Patrick Murphy

(CLICK HERE for the >> Feb. 4, 2002 << presentations, articles in the paper, my arrest, and Court Case)

I have had three dogs in my life (click here for more about them, and letters in the Boulder Camera)  and I love dogs.  There seems to be a belief that it is impossible to simultaneously love dogs and be aware of their negative impacts. The negative impacts of dogs cannot be ignored and must be documented and mitigated.  I believe that dogs off-leash in high utilization native areas is destructive, non-passive recreation.  The accumulation of dog excrement, damage to vegetation and promotion of weed invasion, and the negative impacts on people and wildlife that are sensitive to dogs, make dog off-leash areas incompatible with more heavily utilized wildland management areas.  Dog parks are the only place where dogs off-leash should be allowed on high utilization public lands.  These parks are an excellent alternative, but will require considerable maintenance. 

Impacts-  (Scroll down for more information)    

                 poopdog.gif (12756 bytes) peedog.gif (24879 bytes)
                                  moose6_19809.gif (10672 bytes) moose6_10795.gif (10654 bytes)

I apologize for the many broken links below.  I should have saved the pages to my own web site then linked to them. 


I have prepared a more formal listing of references related to dog impacts with many articles available as Adobe .pdf files that are on my own web site so they won't disappear.  Click here for these extensive references


Dog excrement:
Boulder GPS surveyed dog poop: Note that trash cans, plastic bags, and informational signage are available at both locations.
-Sanitas Valley - Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks
-Casey Middle School near downtown Boulder

Boulder (October 2, 1999) (April 15, 2001)   There are many, many more and I will compile them over time.

North Warwickshire Borough, UK

MY Crap Rap - Humor is also part of the solution.
Water Quality:
Urban Watersheds - Microbes-concentrations, Sources, Pathways
North Virginia
Boulder (ours is bad)

Air Quality:
Mexico City (I don't think ours could ever get this bad, but it IS an aspect of the problem!)

Vegetation destruction:

Berkeley, CA

Same Problems Elsewhere
Arcata, California
Santa Monica, California
Anchorage, Alaska
Australia - This is the most in-depth and balanced study I have seen.
The following is an excerpt from this comprehensive assessment.

6.1.3 Banning dogs from parks

Leather (1994) points out that dog bans are spreading in Europe because of enforcement difficulties and because of lack of co-operation from dogs owners in acknowledging their responsibilities. The same trend would seem to be occurring here, although unevenly. It is this response which is of most concern - not if it is imposed with good reason in a particular park - but if it is imposed in all or most of the public spaces available at the local level or if it is imposed for no apparent good reason.

Leather, K. L. (1994) 'Legislation for Urban Animal Management : Experience in the Formulation and Implementation of Scoop Law' in Paxton, D.W (ed.) Urban Animal Management, Proceedings of the Third National Conference on Urban Animal Management in Australia, Canberra, 1994, Australian Veterinary Association

moose6_19809.gif (10672 bytes) moose6_10795.gif (10654 bytes)

  Definition of Ecotone - a transition zone between two ecological communities usually exhibiting competition between organisms common to both.  In terms of biological communities, these "in between" areas are typically the most productive and diverse zones on the landscape.