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  • Let's get some movement going here guys and gals. Bow Wow!! Post to the discussion groups please, or we'll be playing dead.
      • HEY!!! HAS ANYONE THOUGHT TO PROPOSE THAT THE TREE FARM PUT A BIT OF PARKING UP ON THE LEFT NEAR THE RADIO STATION (BEFORE THE ENTRANCE PAST THE HOUSES) AND A DOUBLE GATED AREA LIKE THE ONES AT DeGarmo?
        That would relieve the pressure/stress on the entrance, keep all the dogs from going past the rental house there, and make dogs run much further away from the nature path. Or maybe an entrance on the street up there, even before you turn down the lane towards the main entrance. LETS MAKE SOME NOISE!!


  • ChicoDOG
  • Chico Dog Owners Group,
  • A BowBow Improvement Movement
Let's make the life of a dog a better one here in Chico. More off-leash dog parks, less "No Dogs Allowed" signs, places to enjoy our pets, not leave them at home......what's your beef? Let's make it better for dogs and dog owners here.

ASK TO JOIN THIS WIKISPACE, ALSO POST YOUR CONTACT INFO SO WE CAN ADD YOU TO THE LISTS PLEASE. THERE IS A WAY YOU HAVE TO CONFIRM YOUR E-MAIL SO YOU KNOW YOU'VE BEEN LINKED SO YOU CAN ADD TO THIS GROWING CONVERSATION.
Post notes to discusions here, we'll make them part of the ongoing discussion pages.
Leave your e-mail and other contact info in the discussion area,
  • NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE WHAT HAS ALREADY BEEN WRITTEN OR TYPE WITHIN MESSAGES FROM OTHERS. PUT YOUR COMMENTS AT THE END. AN EDITOR WILL MOVE THINGS AROUND AS THE WIKI DEVELOPS IF NEEDED.
  • THIS IS NOT A PLACE TO RANT OR CRITICIZE--DO THAT AT THE CHICOER BLOGS. ADD INFORMATION, OFFER SUGGESTIONS, SET UP PLANS, BUT do not add your personal opinion just for sake of seeing it in print. THANKS.

NOW, On to the task at hand: CHICO DOG BBIM wants more unleashed areas, fenced in please, and less restraint on where dogs can go on leashes. I mean, is it really necessary to make them stay out of the Thursday night market? Be real!
Read on:


Welcome to the start of a new adventure here in Chico, where dogs roam free for morning folks and those who have good cars. We support and honor the Chico Area Recreation District (CARD) for fencing a corner of DeGarmo Park at the North end of the Esplanade as you head out of town. We understand that the Mendocino Park's "Tree Farm" on the Southern edge of the Skyway has had it up to HERE with dog poop, parking hassles and wish dog owners would put the workers first.

And most of all we commit ourselves to understanding that the picking up of poop is not an optional thing, that once poop has been plopped it no longer has an owner, and that we will use those nicely provided plastic bags to pick up THREE not just one, piles of poop before tossing them out. THREE means two dry, one steamer. Two dry may, as needed, substitute for a steamer in certain cases. Those are inability to find the fresh pile, hanging out with a friend and THEN remembering the pooch pooped, or some other times. Our credo includes committing ourselves to thinking of pooppickingupping as yoga, we'll bend and bend.

There will be more membership goals, one hopes. Getting more fenced in dog parks, finding a way to get Bidwell open to off-leash dogs in the evenings, begging and begging and begging some more until the Tree Farm folks say "okay" to off-hour off-leash dog runs sometimes. What's your goal?

How can you contribute, what can YOU do? There is a lot at hand.

Start a committee, create your own Wiki, list it here? Go to the ER search Joe Shaw's Dog Park story comments and those of others, to get yourself moving your tail. Shake it up a bit, we can lick this thing.

Go to City Council meetings on Tuesday nights, at the end of the meeting you have three minutes time to address the council on this or other issues. Use your time to beg for more dog parks, off leash hours, but give ideas and don't just whine.
  • Ask disabled people to become involved. Using the rights and protections provided for disabled people will make it more compelling when requests are ade to make Chico more dog friendly. Learn and use the phrases of the Americans with Disabilities Act--and ask how a person with a service dog can get that animal exercised here in town? Can they even bus up to DeGarmo?
  • Check out what it takes to turn your animal into a service animal. Does the dog provide minimal protection services? Figure out the law, follow it, and use it to make it easier to take your dog with you. Get a form mailed or faxed from Animal Control. It's easy and then your dog can go to the market or stores with you. Use common sense--keep the well-trained dog under control and probably on a leash and don't take her into the supermarket even though you could!

