Letter: Publicize lake dog ban
Terrific editorial about the need for all of us to be involved in protecting Hanging Lake. Its popularity has increased exponentially in the 14 years I’ve lived here, and the daily numbers of visitors are staggering for such a small and fragile place.
We have cared for the dogs of many Hanging Lake visitors who know they can’t take their pet on the trail. However, so many people don’t know this, I’m not surprised some try to sneak their dogs in when they have had to lurk and circle to get into the parking lot and realize they can’t safely leave them in the car.
Somehow, publicizing the prohibition on dogs would help lots. We have offered guided hikes on more appropriate trails for visitors with their dogs — there are many wonderful places where dog impacts are manageable and the scenery is still spectacular.
I also support closing the parking lot to private vehicles and having a shuttle, a permit system and vigilant locals taking some responsibility for reporting abuse when they witness it. It might also be worthwhile to have a booth at the trailhead, manned during the season, with information helpful to visitors.
Our friends at Garfield County Search and Rescue often have to rescue folks wearing inappropriate footwear or clothing, failing to carry water, or generally being unprepared. Hanging Lake is a gem for its own sake, and valuable to our community. We all need to step up to protect and preserve it.
owner, High Tails Dog & Cat Outfitters, Glenwood Springs