done our best to keep them under control when approaching other forest users, we'd be all good. This change is complaint driven. We have nobody to blame but ourselves.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    Unfortunately this is true. The USFS and Buncombe County have agreed to share jurisdiction regarding leash laws/enforcement within Bent Creek Experimental Forest. I would expect parking lots/ trailheads to be patrolled in coming months.

    65, you know I ride with dogs too and I think this is awful and should never have become necessary. If all us dog owner/riders had just used some common sense and not let our dogs run loose in the parking lot and done our best to keep them under control when approaching other forest users, we'd be all good. This change is complaint driven. We have nobody to blame but ourselves.
    Mike, yes I know you ride with dogs too, and I'm glad you responded. I agree, dog owners are to blame, largely. Typically, my biggest concern while at bent creek with my dog, is other dogs. Unruly/unchecked dogs, with either combative or oblivious owners. But that's not me and that's not my dog, and punishing the whole for irresponsible behavior of a few (ok, likely more than a few) just doesn't sit well with me. Can't we take a test, prove ourselves, and receive a permit to allow us to continue something we love? Jeez. It does suck. How will they enforce it? Where is the staff going to come from? Will they simply post up at parking areas, or will they be more sinister and lie in wait in the forest? I wonder. I always carry a leash in my pack, just in case. Guess I better dust it off.

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    Classic case of a bad apple ruining the whole bunch? Bummer to hear this. I don't really ride with my dog anymore, but I do wish y'all could. Bad dog owners suck

  6. #6
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    Who is going to enforce it?

    the USFS has one Law Enforcement officer for the whole of the S. Ranger District. Will Buncombe County Sheriffs enforce it? Will they be on trails looking for off leash dogs?

    Neither have enough personnel to enforce the rules already on the books so I would guess that once you get 100yds in the forest you are free to do as you please... same as its always been.

    You cant camp in BC (outside of Powhatan) but Ill be darned if there werent dozens of folks camping up toward the gap last weekend.

    I'd expect a handful of tickets to get written to "get the word out" and then back to business as usual.
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  7. #7
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    For those of you with well trained and friendly dogs, it truly does suck, and I'm sorry you guys are losing that privilege of being able to run / ride with your pooch. As others have said, it's the same irresponsible and inconsiderate idiots that ruin other things for those that make a bigger effort. I had posted on another forum on a completely unrelated topic the other day that I wasn't sure if people are getting dumber, or the population has increased to the point that the percentage of idiots is still the same, there's just so many more of them. Not sure which. And in my experience, the same types of dog owners that will be combative when called out, also seem to be the one's that have the most unruly or aggressive dogs, and they tend to stick to certain breeds as well. That's a not a fair shake for dogs in general, or particular breeds. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, animal control should be picking up owners in 99% of cases. It's not the dog's fault that they belong to assholes.

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    While I agree enforcement will be a challenge, getting a ticket will not be the main hassle those with off-leash dogs will have to deal with.

    The main hassle will be that many people don't like dogs and even more don't like off leash dogs no matter how well-behaved they are. In the past, when I encountered one of those persons, as I worked to get my dogs on leash, I could say I am allowed to have them off, but still sorry for your discomfort.

    Moving forward, other forest users will be able to legitimately tell me I'm in the wrong. That's a bunch of stress/drama/ needless BS I just don't want to deal with during my bike ride.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    While I agree enforcement will be a challenge, getting a ticket will not be the main hassle those with off-leash dogs will have to deal with.

    The main hassle will be that many people don't like dogs and even more don't like off leash dogs no matter how well-behaved they are. In the past, when I encountered one of those persons, as I worked to get my dogs on leash, I could say I am allowed to have them off, but still sorry for your discomfort.

    Moving forward, other forest users will be able to legitimately tell me I'm in the wrong. That's a bunch of stress/drama/ needless BS I just don't want to deal with during my bike ride.
    While I agree with you wholeheartedly on this, and I've already experienced this type of response, I will likely continue my after work rides, with my dog, unleashed. At least up until the point that it's just not enjoyable anymore. At that point, I'll just go up and over the gap. I'm curious as to how this will play out with the coon hunters. Is it safe to assume that the dog haters are newer arrivals from lands far away? The guy I encountered was definitely not from around here. It was a very bizarre attitude.

  10. #10
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    I've had a few conversations with some local USFS employees regarding Bent Creek. The number one complaint is off leash dogs and mountain bikers not being considerate to other trail users. The number and types of users has grown astronomically over the last 5 years. I suspect there will be more changes if we don't regulate ourselves. I would hate to lose access or have restricted access to my local trails.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AVLthumper View Post
    ...and mountain bikers not being considerate to other trail users
    I often wonder how many of these are locals vs visitors from other areas. Typically when I encounter someone that is not considerate trailside here, they are from another area, all the locals I've interacted with have been very considerate and friendly. It's one of the reasons I moved here and simultaneously one of my biggest frustrations with the riding community where I lived before.

    I joked with some friends a few weeks ago that I can tell who the riders from Atlanta are, because you say "Hi" and they snarl up and keep riding without saying a word. While that may not be part of what is being considerate, you can bet they blast past hikers and horses without a second thought.