Note here whatyou can do to contribute, what you think needs to be done. Post the availability of this wiki wherever you want--it is an open one so that people do not need to be wiki members to read it OR to add comments. Be nice, positive and let's move this along.

We Need:

web space?
e-mail coordinator?
money to offer in contribution to new dog parks
collection sites and can for the contributions and a safe place to hold the funds...
etc.

Emai response from Tamara Schmidt from the Tree Farm about the possibility of an hour or two in the PMs for off leash use


chicodoglover
chicodoglover

chicodoglover
Rec'd 4/2/10 after I emailed Tamara with concerns and questions about the new leash law at the Tree Farm. The following response is good information for all of us:

"Sorry for the delay in getting back to you - we are taking the time to respond to each request that comes in individually and working with staff at the Genetic Resource Conservation Center (GRCC) in Chico to coordinate the response and guarantee that we are providing accurate information. This can take a little bit of time and your request for information is among several that have come in over the past few weeks.

In regards to your earlier e-mail, we understand your concerns and frustration with the application of the Butte County Ordinance 4-1, requiring dogs to be on a 6-foot leash at GRCC.

The decision to require dogs to be on a 6-foot leash was not made lightly and a variety of issues factored in. However, the primary driving force was the safety of the employees, public and dogs at the site.

For background, over the past 6 years, dog walking use at the Center increased substantially. The Center's Site Manager has invested a tremendous amount of time working with the dog walking community and addressing the concerns of employees and the public affected by unleashed dogs. Among the issues were dogs jumping on people - specifically the elderly and children - at times causing injury requiring first aid or ambulance response, altercations between dogs, altercations between dog owners, volumes of dog waste - posing a public health problem, dogs and owners entering restricted areas where heavy equipment is being operated, dogs damaging sprinkler systems and government property while playing in the orchards, wildlife being forced out - including reports of dogs preying on animals at the site, increased soil erosion along the creek, and damage to historic trees. There were growing concerns about liability for both the site and dog owners.

There have been several organized grassroots efforts by the dog walking community over the past 4 years to work on a compromise and help us manage the use. While there is initial enthusiasm, it typically drops off and goes back to a sense of complacency and noncompliance with existing rules.

We have tried numerous compromises, including restricting dogs on the nature trail to leashes, providing part of the site as off leash and part on leash, closing certain areas to any use and still allowing off leash use on the roads and in designated areas. Signs have been posted throughout the site, there have been kiosks put up to inform the public, we have even provided bags for people to pick up after their dogs. To help draw attention to the rules, staff even resorted to putting bright orange arrows on the signs and posting signs in the middle of the road. Unfortunately, these efforts have been ignored and the situation has been getting progressively worse over the past 2 years, with issues from the noncompliance escalating.

In regards to your suggestion about opening the Center to dogs off leash for an hour in the morning or an hour in the afternoon, the office hours at the site does not necessarily reflect the hours being worked at the facility. Especially during the spring, summer and fall, employees at the Center can be working nearly around the clock depending on the work - similar to the nut and fruit orchards surrounding Chico.

GRCC is an Administrative Site with the primary mission of producing seed for seedlings for reforestation efforts, including areas devastated by wildfire. Similar Forest Service facilities in California do not allow for any recreation, and public access is restricted to arranged tours as time and staffing allows. This includes the nursery in Placerville that grows seedlings from the seeds grown at GRCC.

The staff at GRCC has gone out of their way to accommodate the public and to share the site with the Chico community. The issues precipitating from the volume of public use at the site - including mediating user conflict, providing first aid, etc. - has had a huge impact on our employees. Over the past year this has been a progression starting with the closure order issued last year to restrict access to designated areas. Application of the Butte County Ordinance 4-1 is the next measure to address the concerns listed above. At this point, there are no plans to allow for any off leash use at the site.

We have invested a lot of time and effort talking with the public, specifically with the dog walking community at the site. We have made numerous compromises and this has been an ongoing discussion with the public for more than 5 years now.

