No dogs in Boucher Forest?
Recently, I became aware of a working document, Niveau de sevice aux gardiens de chiens, tabled at the Municipal Plenary Council, April 3rd. It proposes that dogs be banned from the Boucher Forest Park.
During winter months, the Boucher Forest is frequented by the many visitors to the adjacent Lavigne Canine Park, most members of the Aylmer Canine Association. Official membership of the Aylmer Canine Association is over a thousand and it is estimated that actual dog walkers within Lavigne Park and the Boucher Forest, triples registered members. While the majority are from Aylmer and Hull, there are many from all of Gatineau’s sectors.
Every year or so, the dissenting voices of a few, and/or the interests of developers, attempt to block the dog walkers who depend on Boucher Forest to exercise themselves and their canine companions. Dog owners are law-abiding taxpayers, yet do not have access to Gatineau Park and most city parks. Non dog owners might wonder why we cannot be content to remain with Lavigne Park. Well, Canine Park Lavigne is basically an 800-metre track that during the winter exposes dog walkers to wind and cold and offers little of an ascetic walk within nature as does Boucher Forest.
During winter, rarely is anyone inside Boucher Forest other than dog walkers. Dog walkers ensure the trails there remain accessible, and offer security to anyone injured or lost.
I hope my city councillor, Audrey Bureau, will stand up for the rights of her dog owner constituents who frequent the Forest and encourage her fellow councillors to do likewise.
Please do not permit the interests of a few to disenfranchise frequent users of the Forest. We are an important part of the community and should not be forced to cross the river to Conroy and Bruce Pit to walk our dogs off-leash within a natural environment.