The December 23 issue had two letters saying what a small deal it is to have dogs allowed on the currently ungroomed cross country ski trails.Here is the way it looks to many of us who like to ski.
(Kreg) Lindberg says the Deschutes National Forest is the most restrictive Oregon national forest regarding dogs. I don't know if that is true, but, if so, it is because DNF is a very urban, highly used forest. It is also very flat, which makes access by users easier. No forest of similar size in the country has more miles of roads. Supposing again that Lindberg is correct, these restrictions are not working, as dog owners are not obeying the rules. Why would we expect them to obey new rules? I have already seen dogs (and their owners) on the ski trails this year.
Dog owners have plenty of places to go in winter now. There's Edison snow park, Skyliner trailhead and the currently groomed area at Wanoga. This is besides the hundreds of miles of forest roads.
Under DogPAC's plan, all Swampy skiers will have to deal with dogs in the parking lot and on the trails. Users will have to use the trail leaving the parking lot to go to the trails to Swampy Lake and Swede Ridge. I have NEVER seen a Bend dog that responded immediately to its owner's pleas to come or heal.
Lindberg uses the word "injustice." That word is inflammatory. People are not born with dog as a condition. It is a choice. Discrimination against religions, race, disabilities, etc. is injustice.
Greg Evans says the dog people will take away only one-fifth of the Swampy trails. ONLY. Those of use who like to ski without the use of groomed trails have already lost all of Meissner. One cannot ski there without skiing groomed trails. We have lost Edison Sno-park to dogs already.
Evans wants to give half the Swampy parking lot to dog people. Every year, this lot gets busier. Will DogPAC pay for enlarging the parking lot?
Please, everyone, keep in mind that DogPAC is a very vocal and organized group. Those of us who ski are, by nature, not so. So when you read opinions proposing dogs on our ski trails, remember the source.
- Dennis Krakow, Bend