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Golden Ears hikers want more dog-use restrictions in the provincial park

Report reveals that 22% of visitors want to transition to a on-leash only policy
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy reports that many dog-related incidents in Golden Ears go unreported or are directed to the RCMP by mistake. (Golden Ears Dog Walking Facebook/Special to The News)

According to a report out of Royal Roads University, users of Golden Ears Provincial Park aren’t satisfied with the current policies surrounding dog use in the park.

The report uses data taken from May to August of 2020, which revealed that 22 per cent of Golden Ears visitors want the park to transition to only having on-leash areas, while 37 per cent of people want them to establish more no dogs allowed areas.

RELATED: Record numbers flock to Golden Ears Provincial Park

When asked about public pressure to change these policies, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy claimed that they weren’t aware of significant desire from the park’s visitors.

Currently, Golden Ears has off-leash areas at North Beach Trail and the park’s boat launch, with a one-kilometre leash-required zone on either side of Golden Ears Parkway, and no dogs being allowed at the South Beach day-use area.

“BC Parks is reviewing how dog owners use at Golden Ears park is managed appropriately to ensure that all park users remain safe and the conservation values of the park are being protected,” said the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

“This review includes an evaluation of our signage to ensure it is effectively informing park visitors with dogs on how they can responsibly enjoy and use the park.”

Any changes to the dog use policies in the park will affect a huge majority of its visitors, with the report indicating that 78 per cent of people bring their dog to the provincial park.

The park’s most popular hiking trails for visitors with dogs are the West and East Canyon Trails, with 23 per cent of people preferring this loop. The Lower Falls comes in at a close second, with 19 per cent of visitors claiming it as their favourite trail.

RELATED: Golden Ears Park campground closes as bridge undergoes repairs

As of right now, there appears to be no upcoming changes to dog policies for Golden Ears park planned.

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Brandon Tucker

About the Author: Brandon Tucker

I have been a journalist since 2013, with much of my career spent covering sports and entertainment stories in Alberta.
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