Please Stand Up and Make Your Voices Heard!
Significant acreage in Chatfield State Park and Cherry Creek Park near Denver was originally designated for hunting dog training making these parks vital assets to the sporting dog community for many years. Colorado sportsmen and women are now being pushed out of these hunting dog-training areas with plans to convert them to dog parks that would prohibit most training activities. These areas are the only public place to train sporting dogs in the region. If the area is fully converted to a dog park, then NO place will be left for hunters and sporting dog enthusiasts.
The Colorado State Parks Board has developed management plan alternatives that are clearly biased against sportsmen who have traditionally used the area. In its news release justifying its plans, concerns are raised over public safety conflicts from unruly dogs as well as detrimental impacts on habitat. Hunting dogs generally have the fundamental obedience training necessary to obey their owner and not interfere with others in these public places. Conversely, many family dogs do not exhibit the basic obedience necessary for control in a public place which can create safety concerns and conflicts with other users. Habitat damage is surely due to the increased traffic of the dog park crowd and allowing their dogs to roam freely over every square inch of the land. The hunting dog community has protected these parks for many years and tried to leave as little impact on the natural environment as possible in order to ensure it mimics actual hunting terrain.
Chatfield State Park has a comment form with three alternatives listed. Alternative B provides the best protection for the sporting dog community, which segments approximately 24.5 acres for training out of 75 total acres. Please go to the following link and submit comments in support of Alternative B: http://parks.state.co.us/SiteCollectionImages/parks/Landing/DOLA/DOLA_OH_Chatfield.pdf. It would also be appropriate to convey your displeasure with the general plan to significantly reduce the area for hunting dog training. There are many dog parks already in the area along with miles of sidewalks for the non-hunting community to use.
Cherry Creek Park also has three alternatives, but none of the alternatives provide adequate protection for sporting dog training. Please go to the following link and voice your concern over the exclusion of training areas for hunting dogs: http://parks.state.co.us/SiteCollectionImages/parks/Landing/DOLA/DOLA_OH_CherryCreek.pdf.
Your voice is essential to protect Colorado’s great sporting dog heritage! A proper place to train hunting dogs is becoming harder to come by around the country and the remaining land must be preserved. Do not allow this blatantly anti-hunting action by the Colorado State Parks Board to stand without a fight!