Petition Closed
Petitioning Town of Middleton Board of Supervisors

No Dogs at Pope Farm & Goth Conservancies: Keep dogs out of sensitive bird breeding habitat!


Pope Farm Conservancy is an educational conservancy with over 1,000 visits a year from school children.  It's an extraordinary place where kids can still roll in the grass and people can walk barefoot on the trails.  Sunflowers, sand hill cranes, and sunsets will meet you along the way.  It has become a tranquil place where you can listen to the quietness, reflect in its beauty and learn something along the way! Today, some of our neighbors want to remove restrictions on dogs in Pope Farm and Goth Conservancies.  We think that's a bad idea. We need your help to let the Town of Middleton Board of Supervisors know how important it is for these conservancies to remain dog-free zones. 

~ Mel Pope

Once park rules are changed to allow dog-walking on-leash, you can expect the number of off-leash pets to rise. This would be a potential threat to the grassland birds that nest at Pope Farm. Some pet owners simply cannot resist the temptation and allow their dogs to run off-leash once they're away from trail entrances. I've seen it too many times. Rule compliance issues have been a documented fact at Pheasant Branch Conservancy over the past decade. It's become such a problem that Dane County Parks posted new signs just this year threatening to close the park to dog-walking if irresponsible pet owners continue to allow their animals to run off-leash. Nip this in the bud and keep the "No Dogs" rule at Pope Farm Conservancy!

~ Mike McDowell

Letter to
Town of Middleton Board of Supervisors
For over six years, dogs on leash were allowed in Pope Farm and Goth Parks. Unfortunately geography and line of sight issues in these parks rendered the leash law unenforceable. The damage done by dog owners violating the leash law resulted in damage to wildlife habitat and nesting areas, and resulted in many complaints from park users. You, the Board of Supervisors took action to correct this in 2006, and prohibited dogs in these environmentally sensitive areas. Since that occurred, these parks have been upgraded to conservancy level. Usage has increased, and there has been a great surge in wildlife. By signing this petition I ask that you continue to protect these two pristine conservancies by maintaining the prohibition against dog use.