At the same time, we are getting a lot of positive feedback from people who feel like they can finally come back to GRCC and enjoy it for the first time in years without worrying about being jumped on or attacked. In the few weeks since implementing this, we are seeing wildlife coming back for the first time in years - specifically animals that are typically "prey" species, like ducks, turkey, rabbits, quail.

Your concerns have been shared with our leadership and we appreciate your interest in the Chico Genetic Resource Conservation Center. If you have any further questions, you can call me at 530-934-1137.

Again, I apologize for the delay in getting back to you - we have several responses and as we enter our busy field season it can be a challenge to catch the people with the answers! Thank you for your patience!

- Tamara
Tamara SchmidtPublic Affairs Officer Mendocino National Forest 825 N. Humboldt Ave. Willows, CA 95988
Phone Number: 530-934-1137 Fax Number: 530-934-7384 "

MORE IDEAS__KEEP A LOG OF HOW MANY FOLKS GO TO DEGARMO AND LET'S MAKE IT CROWDED!!
-
chicodoglover
chicodoglover

chicodoglover
"We will be more successful if we can show a sharp spike in usage of DeGarmo now that the tree farm is closed to off leash dogs. Ed Seagle, the chair of the board of CARD, goes there after work. He’ll see if it is used a lot more. the number of poop bags used will show it too, etc. etc.
But best yet would be if we could find a way to get folks to count people, not necessarily dogs, at the park at given times, and contribute to a log so that we can show that DeGarmo is getting crowded. That will make it feasible and justifiable for CARD to open another dog park as well. Remember, they have the money and want to do it. They just need to be able to show that it is not a splinter group of folks who want more FENCED IN dog parks. (My dogs are runners….).
Maybe someone, one of you? could come up with a way to keep a log—hang something on the gates there at DeGarmo as well as getting it on line?
People count, they pay taxes. Number of dogs is just interesting, not particularly motivating, in my opinion. But it would be best to keep both scores in case I’m wrong.



wdcarrier
wdcarrier

wdcarrier
Tom Contreras, Forest Supervisor
Mendocino National Forest
825 N. Humboldt Ave.
Willows, CA 95988

Dear Mr. Contreras,

My purpose for writing is to protest the closing of the Genetic Resource Conservation Area in Chico to all but leashed dogs. This area has provided untold hours of urban recreation for the local residents and their pets. In the several years that I have been using the facility I have seen as many as several dozen cars parked along the access road, all with dogs using the site. My concern is not only with the new restrictions on the area that significantly reduce the public use of the area (last Saturday there were 3 cars parked there and several, noting the “leash only” signs, turned away).

My telephone call to your office regarding this issue was answered a week after I left the message. Your public relations staff person, Tamara, explained she had been out of the office but had given instructions for her staff to answer her calls but someone failed, not uncommon these days in my dealings with the agency. She was cordial and explained in detail the reasons for shutting down unleashed dog use. These included: Concerns for liability (if someone’s dog injured someone); interference by dog users and dogs to Forest Service staff and maintenance personnel working on-site; and compliance with Butte County ordinances. I would like to address each of these issues:

1) I don’t understand your concern of Forest Service liability since the U.S. Government is sovereign and cannot be sued by the public (recently reinforced by the child’s death at Lassen National Park). The Forest Service allows trail bikes to ride on the trails that I hike on and I have had several near misses with them but liability doesn’t seem to be of concern there.
2) Since I use the park regularly it is rare that I have seen anyone working there, although I have noted areas where work has occurred. I don’t understand why closure of the park to dogs during scheduled work would not serve your purpose. If there are personnel and/or equipment working, it is logical to close the area for public safety. This was a common practice when timber sales were occurring on National Forest lands in areas I worked in.
3) Since when is the federal government required to abide by county ordinances? As I have asked the County what their ordinance is they indicated that in Butte County dogs must “be under control at all times,” no exceptions. The person I spoke with indicated the only allowable control method was a leash…no other method was suitable. Therefore, I am concerned that your insistence on applying this ordinance here indicates that dogs will be required to be on a leash on all Forest Service lands in Butte County, therefore prohibiting their use in hunting. Can we expect this will be your next order?

