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Support preservation–based land use policies at Montini Preserve by NOT allowing dogs.

This petition had 47 supporters


The Sonoma Overlook Trail (SOT) serves as a sanctuary for both people and wildlife from the pressures of an increasingly dense urban area where residents and visitors alike can enjoy peace and tranquility of the SOT's meandering loop through oak woodlands, mixed evergreen forests and the oldest operating cemetery in California.  Since its inception, The SOT, along with the adjacent Mountain Cemetery and Field of Dreams, have successfully maintained a dog-free trails policy. By allowing dogs on the Montini Preserve - which will connect to the Overlook Trail and the Mountain Cemetery - different sets of rules will cause confusion and lead to non-compliance issues on the SOT. Consistent use for these adjacent public lands will streamline future management, signage and enforcement and preserve the no-dog rules of existing city properties.  

Environmental education programs for school children, interpretive hikes, trail work days, and nature observation are intuitively incompatible uses with dogs on the trail. In addition to risks and liabilities posed by narrowly built trails intended for single file hikers and the presence of poison oak and rattlesnakes during peak hiking season, local park managers report dog waste management and off-leash violations as a growing problem in parks and open spaces in the Valley. Despite proper signage, disposable bags and trash receptacles, the accumulation of dog waste is not only unpleasant and unsightly but creates adverse conditions in creeks and streams for aquatic animals, especially during periods of low water. 

At present, dog owners have many alternative locations to choose from close by: Bartholomew Park, Sonoma Valley Regional Park in Glen Ellen, the Nathanson Creek trail, Fryer Creek trail and the Sonoma Bike Path which links to the Maxwell Regional Park. 

Prohibiting dogs at Montini will not only improve habitat for wildlife and sensitive plant communities, but will also ensure that the hard work of the many dedicated stewards, educators, and volunteers is not compromised. For the these reasons and more, a dog-free trails policy at Montini is supported by the Sonoma Overlook Trail Stewards, the Sonoma Ecology Center, Sonoma County Regional Parks and California State Parks. 



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Sonoma Overlook Trail Stewards needs your help with “Sonoma City Council - David Cook Mayor: Support preservation–based land use policies at Montini Preserve by NOT allowing dogs.”. Join Sonoma Overlook Trail and 46 supporters today.