The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) has announced there will be an increased enforcement of dog leash regulations at its Conservation Areas.
Over the next few weeks, Enforcement Officers will be issuing $75 tickets to dog owners with off-leash dogs on CRCA properties.
“There have been an increasing number of complaints from the public about off leash dogs on our properties,” said Tom Beaubiah, CRCA Biologist/Lands Lead, in a release. “All pets must be on a leash and stay on marked trails at all times when they are on our properties. We have asked our enforcement staff to focus on off-leash dogs for the next several weeks.”
The FAQ section of the CRCA website answers the question: “Why does my dog have to be on a leash when I’m in a Conservation Area?”
It is one of the regulations (Ontario Regulation 99/90) that we have in place for all visitors to our properties. This is for the safety and consideration of all visitors as well as for the wildlife that lives in our Conservation Areas.
Free-running dogs can be intimidating to other visitors, especially small children and seniors. They also chase and disturb wildlife like frogs, snakes, birds, squirrels and deer. A major reason for having Conservation Areas is to protect habitat for wildlife.
If these are not adequate reasons for leashing you dog, consider that your dog can have unpleasant encounters with other dogs or with wildlife such as skunks or porcupines.
Also, deer ticks are present in some of our Conservation Areas. Keeping your dog on a leash and on the marked trails reduces the risk to your dog (and you) from being bitten by a tick.
All Conservation Areas have regulations designed to protect the environment as well as the visitors to these natural areas.
“We encourage people to enjoy our Areas but they have to follow the rules,” added Mr. Beaubiah. “Not everyone is comfortable when a dog comes running at them. They can also chase and disturb wildlife, spread invasive species and damage sensitive habitat.”
According to the CRCA release, most Conservation Areas were purchased to protect natural wildlife habitat as well as providing public access to the outdoors. Conservation Authorities try to balance public use with protection to the natural environment.
The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority jurisdiction includes 11 watersheds – among them are the large Cataraqui and Gananoque River systems as well as smaller systems such as Wilton and Buells Creek.
These municipalities include:
City of Kingston (ie. Lemoine Point Conservation Area )
Township of Athens
City of Brockville
Township of Elizabethtown-Kitley
Township of Front of Yonge
Town of Gananoque
Town of Greater Napanee
Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands
Township of Rideau Lakes
Township of South Frontenac
This enforcement blitz may be repeated in the future without advance notice to the public.