FIDOS Presidents address to Boulder Council- April 16th 2014

On behalf of the FIDOS board and our membership I want to thank the entire Council for the time and attention you gave to the topic of the GT revisions. Regardless of where any one particular Council member came down on the topic, it was obvious that Council members recognized how important this issue was to the dog guardian community and how potentially divisive it was to the entire community of Boulder. None of the affected parties to this issue won completely and none lost completely. It was a true compromise with everyone giving something and in turn everyone getting something which hopefully has resulted in a minimum of sore feelings all around. I have two brief requests to make. The first is that Open Space and Mountain Parks now take a break from the closures and restrictions and dog monitoring studies which have flowed steadily since the close of the West TSA.  As the new Green Tag program moves into the implementation stage, those of us who enjoy experiencing Open Space in company with our dogs hope to be able to let down our guard somewhat. It would be wise for OSMP to allow us time to assimilate the new GT program without the distraction of further restrictions. Perhaps such a pause would set both OSMP staff and dog guardians up for success. My second request is that from this point forward Council demand that any land acquisition brought to them by OSMP specifically address visitor access and that this criteria be strongly considered when considering making such land purchases. Boulder’s expanding population needs expanded recreation opportunities. I suggest that the default assumption for any acquisition should be that visitor access be allowed whether that’s dog walking, horse riding, mountain biking, climbing or hiking. If the parcel is to be closed to visitors or opened only in a very limited manner than insist that science, good solid defensible science, be what underlies the decision. In my opinion the term “pristine habitat” has been too widely applied by OSMP as a technique to close off their parcels to visitors while simultaneously shaming anyone that might dare to question this characterization of pristine habitat.