Sierra Wave Media received this joint release from Stuart Brown Parks and Recreation Director / PIO and Deb Schweizer, Public Affairs Officer, Inyo National Forest on responsible dog ownership.
Mammoth Lakes, CA – The Town of Mammoth Lakes and the Inyo National Forest are reminding residents and visitors about proper dog etiquette and to inform recreation users of the existing laws pertaining to responsible dog ownership in Shady Rest Park and on the Shady Rest Nordic Trails.
Last spring, the Trail crew, Town staff and volunteers on the “POOch Patrol” removed more than 20 five-gallon buckets of dog feces from Shady Rest Park.
Trails Manager Joel Rathje was shocked by the magnitude of the problem. “Shady Rest Park was like nothing I have ever seen in my life. We simply could not believe the magnitude of the mess. The non-stop flow of dogs off leash doing their business everywhere, even in front of us as we picked it up, was astounding.”
The prevalence of dogs off leash at Shady Rest Park and the overwhelming amount of dog waste is not only a major safety concern for staff, but an escalating environmental issue and significant health risk for the community.
“Leave No Trace principles for visitors to national forest lands includes dogs,” said Mammoth and Mono Lakes District Ranger Gordon Martin. “Caring for forest service lands starts in our back yards. Leading by example is important because other dog owners are less likely to comply when others are not, leading to an escalating problem.”
To ensure that Shady Rest Park is safer, cleaner and healthier for our many sport and recreation users, this summer the Parks and Recreation Department installed several new waste stations with distinctive regulatory signs and complimentary dog waste bags.
Shady Rest Park and the Shady Rest Nordic Trails are under permit from the Inyo National Forest. The Town of Mammoth Lakes Municipal Code “Prohibits dogs and cats on park property unless kept on a leash at all times and under full control of the owner. The removal of feces of animals who defecate on park property is required of the owner or custodian of the animal.”
The Mammoth Lakes Police Department continues to conduct community policing by engaging with non-compliant users at the park to educate and enforce the law. The fine for non-compliance is $150 per violation.
Per Inyo National Forest Order 04-93-1, it is prohibited to be on the Shady Rest Designated Cross-Country Ski Trail (those specifically groomed for Nordic skiing) without skis and allowing the dog to be on the trail (36 CFR 261.55(a).
Per 36 CFR 261.16 (j) dogs must be on leash within a developed recreation site, which includes the groomed trail system leaving from Shady Rest park. U. S. Forest Service fines $180 for failure to comply with these rules.
“Dog waste in our parks and on our trails is no longer acceptable in Mammoth Lakes. It reflects who we are and the values we exhibit to our children and our thousands of visitors looking for an authentic and healthy experience in the Eastern Sierra,” stated Stuart Brown, Parks and Recreation Director.
Mammoth Lakes and the Inyo National Forest has always and will continue to welcome dogs and responsible dog ownership. The next time you take your dog to the park or on a walk on our trails, please pick up your dog’s waste. It’s not fun, or glamorous, but picking up dog waste is a necessary part of dog ownership and in our Town parks and trails, it’s not only the law, but most importantly, it’s the right thing to do.
Thank you for your personal commitment to help us keep our parks and trails safe this winter.