Off-leash trails needed in Fort Langley

Editor: I live in Walnut Grove and walk my dog in my neighbourhood, which includes taking him off-leash in the trails in North Langley.  I want these trails designated as off-leash areas so I do not have to experience confrontations with Metro Vancouver’s aggressive rangers.

I talk to many dog owners every day who also want off-leash trails, so they can take their dogs on walks peacefully and lawfully.  Many dog owners frequently complain about the off-leash restrictions and the aggressiveness of Metro Vancouver’s rangers in harassing us dog owners.

These regulations are unreasonable and because they are, we will continue to use the trails as off-leash areas. It has been suggested that Aldergrove Lake Park could be designated as an off-leash trail area, however, it is incredibly unreasonable to expect me to drive over 50 km (25 km each way) to exercise my dog every day of the week, after working and commuting for eight to nine hours.

As I said above, many dog owners will continue to use the trails, parks and schools within my neighbourhood, even if these unreasonable bylaws continue to exist.

It is important to remember that these trails belong to the residents of the Township and we, the residents, should be determining the regulations for use. We are the voters and taxpayers, and this makes us the most prominent stakeholder.

There are probably over 20,000 dog owners in Langley who are being adversely affected by archaic bylaws and regulations from Langley Township and Metro Vancouver.  If all other municipalities can provide off-leash trails to dog owners, there is no reason the same can’t be done for Langley residents. There is always a way to accommodate all groups and create a win-win situation.

There is an election coming up in November 2011, and we will be watching and making note of which councillors represent our interests and which ones abstain from representing us, their constituents. Then we will communicate these notations to the many dog groups within Langley, so all of them are apprised of who represented their interests.

Jane Whitehead,

Langley

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