Dogs in Round Valley: ‘no issue’ whatsoever and ‘wonderful’ |

Dogs in Round Valley: ‘no issue’ whatsoever and ‘wonderful’

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Far more people say having dogs in Round Valley is "no issue" whatsoever and "wonderful" than say they are a "major issue that needs further regulation," a poll conducted by City Hall found.

The results of the survey, which was conducted online and polled people about their wintertime trail habits, were released amid a flare-up among people with differing views of Round Valley, with some wanting the expansive open space to be a place for solace and others seeing it as a spot for winter recreation and bringing their dogs off their leashes.

The results that were released do not include precise figures, and the survey was not scientific.

Meanwhile, many more people said they sometimes or never keep dogs leashed while using the trails in the winter than said they always keep their dogs leashed while on the trails in the winter.

The most people said they always clean up their dog’s waste on or off a trail, compared to the few people who indicated they never clean up the waste.

The survey found that more people accessed trails in the winter from the Round Valley Way trailhead than from any other spot. The second-place location was the Quinn’s Junction trailhead. Other places that registered included the Old Ranch Road trailhead a trailhead in the Cove neighborhood and the White Pine Touring Center, the location of the cross-country skiing track on the Park City Golf Course.

"Nothing really surprised me," said Heinrich Deters who coordinates City Hall’s trails program. "A lot of people moved here for open space, trails, recreation, skiing."

The survey drew responses from 864 people, according to a report Deters submitted to Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council. The survey was taken between Jan. 11 and Jan. 31 and was posted on City Hall’s website and the website of Mountain Trails Foundation, a not-for-profit group involved in the area’s trails system.

The results were made public at about the same time as there being an unexpected round of statements about the wintertime trails that showed the issue to be highly charged, with disputes reportedly occurring in Round Valley between dog owners and people without dogs.

Leash laws are in effect throughout Summit County, including on trails, but they are regularly ignored across Park City.

Some of the other results of the survey included:

  • More people said they use trails in the winter for cross-country skiing than any other activity. The second-place activity was walking or snowshoeing. Third place went to trail running, while riding bikes in the snow also registered.
  • More people said they use the trails in the winter three or four days each week than any other frequency. One or two days was second while five or six days was third. Everyday was the last-place choice.
  • More people said the trails system in the winter was "essential" to them than any other option. The No. 2 option was "important." Very few people said the wintertime trails were "somewhat important" to them.
  • A nearly equal number of people rated the condition of the wintertime trails as being excellent or very good. Few people selected fair or poor.
  • A majority of people said they normally drive to trailheads, while the second-place response was walking.

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