    I think this is part of the growth the area is seeing in this community and is something we're gonna have to figure out how to deal with. It is a bit worrisome there are so many complaints about mountain bikers, but as we get more visitors from areas where being considerate isn't part of riding, it's only going to become more common.

  12. #12
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    I would be skeptical of the complaints until we know the source, situation, etc...

    I ride BC at least once a week if not more.

    The only issues I have ever had with hikers, hunters, etc have been folks that dont want bikes on trails... period. And they will let you know.

    I always slow down and say hello or a friendly "Thanks!" and 99.9% of folks are equally kind. I even dismount and walk when the situation calls for it.

    No matter what there will be a small but extremely vocal group who feel bikes have no place in the forest. I think the bulk of the complaints are coming from that side, or come from the inevitable conflicts that arrive when the trails are "shared use".

    Not every bike can stop fast enough to avoid a hiker in a blind corner and hikers have an equal responsibility to keep their heads up and hike safely when on shared use trails.
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    When people complain about mt bikers, they complain to USFS staff. That's a very slow moving train.

    When people complain about off-leash dogs, they complain to lots and lots of entities. Hence actual action occurring and the shared jurisdiction.

    The two topics are completely separate.

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    Come down to Spartanburg. You can ride all day at Southside with your dog off leash. No one will bother you.
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    While in Pisgah near Brevard I was riding up Grassy Road, a double track trail with plenty of room, to access Sycamore trail a few weeks ago. I approached a fellow with two dogs off leash. I gave him a hello and asked if the dogs were okay. He said yes. As I passed them one of the dogs ran up and nipped me pretty good, drawing blood. Somehow this man thought this was all my fault and said that this dog "has never done anything like that". Well it did, it's a dog and no matter how well behaved they are sometimes they perceive danger that really is not there. It took all my restraint and people skills to keep it to together while I got his dog's vet information, reminding him that if I had to go a doctor that this encounter has to be reported law enforcement by law.

    This is why there are leash laws. This encounter and a few others over the years has made me a supporter of leash laws in popular areas. I have two dogs and have had dogs all my life. I know of a few old, un-traveled logging roads that I take my dogs to for some off leash time. If I am hiking around Bent Creek or other well-used areas my dogs are on leash, and really, the dogs don't mind, they are just happy for the hike and the ride to and from the trail head.

  16. #16
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    As highlighted in pisgahrider's post, this is a dog owner issue (and a population/use density issue) not a mountain biker issue. Appropriate to post in the forum? Yes. But remember, most dog owners- and people using the forest to walk their dogs, on or off leash, are not mountain bikers.

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    To relate this to riding a bit:

    I've been chased by dogs on the trail before, one particularly scary incident occurred on Daniel's Ridge where a very large dog started chasing me and I didn't realize it until I heard the owner shouting. The dog didn't attack me, but I have started to dismount and walk past unleashed dogs with my bike between us and talk to them, like horses. I assume that some dogs may perceive things differently (different noises, image profile, etc) and become hostile when they otherwise wouldn't.

    It sucks, but I'd rather not deal with being bit trailside or chased again, hurting myself or the dog.

  18. #18
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    Unleashed dogs in Bent Creek

    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
    To relate this to riding a bit:

    I've been chased by dogs on the trail before, one particularly scary incident occurred on Daniel's Ridge where a very large dog started chasing me and I didn't realize it until I heard the owner shouting. The dog didn't attack me, but I have started to dismount and walk past unleashed dogs with my bike between us and talk to them, like horses. I assume that some dogs may perceive things differently (different noises, image profile, etc) and become hostile when they otherwise wouldn't.

    It sucks, but I'd rather not deal with being bit trailside or chased again, hurting myself or the dog.
    So, as far as you're concerned, because you were involved in an isolated incident with an irresponsible dog owner, all responsible dog owners, and their dogs, should suffer? Doesn't make sense to me.
    Last edited by mbmb65; 06-04-2017 at 11:43 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    So, as far as you're concerned, because you were involved in an isolated incident with an irresponsible dog owner, all responsible dog owners, and their dogs, should suffer? Doesn't make since to me.
    Judging by the user 2 posts above, the incident is not so isolated. I'd venture the rule change in Bent Creek could arguably be an indicator that it's not working out, as well. I've also met other locals that had problems with off leash dogs and riding. So no, it's not an isolated incident.

    Should all dog owners be punished? That's a slippery slope, I'm honestly not sure how to respond to that.

    On one hand I agree with you that largely the unleashed dogs I've encountered have not been a problem, but some have and they can pose a hazard depending on where it is.

    This chasing incident to me was scary, because it occurred on the rocky side of Daniel's Ridge. Had it occurred in the wrong place, both myself or the dog could have been seriously hurt. The owner should have been responsible enough to know the trail is narrow, rocky, and their dog was posing a hazard to other trail users, but they weren't. It sounds like other owners are in the same situation.

    I also don't like the word "responsible" to describe the dog owners, because you aren't always in 100% control of your dog. They can react in ways you have not seen before (see prior post) in new circumstances. Calling yourself responsible assumes that you are in complete control of the situation and you aren't, not 100% anyway. The more apt description is well trained owners/dogs.

