The poop on dogs in national parks


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Best of the Adventure Adviser
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

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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