Good dogs

Nov 09, 2018
As you get ready to head out to Whychus Canyon Preserve for a hike with your furry friend, we offer this reminder about the importance of keeping dogs on leash and keeping wildlife safe.


If you have a dog, you know the excitement the phrase “let’s go for a walk” brings. As you get ready to head out to your favorite Land Trust Preserve for a hike with your furry friend, we offer this reminder about the importance of keeping dogs on leash.

Land Trust protected lands are there for the purpose of conserving and caring for native wildlife. We choose to allow dogs on leash at several Land Trust Preserves because we love our pups as much as you do and we like to think we can all co-exist peacefully. However, for the sake of wildlife, we require that these dogs remain on leash and their waste be removed. Why does it matter?

  • Dogs have predatory instincts: Dogs that are not on leash have more opportunities to encounter and kill or injure wildlife.

  • Dogs love the chase: Most wild animals do not have excess energy, rather they are just barely surviving. Your dog’s harmless chase can easily exhaust a wild animal, leaving no reserves to fend off the next predator.

  • Dogs mark their territory: Native carnivores and domestic dogs both communicate indirectly through scat and scent marking along trails. The presence of dog waste may deter native wildlife from using an area, or draw
    them in to investigate, which can be dangerous for both humans and wildlife.

  • Dogs are roamers: Dogs that roam off trail, dig, roll, or make beds in the dirt impact and/or destroy native vegetation, fragile desert soils, and potentially the homes of critters that live beneath the soil. These disturbed areas take a long time to recover and re-grow in our very short growing season.

  • Dogs and people don’t always mix: Trails at Land Trust Preserves are shared by all kinds of users, many of whom are do not have a dog or do not want your dog—no matter how large or small, fierce or friendly, clean or muddy—running up to them on a trail. Leashing your dog respects other users.

  • Dog waste is a problem—your problem as a dog owner: Dog waste is a nasty addition to many of our trails in Central Oregon. It is a major vector for disease for native wildlife and it doesn’t just disappear (decomposition in a dry climate takes a long time!). So it’s up to you to be mindful of your dog’s waste: Please pick it up and pack it out wherever you go.

Dogs are allowed on leash at the following Land Trust Preserves: Indian Ford Meadow Preserve, the Metolius Preserve, and Whychus Canyon Preserve. Dogs are not allowed at Camp Polk Meadow Preserve. We ask that you observe posted signs regarding dog use. Thank you!