    I'm not going to go out and lobby against off leash dogs in Pisgah or wherever. Frankly, I don't care that much and people that act irresponsibly are going to do it regardless of what the rule is, but these types of incidents are a problem and it's not isolated. I don't have a good resolution to the issue or problem, I just wish people would be more considerate and responsible, the consequences for other users can be significant.

  20. #20
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    The law applies to both bikers and hikers. The hikers are probably blaming the bikers, while bikers blame hikers (and even some other bikers)

    In reality, more people (hikers and bikers) on the trails cause user conflicts and new rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    So, as far as you're concerned, because you were involved in an isolated incident with an irresponsible dog owner, all responsible dog owners, and their dogs, should suffer? Doesn't make since to me.
    Have another solution?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    So, as far as you're concerned, because you were involved in an isolated incident with an irresponsible dog owner, all responsible dog owners, and their dogs, should suffer? Doesn't make sense to me.
    What doesn't make sense? Obviously there have been enough incidents that the issue has been put on the radar. Are the irresponsible people going to admit that they're irresponsible and keep their dogs on leash while the self-professed responsible owners let their dogs run loose?

    So I'm riding my bike or hiking and encounter an unleashed dog. How am I supposed to know what his owner's qualifications are? Oh, I got bit, must have been a bad owner.

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    All Buncombe County Parks are no smoking so why dont they do that Bent Creek too while they're at it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
    Judging by the user 2 posts above, the incident is not so isolated. I'd venture the rule change in Bent Creek could arguably be an indicator that it's not working out, as well. I've also met other locals that had problems with off leash dogs and riding. So no, it's not an isolated incident.

    Should all dog owners be punished? That's a slippery slope, I'm honestly not sure how to respond to that.

    On one hand I agree with you that largely the unleashed dogs I've encountered have not been a problem, but some have and they can pose a hazard depending on where it is.

    This chasing incident to me was scary, because it occurred on the rocky side of Daniel's Ridge. Had it occurred in the wrong place, both myself or the dog could have been seriously hurt. The owner should have been responsible enough to know the trail is narrow, rocky, and their dog was posing a hazard to other trail users, but they weren't. It sounds like other owners are in the same situation.

    I also don't like the word "responsible" to describe the dog owners, because you aren't always in 100% control of your dog. They can react in ways you have not seen before (see prior post) in new circumstances. Calling yourself responsible assumes that you are in complete control of the situation and you aren't, not 100% anyway. The more apt description is well trained owners/dogs.

    I'm not going to go out and lobby against off leash dogs in Pisgah or wherever. Frankly, I don't care that much and people that act irresponsibly are going to do it regardless of what the rule is, but these types of incidents are a problem and it's not isolated. I don't have a good resolution to the issue or problem, I just wish people would be more considerate and responsible, the consequences for other users can be significant.
    I'm not trying to argue or discount your experience, and yes, conflicts occur, but they are isolated, especially when you consider the shear numbers of people/dogs at BC. I've had issues with azz holes at BC, can't we leash them instead? I don't subscribe to your notion concerning the use of "responsible", but you can use the word that you feel fits. A responsible owner, knows his or her dog. They know it's personality, how it reacts, what it reacts to, and treats that animal accordingly. When a dog attacks you or your dog, and then proceeds to tell you that "he's never done anything like this before", they're either lying, ignorant, or not paying attention. Aggressive dogs show signs of aggression very early on, at an early age. A responsible owner has seen this, and acts accordingly. I will argue that all users should be considerate and respectful of other users. Period.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Have another solution?
    Leave it like its been? Like in the rest of pisgah.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RDO View Post
    What doesn't make sense? Obviously there have been enough incidents that the issue has been put on the radar. Are the irresponsible people going to admit that they're irresponsible and keep their dogs on leash while the self-professed responsible owners let their dogs run loose?

    So I'm riding my bike or hiking and encounter an unleashed dog. How am I supposed to know what his owner's qualifications are? Oh, I got bit, must have been a bad owner.
    Obviously? I don't reckon. How many have there been? Do you know? If you get bit, then you take issue with that dog, and that owner. Not all of us. Cool story though. What do you do when you ride elsewhere?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Obviously? I don't reckon. How many have there been? Do you know? If you get bit, then you take issue with that dog, and that owner. Not all of us. Cool story though. What do you do when you ride elsewhere?
    You can not reckon, but I do reckon. I don't know how many just like you don't know. How about "apparently" instead of "obviously", because there seems to be an official response in the form of a leash law?

    I've never had a dog issue except in towns and around farms. Once I was swiped by a Rottweiler's teeth in LA on a skateboard when it went after my dog. Not pleasant especially considering it wasn't even after me. No resolution, the owners were the irresponsible type. Worse than the Rottweiler.

    I'd rather not take issue with any owners after the fact. Bummer for good people with good dogs and if you're confident in your dog then you're welcome to take the risk of a ticket. A dog is a luxury, so you get your choice, all the people that don't have dogs don't get a choice except to stay out of the forest.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDO View Post
    You can not reckon, but I do reckon. I don't know how many just like you don't know. How about "apparently" instead of "obviously", because there seems to be an official response in the form of a leash law?

