“Golden Ears. Everybody and their dog goes there” : an investigation of park user perceptions of dogs in Golden Ears Provincial Park
LaPointe, Daris Elise
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In British Columbia, dogs (Canis familiaris) have become part of many households and are often seen as friends or family. This affection has people often choosing to take their dogs with them on vacations and adventures. Like any other park user, when a dog uses Golden Ears Provincial Park, it has impacts. Using online surveys and key informant interviews, I investigated park user perceptions of dogs in Golden Ears Provincial Park. Of the park users surveyed, a majority agreed that there is a place for dogs in Golden Ears Provincial Park, and over half of the respondents, owned a dog. The findings of this survey suggest that the public supports dogs being allowed in Golden Ears Parks. However, park managers have concerns about dogs in parks but responded that these concerns could be managed through best practices which included careful planning and clear and concise signage and enforcement. Survey respondents agreed that dogs should be managed in parks, and a majority agreed that owners who violate rules should be ticketed. Furthermore, most respondents said that they would comply with a domestic animal policy if a sign were posted, and almost all of them would comply if they were told to by a park officer.
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