As a career Forest Service employee, now retired, I have watched the agency move from a public service agency to an employee service agency. Current management staff and employees are unfamiliar with the agency’s initial role under a “multiple use” policy and feel it is their primary responsibility to discourage public use. As I regularly frequent the National Forests I make it a point to ask employees I encounter questions regarding the agency and its policies. Most seem to think the concept of “multiple use” is strict protection of natural resources, primary through regulation and elimination of human interference. I have yet to find a young professional who could tell me who Gifford Pinchot was, what and how the multiple use policy came about, or most of the traditional aspects of the Forest Service I had worked under for 25 years. This action is but another instance where “management” is focused on making things easy for employees of the agency in deference to providing for public use.

As I indicated to Tamara, I fully understand the problems associated with growing public use and am thankful I worked for the agency when our objective was primarily Natural resource management and enhancement, not primarily development and enforcement of restrictive regulations to keep the public at bay. Yet, I see the agency caught up in a self-defeating philosophy of rebuffing the public they are employed to serve and continually losing ground. If you have ever read Herbert Kaufmann’s The Forest Service: A Study in Administrative Behavior it becomes obvious that the agency that was then (1960) considered the “shining star of the federal government” has declined in stature as the attributes that made it such have been almost forgotten.

It was over 20 years ago I wrote “The Fragmented Forest Service,” (later published in High Country News as The Forest Service Divided Against Itself ) in which I defined my views of the two philosophies that were opposing each other in National Forest Management yet both understood it was their job to best serve the public. Today I believe the “old guard” are gone and the “ologists” have pulled back into their laboratories. New-hires do not know the history and philosophy of the agency and see their role simply as “having to do a job” and that’s sad.

Sincerely,

W. Dean Carrier
this JUST IN

Time for dog owners to step up!




eseagle
eseagle

eseagle
I am very disappointed in the decision made by a few to mandate that dogs must be on a leash at the Mendocino “Tree Farm.” The public that uses this public land should have at least the opportunity to give input into that decision. I do not believe the Forest Service realizes the pressure their decision makes on the rest of Chico’s open spaces.

As a primary instigator of the creation of the dog park at DeGarmo Park, I am concerned that the closure of the “Tree Farm” will increase the use and overuse of the dog park at DeGarmo Park and upper Bidwell Park. As a Park Watch volunteer, I am always trying to get people to follow rules when walking their dogs.

It is time for dog owners who want a place where there dogs can run relatively free to step forward, either through donation of land or financial donation for a new dog park. It would be wonderful to have as nice a dog park as the one at DeGarmo Park, but all that is needed is a fenced area of 5 acres or more (possibly no rattle snakes, fox tails. Poison Oak or star thistle) near Chico. Unfortunately, Bidwell Park has all the negative elements listed in the parenthesis.

The Chico Area Recreation District (CARD) has done its part. As a board member I can say they do not have the financial funds for another dog park at this time. They have a lot of other recreation priorities right now that the community needs and wants. CARD might be willing to assist us if the land and money were found.

As dog owners, we can complain or get down to work and create the opportunity for our dogs to run free. I am not rich, but I have donated to the DeGarmo dog park and am willing to donate to another effort. This is because my dog means the world to me just as many of your dogs do!

Editor's Note: Don't be discouraged by Seagle's fear that CARD doesn't have funds for another dog park, or his comment that CARD "has done its part". They have gotten things started and can be counted upon to help provide better situtations for dogs if we get organized, come up with a way to accept money (need a lawyer to do a non-profit status group, please), and then show our strength not only in numbers but by saying "here, we can also write a check". And this is budget time for CARD, they are talking priorties now and in the next couple of months--there will be a time for public input and ChicoDOG can say "woof, woof, we are here too". If they can have lots of soccer fields then CARD can also have more than one dog park.....and they understand and will do so if we SPEAK good dog talk.

Read the POSITIVE things that Ed Seagle has to say, and look for him to give us more guidance.

Chico Area Recreation and Parks District (CARD) is asking that volunteers help with DeGarmo park. The vision of how this will work is to be posted soon by Jake Preston, who works for CARD. I'll post a discussion group, you could respond to it and then we'd have some ready folks to help when he provides guidance and direction of what is needed. Working directly with CARD we can gain more trust and thus more land....maybe even a park where small and old dogs can be separated from the bigger ones.

Please keep track of how many folks use DeGarmo, how many times you turn away because it is too busy.