    I've never had a dog issue except in towns and around farms. Once I was swiped by a Rottweiler's teeth in LA on a skateboard when it went after my dog. Not pleasant especially considering it wasn't even after me. No resolution, the owners were the irresponsible type. Worse than the Rottweiler.

    I'd rather not take issue with any owners after the fact. Bummer for good people with good dogs and if you're confident in your dog then you're welcome to take the risk of a ticket. A dog is a luxury, so you get your choice, all the people that don't have dogs don't get a choice except to stay out of the forest.
    I think that there are several issues at play, concerning the new signage at BC. Dogless humans are always welcome in the forest, pretty sure. If you're attacked by a dog, or a human, proper recourse is to contact the local authorities. Nobody wants to deal with a dog bite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RDO View Post
    You can not reckon, but I do reckon. I don't know how many just like you don't know. How about "apparently" instead of "obviously", because there seems to be an official response in the form of a leash law?

    I've never had a dog issue except in towns and around farms. Once I was swiped by a Rottweiler's teeth in LA on a skateboard when it went after my dog. Not pleasant especially considering it wasn't even after me. No resolution, the owners were the irresponsible type. Worse than the Rottweiler.

    I'd rather not take issue with any owners after the fact. Bummer for good people with good dogs and if you're confident in your dog then you're welcome to take the risk of a ticket. A dog is a luxury, so you get your choice, all the people that don't have dogs don't get a choice except to stay out of the forest.
    Wait until enough people start complaining about mtbers, they will use the same argument against you riding your bike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiantsfan View Post
    Wait until enough people start complaining about mtbers, they will use the same argument against you riding your bike.
    As you must know that's already happened elsewhere, from banning bikes to radar guns and tickets. In Central Park in NYC, a couple of fatal/critical accidents involving bikes and peds invoked big press and police presence. If mtbers behave like assholes it could happen here too. A couple of high profile collisions in Pisgah and I wouldn't be surprised. Outcome would probably come down to political clout and organizational skills.

    So yeah, the argument could be used against mtbers, not exactly rocket science.

    Another argument against off leash dogs is the environmental one. I don't know if that's one of the issues at BC? Tends to be more of a nature preserve thing.

    As off leash dogs tend to veer off trails they disturb nesting birds and other critters that struggle to survive in a shrinking habitat. Migrants have plenty of challenges with raising babies, avoiding natural predators, feral cats, pollution, invasive plant species that decimate their food sources without having to deal with another energy sapping threat such as human-introduced-and-fed rovers. Is part of being a responsible off leash dog owner keeping him on the trail?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Leave it like its been? Like in the rest of pisgah.

    So Adodero should just deal with it? What happens if a kid get injured?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    So Adodero should just deal with it? What happens if a kid get injured?
    I would argue that kids should know better than to approach strange dogs... When it comes to kids, good parenting is all the prevention you need.

    And if a dog is off leash and injures someone... thats a case by case thing and not a pervasive problem. It would be different if there were multiple off leash dog attacks every week in Pisgah/BC. I doubt there are more than 10 in a year at the extreme end...

    I was a park ranger for 8 years at an insanely popular park with a 350 site campground that stayed full March-November. Everyone had dogs and often they were off off leash regardless of the rules. I only had 3 cases of dog bites in 8 years and one of them was me haha...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    So Adodero should just deal with it? What happens if a kid get injured?
    What happens if you fall? If you get attacked by a bear? Bit by a snake? Shot by a thug? Run down by a prick? It's a dangerous world out there, full of things more dangerous than unleashed dogs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    I would argue that kids should know better than to approach strange dogs... When it comes to kids, good parenting is all the prevention you need.

    And if a dog is off leash and injures someone... thats a case by case thing and not a pervasive problem. It would be different if there were multiple off leash dog attacks every week in Pisgah/BC. I doubt there are more than 10 in a year at the extreme end...

    I was a park ranger for 8 years at an insanely popular park with a 350 site campground that stayed full March-November. Everyone had dogs and often they were off off leash regardless of the rules. I only had 3 cases of dog bites in 8 years and one of them was me haha...
    That all just really wreaks of personal responsibility. That's just crazy talk in this era.

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    Whats the deal with bear hunting dogs? Can dogs be off leash in the fall for bear hunting? Or NO dogs off leash?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hosercom View Post
    Whats the deal with bear hunting dogs? Can dogs be off leash in the fall for bear hunting? Or NO dogs off leash?
    BC is a bear sanctuary. Coon hunting happens though. Not sure how that's going to play out.

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    (OT) Don't bear hunting dogs have some special exemptions in NC? There was that case a couple of years ago of bear hunting dogs attacking a woman's dogs (and her?) and there was nothing anyone could do because of their special status.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    What happens if you fall? If you get attacked by a bear? Bit by a snake? Shot by a thug? Run down by a prick? It's a dangerous world out there, full of things more dangerous than unleashed dogs.
    That is different. If you fall, that is your fault. If you fall because someone elses dog chased you or spooked you, the dog owner can be held a fault. Bear, snakes or other wild animals are wild. The dog is actually owned by someone. The owner is legally responsible for that animal. If it bites someone, the owner is at fault. Not trying to be snarky or anything. Trying to see it from both sides.

