On Monday evening, the Carson City Parks and Recreation Commission and Open Space Advisory Committee held a joint meeting to discuss proposed guidance and regulations for where and how dogs can recreate within the Carson City community.
Following the meeting, Parks Director Jennifer Budge said, together and along with public input, the Commission submitted a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors regarding dog regulations.
Within the policy, dogs (except service animals) remain prohibited At cemeteries, sports complexes, city-owned buildings, agricultural pastures and the following facilities:
a) Aquatics Facility
b) Bob Crowell Multipurpose Athletic Center (MAC)
c) Buzzy’s Ranch pasture
d) Capital City Gun Club
e) Carson Ridge Disc Golf Park Community Center
f) Empire Cemetery
g) Foreman-Robert’s House
h) Lone Mountain Cemetery
i) Governor’s Field
j) John D Winters Centennial Park (includes Eagle Valley Golf Course)
k) Pete Livermore Sports Complex
l) Pioneer Cemetery
m) Pony Express Airpark
n) Rifle and Pistol Range
o) Silver Saddle Ranch – pastures and Red House only
p) Tom Miggs Archery Range
q) Wungnema House
The only trails dogs are also prohibited are the North Kings Loop Trail and the Waterfall Trail.
Dogs are allowed, but must remain on a leash at all times, while in the following areas:
- Buzzy’s Ranch Trail
- Foothill Trail (First 500 ft per Carson Tahoe Health)
- Fulstone Wetlands
- Washoe Wetlands
Off Leash dog areas are kept to Fuji Park Dog Park, Sonoma Park Dog Park, and designated open spaces with the exception of the Fulstone Wetlands, Old Buzzy’s Ranch, and the Washoe Wetlands, which are protected wildlife or agricultural areas.
The city code was written in the 1980s and is in need of updating, which is why these discussions are being held.
“What we’re trying to do is, where possible, provide more universal rules and guidelines to the public,” said Budge.
Following public comment, the commission also recommended allowing dogs in four parks while on leash at all times, including Mills Park, Mayor’s Park, the Ronald D. Wilson Park and Long Ranch Park.
“We want to provide a safe experience and opportunities for dog owners and non-dog owners alike,” said Budge.
In the last three months, park rangers have logged more than 300 interactions with dogs, both on leash and off leash, at Mills Park, at which dogs have always been prohibited.
Allowing dogs on leashes at the park is a fair compromise, said Budge.
“The compromise, with how much dog activity — and especially off-leash dog activity — that we have on a daily basis at this park, this would enable people to walk through the park with their dogs on a leash,” said Budge. “I think that’s a safe compromise.”
Another regulation proposed during the meeting is requiring all dogs to be leashed at the beginning of trail heads to reduce conflict between dogs, conflict between dogs and people, and dogs potentially running into roadways and being struck by vehicles.
“There are a lot of conflicts at trail heads,” added Budge.
Currently, there are more than 7,000 acres that dogs can remain off-leash within Carson City Parks and Open Space areas, said Budge.
“We’ve only increased dog accessibility, not decreased it,” said Budge.
If the Carson City Board of Supervisors approves the recommendations, the Parks and Recreation division will provide a robust education campaign letting people know exactly where their pets can safely recreate within city parks and open spaces.
“We really appreciate the positive and constructive feedback we received from the public last night,” said Budge. “We encourage everyone to continue providing solutions to these issues.”
The meeting went on into the late hours of Monday evening, forcing the Commission to table certain discussion topics, including Open Space regulation proposals. Those proposals, among other topics, will be discussed at the Aug. 16 meeting, which will begin at 5:30 pm
For those who cannot attend the meeting in person, public comment may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org before 3 pm on Aug. 15 to be included in the meeting.
To read the proposed regulations in their entirety, please click here for the regulations and here for tables and maps listing which properties are on leash, off leash, or prohibited.