Peter R. Paden
Executive Director, Columbia Land Conservancy
I write to clarify the policy of the Columbia Land Conservancy regarding the presence of dogs at our Public Conservation Areas: Dogs are welcome, so long as they are on a leash and owners remove their waste from the site.
CLC manages ten Public Conservation Areas throughout the county so that people can enjoy the extraordinarily rich and diverse outdoor world that surrounds us. These areas are quiet and peaceful. They provide an opportunity for exercise, relaxation, and outdoor education. They ensure that everyone, regardless of where they live and how much land they own, has access to beautiful natural lands.
Recent complaints by a neighbor have led some, including the Greenport Town Board, to suggest that we should ban dogs from the Greenport Conservation Area. In considering the issue, we have spoken with numerous visitors to our sites, stepped up notice and enforcement of our leash rules, and conducted on-the-ground research. We believe the majority of people are complying with our rules. We have seen no evidence that the current situation poses a threat or a nuisance to the public. Banning dogs altogether would deprive a large number of people of a pleasurable and important outdoor experience.
I encourage anyone who suspects our current policy poses a danger to spend a few hours at one of our Public Conservation Areas. I’m pretty confident it will be the most tranquil moment of your day. More information on our Public Conservation Areas and our dog policies can be found at clctrust.org/dogs.