    Also, you can look at incidences as one off events but that does not prevent an incident. Banjo, at your campground where dogs were running around unleashed, even when they were not supposed to, if a person did get bit badly, the park most likely would have been held liable. In that case, what is a park to do?
    Last edited by Vespasianus; 06-07-2017 at 05:01 AM.
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    If somebody really wanted to fight this, what I'd suggest is researching for other examples of where sharing jurisdiction with a local government has been used as a means for rules on federal lands to be changed. If no precedent, why what it done here? If precedent, is there a policy for how that happens? If so, was the policy correctly implemented? If there's not a policy, then are all such changes not really allowed, because, well government = if there's no policy, you have to make one before you implement a change. Go from there.

    The amount of work that I described would take hours and hours and is probably equivalent to the amount of work that a few "passionate" individuals undertook to lobby for the shared jurisdiction.

    EDIT: Also, ironically, I just realized I had stepped in a giant pile of dog shi!t after riding at BC after work- had to have been right next to my car, because I didn't get off the bike after I left my car. Again, there are few things more joyful to me than seeing how my dogs love bike riding even more than I do, but I have to admit that was funny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    That is different. If you fall, that is your fault. If you fall because someone elses dog chased you or spooked you, the dog owner can be held a fault. Bear, snakes or other wild animals are wild. The dog is actually owned by someone. The owner is legally responsible for that animal. If it bites someone, the owner is at fault. Not trying to be snarky or anything. Trying to see it from both sides.

    Also, you can look at incidences as one off events but that does not prevent an incident. Banjo, at your campground were dogs were running around unleashed, even when they were not supposed to, if a person did get bit badly, the park most likely would have been held liable. In that case, what is a park to do?
    That's right. If I fall, it's likely my fault. If my dog bites you, it's likely my fault. If Bobs dog bites you, it's Bobs fault, and not mine. So why do me, and my dog pay Bobs price? My point concerning the "wild" animals, is that, try as you may, you cannot insulate yourself from danger. You can't. You prepare for it, and you deal with it appropriately, and you move on, but you can't eliminate it. In my mind, it's a sad state of affairs when a body can't take a dog to run free in a forest. I actually rode BC late this afternoon, with my dog, unleashed. I typically park at the last lot up the FS gravel. I saw lots of unleashed dogs. No issues. On my ride, on south ridge, we came across of a group of 3 riders stopped on the road. As my dog ran past them, one of the guys reached out and tried to pet her. She ran right past him. His comment to me was "she's a one man dog." I responded that she was just focused, which she is. She doesn't care about you, or your dog. She just wants to do her thing. Which is run, with me. Back at the truck, my dog lying beside, a girl pulled up with 2 dogs. She got out and approached me, explaining that her dogs were not good with other dogs, and could I leash mine. I said sure, asked mine to load up, and that was that. She was nice, and I was nice, and all is well. Easy, peasy, yall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    If somebody really wanted to fight this, what I'd suggest is researching for other examples of where sharing jurisdiction with a local government has been used as a means for rules on federal lands to be changed. If no precedent, why what it done here? If precedent, is there a policy for how that happens? If so, was the policy correctly implemented? If there's not a policy, then are all such changes not really allowed, because, well government = if there's no policy, you have to make one before you implement a change. Go from there.

    The amount of work that I described would take hours and hours and is probably equivalent to the amount of work that a few "passionate" individuals undertook to lobby for the shared jurisdiction.

    EDIT: Also, ironically, I just realized I had stepped in a giant pile of dog shi!t after riding at BC after work- had to have been right next to my car, because I didn't get off the bike after I left my car. Again, there are few things more joyful to me than seeing how my dogs love bike riding even more than I do, but I have to admit that was funny.
    Lol. Believe it or not, I train my dogs to sh!t in the woods. And they always do. Whenever I see dog sh!t on a trail, I almost feel compelled to move it. Sometimes I feel the need to tell passersby, that the dog
    Sh!t they're about to experience, did not come from mine!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Banjo, at your campground where dogs were running around unleashed, even when they were not supposed to, if a person did get bit badly, the park most likely would have been held liable. In that case, what is a park to do?
    Campers sign a waiver when registering releasing the park, state, and county from liability if something was to happen. you wouldnt believe the things people try to sue over... stung by bees, backed into a tree, its too hot so they want their money back, etc...

    In the case of the two dog bites (both involved a child btw..) the owner of the off leash dog was held liable and they ended up in litigation I believe. not sure how it turned out but the park was not involved thanks to the waiver. The other case the dog was on a leash and the kid ran up to it so it was no ones fault but the parents.

    So I totally agree dog owners are ultimately responsible. If a dog causes an injury by whatever means, its the owner is at fault. That being said I run my dog off leash pretty much everywhere its allowed and shes a good trail dog who is very well trained. So I dont support a blanket ban but I understand if my dog caused an injury, or more likely gets attacked by a bear, Im at fault...

