Cry for help: National Parks Service hates dogs, breaks law


It’s easy to see the other side of this.

There are people with dogs and there are “dog people”.  Dog people frequently ignore leash restrictions in parks. I see it all the time. Their dogs run up to, and jump on those who are clearly not dog people.

We all have the right to own pets, we don’t have the right to take them everywhere.


That some people are irresponsible dog owners is totally true, 100%, but the answer to that is to make sensible rules and then enforce them, not make unreasonable rules to punish everyone because some people are irresponsible dog owners.

By the way, I am a dog person and I want to see leash laws enforced as much as anyone since my dog is not very good with other dogs, but there does need to be some places where you can let a dog run around and even in those areas there needs to be some rules about how that is supposed to work.


Exactly. I don’t hate dogs or anything, but I just don’t get this “bring your dog everywhere” attitude that some dog owners have. In San Diego where I currently live it is particularly extreme. People even try to bring their dogs (pets, not service animals) into restaurants and supermarkets and get all irate when that isn’t allowed. Although weirdly it is allowed in a number of places, which I don’t get at all for sanitary reasons.


What are the NPS’s reasons for not wanting dogs in the park?

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We are talking about 1% of the parkland being accessible to dogs, not 100%. There is plenty of space for people to enjoy dog-free experience. Allowing dogs on 1% seems fair, 0% seems extremely restrictive.

Regardless, the NPS is not playing by the rules and decided they do not like the public process, so they abandoned it. This is about having the discussion and process, which they have criminally disregarded.


And some people shoot up heroin in the park. Children are known to scream, which could damage my hearing, and the elderly could break a hip, so they’re out too. Anyone over 21 might drink there, nevermind all the potential premarital or extramarital sex should a couple decide to visit.

tut-tut, no, we can’t have any of that!

I say we ban all sentient beings from the park, enforced with Predator drones.


The really intriguing point of the article is the idea that the National Park Service is developing the parks into tourist attractions, rather than preserving them as community resources. We are all aware that our politicians on both sides of the aisle have an unprecedented zeal for privatizing government functions. The development for tourism is a desperate play to keep the system alive when “community resources” are seen as a monstrous evil. In fact, however, it will come to serve the purpose of those who would dismantle the government and sell it to the highest bidder. It is, intentionally or unintentionally, grooming the national parks to make them more attractive to developers and command a higher price.

I account myself fortunate to live in New York State, which has a park system that compares with the national parks in extent (the Adironack Park would encompass any four of the national parks within its borders). The great Catskill and Adirondack Parks are enshrined as “forever wild” in the state constitution. So far, that provision has resisted amendment. It perversely arose as part of a tax bailout for counties that labored under an unpayable property tax debt to the state, in the midst of the long depression that began with the Panic of 1873. For some counties that were nearly wholly dependent on forestry - and bankrupt paper and tanning companies - for their income, the State rebate of tax on the Forest Preserve lands is virtually all the county revenue.

The existence of the Forest Preserve means that that when I choose, I can put on my backpack and hike, with no further formalities. I say this almost literally: there are places big enough to get lost in less than an hour’s drive away. I need to seek nobody’s permission, do no paperwork, pay no fees. If I had a dog, I could bring the creature. (I’d like to at some point. At this point in my life, I haven’t the time to train a trail dog properly, and it would be irresponsible to try.)

I do not want to live in a society where everyone does not enjoy the right to recreate on public land. Selling these resources to be carved up by developers would destroy them. Demanding that government be “run like a business” on a fee-for-service model has the same effect. Not least, once tickets are sold, private or public, the emphasis shifts to providing a packaged experience. Visitors are constrained, for their own safety, to the experience prescribed, to “stay on the ride” in a Disney copy of the real thing. As it is, I face no such Disneyfication: I am free to go check out the view from a rock that I’ve spotted in binoculars, or watch the beavers in a pond that I stumbled upon while exploring a stream. Trails are suggestions.

And yet I see the handwriting on the wall. The existence of any public resource, open to the public, is income forgone. The clamor arises to dismantle all public resources systematically, to save money for the taxpayers. The exclusion of dogs without public comment and contrary to stated policy is merely the nose of the camel poking into that particular tent.


Hard to feel sorry for you.


Germany has the right approach - the dog areas of parks have 5 foot fences around them. Keeps the dogs out of the way and also lets them run about.


If the Irish equivalent service is any guide, I wouldn’t suggest that anywhere your Park Service could see or hear it …

Weirdly? A housebroken dog is more sanitary than a toddler who tend to shit, piss and vomit without notice. Here where I live it’s perfectly normal to bring your dog into a restaurant or cafe. The dogs are sitting/laying under their owners table - not preparing the meals in the kitchen ffs.


well, no.

That’s why I live on ninety acres of rolling woodland, bought in 2008 for less than $2,000 an acre.

Am I in a trendy community, surrounded by wealthy and trendy people? Not by a parsec.

But me, my family, and my dogs pretty much get to do whatever we want here.


Not seeing the distinction between humans and canines is a frequent… oversight, by dog people.

Dogs can be man’s best friend, but unlike heroin addicts, children and the elderly, they’re not citizens. Dogs are property. They have some protections, but lack any rights, including the right to be unleashed onto shared public spaces.

Perhaps the dog owners should be asking for fenced in areas in which their dogs could run? It seems to be the norm in other nations.


People are responsible for their dogs, livestock, vehicles, children, drug habits, property, personal safety, and relationships. Or they aren’t. It’s up to the individual.

Re: Dogs treated as as property in the eyes of the governement.

Clearly dogs are retired property no different from squad cars lost in the line of duty.

Also: Pa. House stiffens penalty for killing police dog -

That’s more than ‘some protections’.

We each have to be responsible about how much we can expect our preferences to be accommodated by reality and by other people. This issue is not about behavior.

But this issue is about the interface of people who are pursuing happiness and the US govt which is placing new prescriptive restrictions on their pursuit.


They’re secretly controlled by cats. The cats want to maintain their monopoly on wandering freely while mocking dogs who are forced to stay on leashes.


Historically at least, animals were never property - until the modern (and largely US) dilution of the term to include anything that can be bought, property meant buildings. Land was not property and in many places still cannot be owned, merely stewarded. Animals (and that included children and even wives) were chattels. The distinction was important and useful and I think we’ve lost a lot by conflating everything wth “property” - intellectual property being the worst offender in that it is nothing at all like buildings let alone land. /endrant


“the 1979 Pet Policy was never officially promulgated into a Section 7 rule, an official exception to traditional management rules.”

It doesn’t seem that this “the NPA is breaking the law” rallying cry is some indisputable truth.

For what it’s worth, why would dog owners assume that they had any right to take their animal to parks in the first place? I don’t see it as much different than an ATV owner really, really wishing that he or she could tear ass all over a park. Desire does not translate into a right, though.

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That reason has more thought and fact behind it than the NPS 2400 page work of fiction.

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