Response to Bob Edwards

Posted on June 23, 2014 by Submitted

The question at hand regarding dogs on the Montini Preserve is not about whether people have an impact on wildlife or nature or if there is poop in general. The City did not commission a study on that. The issue is whether dogs impact the natural resource values of the Preserve. According to the City commissioned biological review and supporting scientific literature, they do. And since dogs represent recreational use, they come in third place in the case of any conflicting values. That’s two counts against dogs on Montini.

The current Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District regime favors preservation, in spite of how some may want to minimize that consideration, that’s the current and controlling context. Read the Easement; this much is pretty clear. Those are the values we are referencing and the values that are at stake.

Fact: the recreational component of the Conservation Easement doesn’t override the natural resources component; and no dogs was not just because State Parks was going to be the successor agency. APOSD tries to put the strongest Easement possible anyway. These are the values that current land management on Montini has to be consistent with, not what it was, or what land use is next door, not anything else but what the Easement says now. If words mean what they say, I’m hopeful there will be no dogs on Montini.
Fred Allebach

One thought on “Response to Bob Edwards

  1. Fred says, ” The issue is whether dogs impact the natural resource values of the Preserve.” If, as Fred says prior to that conclusion, the issue at hand is not about dog’s impact on wildlife or nature, be it poop or other circumstances, then what precisely is meant by “impact on natural resource values”?

    The Montini land was for many years a working farm. The Montinis raised cattle. It’s plainly obvious that cattle impact nature and in all likelihood wildlife as well. It could not be otherwise. For that matter, wildlife impacts wildlife. Ask any deer that crosses paths with mountain lions, or bobcats and rabbits.

    The point is, Montini land isn’t and wasn’t for many decades a pristine wilderness despite what any “commissioned study” says. The debate is whether we as a community want to acknowledge that many of us choose to live with dogs and that these dogs need some proper space to run free, as is their nature, and whether we need to accommodate that reality. That’s the conversation to have, not all that bureaucratic palaver about easements and impact studies and what not. And to dismiss that the most striking reality of all are the human impacts on nature, not dogs or horses or cattle, is to not have a sensible discussion about the issue at hand.

    Personally, I take my dog elsewhere to run free or on leash in natural settings. There are still a few places left to do so. Designate a good-sized chunk of Montini for a big dog park and keep dog owners as well as poop-aversed people happy. Happy scooping.

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