    Common sense folks...
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    I think we're all missing the boat by focusing on dog bites. Remember, some very vocal people don't think any dogs should be off leash anywhere. It's not just bites. Please note that specific to Bent Creek this is just my opinion, not based on any first hand information or anything.

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    Hunting dogs do have an exemption. They can come on to your land and wreak havoc, etc. and there is no accountability.

    Hunting dogs exempt from NC dangerous dog law

    I too used to ride with my dog, but she is old now. I have kicked more than one dog in the face for coming at my dog while out in the forest. Another I had to smack across the head with a rock. That aggression will not stand. She was never interested in other dogs, just wanted to run.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    Campers sign a waiver when registering releasing the park, state, and county from liability if something was to happen. you wouldnt believe the things people try to sue over... stung by bees, backed into a tree, its too hot so they want their money back, etc...

    In the case of the two dog bites (both involved a child btw..) the owner of the off leash dog was held liable and they ended up in litigation I believe. not sure how it turned out but the park was not involved thanks to the waiver. The other case the dog was on a leash and the kid ran up to it so it was no ones fault but the parents.

    So I totally agree dog owners are ultimately responsible. If a dog causes an injury by whatever means, its the owner is at fault. That being said I run my dog off leash pretty much everywhere its allowed and shes a good trail dog who is very well trained. So I dont support a blanket ban but I understand if my dog caused an injury, or more likely gets attacked by a bear, Im at fault...

    Common sense folks...

    Those waivers never hold up. If I were the lawyer, I would sue the park as well. Better call Saul! (:

    But all joking aside, 99% of dogs on the trail are not a problem. Can you punish the 99% for the 1%? No easy answer but good discussions!
    Last edited by Vespasianus; 06-11-2017 at 11:16 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    But all joking aside, 99% of dogs on the tail are not a problem. Can you punish the 99% for the 1%? No easy answer but good discussions!
    Is requiring dogs to be leashed in popular areas really a punishment . . . banning dogs altogether would be a punishment, having to leash a dog is an inconvenience for some and for others it is normal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pisgahrider View Post
    Is requiring dogs to be leashed in popular areas really a punishment . . . banning dogs altogether would be a punishment, having to leash a dog is an inconvenience for some and for others it is normal.
    You ever tried to mountain bike with a dog on a leash?

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    I don't have problems with dogs being off leash as long as they're trained well.

    One time, I started riding down from Rice Pinnacle, and 20 feet in my ride, a dog comes down chasing towards me like he I'm a hotdog he's looking to score. I quickly jumped off the bike and put the bike between the dog and I. A couple of seconds later the hiker comes from the non-bike trail on the right side of Rice Pinnacle. I tell her that her dog must be on a leash if he's going to act that way. Her response? "Maybe you guys should learn to be nicer to other people" just as I got back on my bike. I get off and say, "Excuse me? I was just riding and your dog starts chasing at me!" Then she apologizes that her dog scared me. I got back on and rode on. I hate drama.

    If I'm bombing downhill and I see your dog running uphill, I will slow down, ride on the side, and go on. I don't mind. Nature must be shared.

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    First of all, excuse me for not reading every comment completely. Second - that I hardly post on MTBr anymore. Third - I'm an Old Bent Creek Phart.

    The direct access neighborhood has gone off the grid with apartment complexes and existing home turn overs. The days of bringing the pup and hitting the trails are gone.

    I love that I got to experience it in the 90's! Built some of it and rode all of it, but those days are gone. Ain't no going back. Dogs are the #1 compliant. Rude riders are #2. Adapt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M-U-M View Post
    First of all, excuse me for not reading every comment completely. Second - that I hardly post on MTBr anymore. Third - I'm an Old Bent Creek Phart.

    The direct access neighborhood has gone off the grid with apartment complexes and existing home turn overs. The days of bringing the pup and hitting the trails are gone.

    I love that I got to experience it in the 90's! Built some of it and rode all of it, but those days are gone. Ain't no going back. Dogs are the #1 compliant. Rude riders are #2. Adapt.
    Really? That's the best you can do? So, since you don't enjoy trails with your dog, no one should? Been out there since 1988. I guess I'm slow to adapt.

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    Rode BC friday without my dog and my derailleur failed?

    Coincidence? I think not...
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    this is a depressing thread. Like many others, I have biked with and without dogs in BC for almost 20 yrs. I have never been chased, bitten, or attacked by another dog. My brittanys have never been aggressive toward anyone. Most of the time, they are off trail looking for squirrels. They tend to completely ignore other trail users, even those who want to pet them.

    As BC trails have become more crowded over the years, I am more likely to leave the dogs at home, expecially when bking at peak hours (or I head to N Mills).

    I've had far more adverse encounters with dogs on my road bike.

    I agree that there is accountability as a pet owner.

