Dogs on LTC Preserves and Reserves
All LTC land is managed with conservation values, such as wildlife habitat and watershed protection, in mind. These values must be balanced with human uses. Dog walking is only one of many activities people enjoy on our nature preserves. Having dogs off-leash is not only harmful to our conservation values, it makes our preserves less welcoming to other users. Off-leash dog use is keeping some would-be preserve users away!
It is easy to think that you’re all alone in the woods in northern Michigan, but our preserves see a lot of usage. Especially in places closer to town, like the Allan and Virginia McCune and Bubbling Springs nature preserves, there are conflicts between dogs who are off-leash and other preserve users. Sometimes these dogs approach people and frighten them, even if they’re just running up to them with happily wagging tails. As dog owners, we may have a hard time imagining someone else being frightened of our dogs. We need to remember that when faced with a strange dog not under a person’s direct control, many people see dogs as unpredictable and threatening, regardless of how small, cute, or friendly they may be.