Conservation Commission: Briony Agus (Chair), Todd Walker, Elizabeth Hamin, Harvey Allen, Paris Boice, Christiane Healey
Amherst's burgeoning canine population may not jump for joy, but they will still wag their tails over tonight's 4-3 vote of the seven member Conservation Commission to maintain the current policy of allowing dogs off leash at Mill River and Amethyst Brook recreation areas for another three months--a time of peak activity for dogs and their owners--from dawn until 10:00 AM seven days a week
The vote to make the policy permanent failed by 3-4 but by most measures the six-month trial period has been a success, with dog owners taking more responsibility for keeping their pets under control and runners, walkers,bikers and nearby permanent residents also learning to respectfully coexist with an influx of exuberant four legged guests.
Dog Officer Carol Hepburn advocates for unrestricted off leash time but better education (for the dogs and owners)
Like student party houses it's the well publicized outlier incidents perpetrated by an irresponsible minority that give the responsible vast majority a bad reputation.
25 Amherst residents showed up, the majority of them dog lovers