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    I know it's not the kind brother Asheville way...but dogs should be on leashes period. Our dogs are on leashes at all times. Every time we go hiking with our dogs leashed another dog off leash will try to fight our dogs. My dogs don't instigate fights and are not aggressive. Every time that happens the owners of the dogs off leash have no control over their dogs or any kind of command for them to stop. Then they act like we were the ones at fault just like the asshat on North slope. I am a dog lover but out of respect and consideration for others my dogs stay on leash. I have had to spray so many leashless dogs with water bottles to prevent them from clipping my wheels. I know their are dog owners that say everytime "my dog is fine", "my dog isn't aggressive", etc etc. But there are bad people out there like the guy on North slope so it ruins it for everyone.

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    I generally support dogs on leash in busy areas, but am well aware many have ridden in Bent Creek for years with dogs off leash.

    Because this is a change in policy, does anyone know if the FS followed some form of NEPA to make the decision? At a minimum they should have developed a scoping letter and sent it out to scoping list and it should have shown up on the SOPA (schedule of proposed actions).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    I generally support dogs on leash in busy areas, but am well aware many have ridden in Bent Creek for years with dogs off leash.

    Because this is a change in policy, does anyone know if the FS followed some form of NEPA to make the decision? At a minimum they should have developed a scoping letter and sent it out to scoping list and it should have shown up on the SOPA (schedule of proposed actions).

    Thanks for posting woodman. This is kind of the point behind my post above; the change was made differently. While I did say in one post that my statements about dogs in Bent Creek were an opinion, that was about off-leash vs. bites being the problem; the shared jurisdiction part is fact. There are multiple reasons I literally can't get involved or rock the boat on this issue, but again, if somebody was passionate about it, I do think there's some research that could be done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    Thanks for posting woodman. This is kind of the point behind my post above; the change was made differently. While I did say in one post that my statements about dogs in Bent Creek were an opinion, that was about off-leash vs. bites being the problem; the shared jurisdiction part is fact. There are multiple reasons I literally can't get involved or rock the boat on this issue, but again, if somebody was passionate about it, I do think there's some research that could be done.
    Mike, obviously I feel strongly about this. I might be willing to rock this boat. I know nothing of government policy and have no idea where to start. This is way outside of my knowledge base, but it does seem odd that, very suddenly, dogs were required to be leashed. You and woody have a direction to point me in?

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    Send me an email at [email protected].

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    They have been required to be on leash for some time. It's a county ordinance. They called and got too many complaints.

    Transylvania County also has a leash law, but don't ask me why it is not enforced in Pisgah.

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    I also had a bizarre negative experience with someone there 2 days ago. Got yelled at and named called about having my dog off leash. Really over the top. Wondering if he was the same a*hole. I get the whole dogs on leash thing and am sympathetic to it but geeze... Made me remember why I stopped going there.

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    I just moved here a couple weeks ago, and have been to Bent Creek a few times. I'm not sure I recall ANY dogs actually on a leash. I think they've all been off leash. Haven't had any trouble with it, and it doesn't really appear to me that BC is doing much to get the word out about leashes.

    I would prefer if regulations were a little looser with regards to "control" over dogs. I am fine with verbal control, so long as it works for the particular dog. Some dogs do fine with that. Others, not. Mine is mostly okay with verbal control, but not well enough for me to go out with him at Bent Creek leashless. He really loves other people and other dogs and he blatantly ignores me when he really wants to say hello. That's not okay with me, so he stays on-leash except when I deem a situation okay (either, okay for him to greet other people and dogs, or that it's quiet enough that there will be no encounters with others anytime soon). He's also a huge wuss, so even long hikes are out of the question. My walks with him tend to be pretty short, and riding with him is out of the question.

    I had an incident in my apartment complex the other day where another resident walking her 2 dogs (maybe 35-40lbs each) ON LEASHES was pulled to the ground because her dogs lost their minds when they saw mine (a roughly 55lb hound mix). Thankfully mine is pretty well socialized and stayed just out of range of the other 2, and I was able to deal with those other 2 dogs by stepping on one leash and grabbing the other while the other person collected herself. That sort of situation obviously wasn't "fixed" or prevented by a leash rule. Yes, those other 2 dogs needed to be on leashes, but the owner should have been walking them one at a time instead of together so she could actually control them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zedmanzed View Post
    I also had a bizarre negative experience with someone there 2 days ago. Got yelled at and named called about having my dog off leash. Really over the top. Wondering if he was the same a*hole. I get the whole dogs on leash thing and am sympathetic to it but geeze... Made me remember why I stopped going there.
    Sounds like the same putz. The dude I encountered would not stop to discuss the situation with me. I would stop and wait for him, and ask him to stop and discuss, but he would not. He just rode past blurting out belligerent comments and literally screaming things like "ahh, look out! Unleashed dog!!" So strange. Middle aged dude with a few days growth on the face. That's about all I remember. Maybe a midwestern accent? Seriously self absorbed pusquit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Sounds like the same putz. The dude I encountered would not stop to discuss the situation with me. I would stop and wait for him, and ask him to stop and discuss, but he would not. He just rode past blurting out belligerent comments and literally screaming things like "ahh, look out! Unleashed dog!!" So strange. Middle aged dude with a few days growth on the face. That's about all I remember. Maybe a midwestern accent? Seriously self absorbed pusquit.
    Yup. That was him. He called me white trash which I thought was funny. I'm surprised that he hasn't done this to the wrong person. Maybe it's his training regimen. Piss off a bunch of people and then try to out run them on a bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zedmanzed View Post
    Yup. That was him. He called me white trash which I thought was funny. I'm surprised that he hasn't done this to the wrong person. Maybe it's his training regimen. Piss off a bunch of people and then try to out run them on a bike.
    Sorry you encountered him. Pretty sure he's a psychopath, completely irrational. Oddly enough, he sucks as a rider, mostly occupied with harassing folks with unleashed dogs, I reckon. He obviously has an axe to grind, for some reason. He had no interest in stopping to engage me, just rode by blurting about. Haven't seen him since. Where did you see him? Just curious.

