EAGLE, Idaho – In early May, the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation announced that the only state park that still allows dogs to roam freely will require leashes at the end of the month due to an increase incidents.
After hearing the concerns and ideas of the public, the Idaho Parks and Recreation decided to try a pilot program at Eagle Island State Park to see if they could make it work, but it all depends on responsible dog ownership.
“People have asked us for a compromise and we’re willing to go with it, but it’s based on dog owners doing their part,” said Craig Quintana of the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. “We hope people will respect each other and play well because that’s how the pilot can stay in effect.”
Dog owners will be able to have their dogs off leash in the 212 acres south of the main access road, which is quite large as the total area of the park is 545 acres, and dog owners will also be able to bring their dogs out dogs. leaves on the dirt trails that weave through Eagle Island State Park.
It depends on the dogs not having altercations with other dogs, humans and wildlife.
Other requirements are that people must have a leash, a garbage bag, clean up after fito and for trails, keep their dog within 30 feet of them, and have a dog that comes when called.
“We changed our proposal a bit and that’s the impetus for the pilot,” Quintana said. “People said to give us a chance to prove that we can master bad behavior and be responsible as a community and rise to the challenge.”
But last week Quintana told us of an incident where an off-leash dog attacked a goose in front of school children who were at the park for an educational lesson and the dog’s owner became combative when confronted by the children’s attendants.
“We want to work with people and see if we can make it work as a middle ground, but we can’t have incidents like the one we had last week with the dog catching the goose in front of a group of small children,” Quintane said. “It’s just not going to fly.”
The vocal dog owners and equestrian riders who let their dogs run when they take their horses out have helped give people a second chance when it comes to off-leash dogs with their ideas and concerns, now it’s it’s up to everyone to do their part for the future of this issue on Eagle Island.
“These are some of the people who came up with great ideas and pitched them,” Quintana said. “We hope to successfully implement them in this pilot project.”
Dogs have never been allowed on leash in the central area of the park which includes the pavilion, waterslide, pond and disc golf course and this remains the same.