The reopening of Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park is a good time to remind dog owners how they can enjoy the park with their pooches. (Black Press file photo)

The reopening of Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park is a good time to remind dog owners how they can enjoy the park with their pooches. (Black Press file photo)

LETTER: Kal park reopening reminder for dog owners

To the editor:

Now that Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park has reopened, it’s a good time to remind dog owners about how they can enjoy the park with their furry friends, while respecting others and achieving physical distancing.

Before the park was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was a daily dog walker at the park. I had been running into quite a few people who either didn’t know the rules about dogs or choose to ignore them.

I had heard several times that “my dog is a good dog and doesn’t need to be on a leash.”

That may or may not be true, but as you read on you’ll understand why all dogs must be leashed.

An information pamphlet has been available at the heads of the trails at Twin Bays parking lots that clearly explains the rules about dogs in the park. There are many opportunities for off-leash experiences elsewhere — just not in Kal Park.

The entire park is declared on-leash only at all times with the exception of the two pet beaches, one at the foot of Turtle Head Point and the other at the extreme south end of Cosens Beach.

Further to this seasonally, no dogs are permitted in the Jade Bay and Juniper Bay areas from April 1 to Oct. 31. The reasons for this are as follows:

Rattlesnake Interactions: An off-leash dog is 20 times more likely to be bitten. A small dog is not likely to survive even if you rush them to the vet. A large dog may not be able to be treated with anti-venom in time to save them.

Conflict Between Dogs and With Wildlife: There have been increased instances of dogs chasing and occasionally killing wildlife, and attacking and injuring other dogs and people.

Enjoyment of the Park by All Users: We all want to enjoy the park with our dogs, but in order to do this we must be sure that we’re not imposing them on others’ park experience or disrespecting physical distancing requirements.

Pick Up After Your Dog: Dog bag stations and garbage cans are located throughout the park. Failure to pick up after your dog, or leaving full bags tied to tree branches or alongside the trail, is a ticketable offence.

Potential Consequences: Park staff are able to issue verbal and written warnings, and evict violators from the park. Park Rangers can also issue violation tickets for a variety of offences. These include dogs off-leash, permitting dogs to pursue wildlife and failure to dispose of excrement. Fines can range from $115 to $345.

It’s my sincere hope that all Kal Park users enjoy it in a manner that is respectful of others as well as the park’s natural environment.

Peter Horsley

director

Friends of Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park