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    http://www.citizen-times.com/story/n...est/874029001/

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    I think that if you have your dog on an e-collar that should be the exception anywhere there are leash laws. My GSP on her e-collar is as under control....actually MORE under control than she is on a collar.

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    What is the cost of the citations being issued for off leashed dogs??

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    Quote Originally Posted by spleeft View Post
    What is the cost of the citations being issued for off leashed dogs??
    I donít know of anyone thatís received one, so I canít speak to that, but as some one that rides with his dog, I can speak to that. Since all this started, I have modified my behavior a bit. This time of year, I only ride Bent Creek at night, so I donít expect any issues then. Earlier in the year, I was sticking to the more remote parts, for the most part. That said, the only real issue Iíve had was from the douchebag discussed earlier in this thread. Early on, I had a FS volunteer explain to me that the rules were changing. I still see plenty of unleashed dogs there. PM me if you want more advice/suggestions, etc...

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    Quote Originally Posted by zod View Post
    I think that if you have your dog on an e-collar that should be the exception anywhere there are leash laws. My GSP on her e-collar is as under control....actually MORE under control than she is on a collar.
    Do you mean a shock collar? Iíd be willing to go that route.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Do you mean a shock collar? Iíd be willing to go that route.
    Speaking from experience, shock collars work for some dogs and not for others. Make sure to test it at home or on a leash. One of my dogs will come right back, the other runs off as if she is being attacked by yellow jackets, etc. Once out of range, dog may go missing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Do you mean a shock collar? Iíd be willing to go that route.
    Yep. My bird dog is friendly and listens well however sometimes (especially before being e-collar trained) her hunting instincts take over and she turns her ears off. The e-collar makes her beyond manageable and super responsive to come commands. I have another dog I mountain bike with that is not on an e-collar because she really doesn't need to be however I would e-collar train her also if they would allow e-collar as the same as being leashed. Honestly I am going to mountain bike with her regardless and take my chances.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy G. Parrish View Post
    Speaking from experience, shock collars work for some dogs and not for others. Make sure to test it at home or on a leash. One of my dogs will come right back, the other runs off as if she is being attacked by yellow jackets, etc. Once out of range, dog may go missing.

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    That's just improper training.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zod View Post
    Yep. My bird dog is friendly and listens well however sometimes (especially before being e-collar trained) her hunting instincts take over and she turns her ears off. The e-collar makes her beyond manageable and super responsive to come commands. I have another dog I mountain bike with that is not on an e-collar because she really doesn't need to be however I would e-collar train her also if they would allow e-collar as the same as being leashed. Honestly I am going to mountain bike with her regardless and take my chances.
    Understood. My dog, a bird dog mutt, doesnít need a leash either, but Iíd definitely train her on a shock collar if that would satisfy the ninnies. Like you, I take my chances, but I do have a leash with me at all times. Around here, BC and DuPont are the only areas currently requiring leashes. I typically avoid DuPont anyway and ride BC purely out of convenience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zod View Post
    That's just improper training.
    No, it's not. My min-pin was abused, and has always run off in fear when hurt or injured. I have two others that trained just fine.

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    I was referring to this statement,

    "Make sure to test it at home or on a leash. One of my dogs will come right back, the other runs off "

    You don't "test" it out at home OR on a leash. You train them on a leash. A dog should never even be off leash until the dog fully understands that the static correction means to return to the humans side. If your dog ran off while being corrected he/she was never trained properly to begin with. And I will say that any dog can be e-collar trained, even one that was not trained to begin with and doesn't understand why it's being shocked and what it's supposed to do when it happens. I know a good trainer in the Lincolnton NC area if anyone needs help.

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    I was very saddened last weekend when we pulled into BC and saw several FS rangers roaming the service roads. We turned around and headed to Mills River where we've never had any issues with the rangers there.

    I'm a local dog trainer and our dogs have been properly trained off leash with the e collar and I'm huge advocates of off leash e collar trained dogs. They always stay close and ignore other people or dogs on the trail and this is what I teach my clients as well. It's such a shame to have to go out of our way to make sure our dogs can still go on rides with us.

    I'm originally from Durham and as far as I know, they passed an ordinance that allows e collars to be substituted for leashes. I think this is a great compermise and I plan on pursuing something similar here. I think if enough of us, with well behaved trail dogs rally behind having the right to have our dogs off leash, we may be able make change.

    I'm afraid that BC is only the start and they will start patrolling other parts of Pisgah as well..

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