MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life

MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life
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Monday, April 8, 2013

Dog Freedom on Open Space Threatened Again in Boulder

This is a partial reprint from the FIDOS (Friends Interested Dogs and Open Space) April newsletter in Boulder, Colorado regarding tough new rules and punitive measures being proposed by the City of Boulder Open Space Department regarding dogs off leash on Boulder open spaceIf passed the measures could result in severely restricting you and your dog's off leash enjoyment of Boulder Open Space.

Concerning Green Tag Proposals Going Before Open Space Board of Trustees (OSBT)

What started as a fine tuning of an Open Space, Voice and Sight Control program has morphed into excessively punitive, city-wide dog management scheme and yet another assault on off-leash dog access in the Open Space. 

The newly released Green Tag proposal offered by the City of Boulder's Open Space Department is confusing and necessarily onerous for all parties.  FIDOS supports those efforts included the plan which focus on education and logical punitive actions, however we are now faced with a program that will add significant expense, inconvenience, and casts a net so large that many undeserving people will get caught in it. 

These OSMP proposals will be presented to the Open Space Board of Trustees (OSBT) for approval on Wednesday, April 10th, at City Council Chambers. (linked).

Of the new Green Tag proposals causing concern proposal #6, states a dog will lose their Green Tag for a single offense of chasing wildlife - even a squirrel.  In addition all dogs in the household and all household members will lose this Green Tag privilege for the offense of the first dog.  To regain the Green Tag, the dog will have to pass a yet to be determined test. FIDOS' position is that a dog should only lose their green tag for an egregious single offense that involves injury or death to wildlife, livestock, dogs, or humans.  FIDOS believes that one minor offense such as chasing a squirrel up a tree should not result in the loss of the Green Tag.

OSMP is suggesting that any dog offense in the entire City of Boulder - on or off OSMP land - will count as a strike against the Green Tag and toward two strikes causing the loss of the Green Tag.  This suggestion alone divorces any pretense of "protecting wildlife and nature," in favor of building a bureaucracy.  FIDOS believes that offenses should only count against Green Tag privileges if they occur on OSMP property, or at places where the Green Tag is observed, such as Coot Lake or the Boulder Reservoir.  We suggest that if dog violations anywhere in the City of Boulder will count against the Green Tag, participants in the program should enjoy Voice & Sight privileges in the entire city!

For two minor Green Tag offenses or for two dog offenses anywhere in the City of Boulder, the dog and all other household members will lose Green Tag privileges.   FIDOS believes that only the person who commits the two minor Green Tag offenses (eg not carrying a leash or not picking up poop) should suffer loss of Green Tag privileges, not all household members.  

The cost of the program to Green Tag holders is becoming overly burdensome.  OSMP is recommending Green Tag renewal every year, involving a renewal fee each year for county residents.  Also, the fines for Green Tag infractions are going to be much higher. 

Finally, dog guardians will have to pay for their attendance at a required Information Session. FIDOS believes that OSMP has already made the newly proposed Green Tag program far too cumbersome.  No other user group must pay for their access to Open Space.  The administrative costs of dealing with annual renewal are unnecessary.  FIDOS recommends a 3 year Green Tag renewal, with an option for 1 year renewal for interested parties.  Potentially, the Green Tag renewal could track City Dog License renewal or rabies vaccine renewal.

FIDOS is asking for your help so that the OSBT can hear from a wide group of dog guardians. Please take a few minutes to write a letter to the OSBT (Contact information here), or even better, come to the OSBT meeting Wednesday and speak.  Letters are very powerful, as they are all read.  Reasonable arguments made by rational people do have an impact.

Also, please forward this newsletter to your friends and ask for their support.  FIDOS has been fighting the good fight to represent Boulder's dog owners.  Please help by writing a letter or speaking at the Wednesday OSBT meeting.