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The poop on dogs in national parks

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Week of July 3-9, 1996

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The poop on dogs in national parks
Question: Are there any regulations concerning dogs that I should know about before heading to Glacier National Park? Are these rules germane to all national parks or do they vary from park to park?

Mike Jurinski
Burke, VA
mjurinski@casde.com

Leave Fifi at home; she's just grizzly bait in Glacier park
Adventure Adviser: Sorry, Mike, you may have to leave Fido at home--that is, if you want to do any backcountry camping. Because of higher-than-normal levels of bear activity in Glacier, pets are permitted only in developed areas like drive-in campgrounds and picnic areas. And they must be leashed--with leashes less than six feet long, please--at all times. Another helpful hint from the bear department: If you leave that mouth-watering dish of gravy-flavored Alpo next to the tent all night, be prepared to fight off every red meat-craving grizzly in the park.

Take your chances in the backcountry and you'll run the risk of being slammed with a hefty fine or, worse yet, losing Fluffy the poodle to the wilds. While regulations vary from park to park, you'll find a majority of parks ban dogs in the backcountry but give them the nod if they're leashed. A few notable exceptions: Michigan's Isle Royale National Park shuns canines altogether and those elitist Alaskans in Gates of the Arctic have a pack-dogs-only rule; in other words, no caramel-colored cocker spaniels named Brandy allowed.

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