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Enforcement of the Leash Law

posted Aug 6, 2011, 2:41 PM by michele biscoe   [ updated Aug 7, 2011, 2:44 AM ]
We are tracking reports of incidents of enforcement of the regulation that dogs be on-leash at the Fells. So far we know of eight incidents. Five are first-hand accounts, where the person describing the incident had the encounter with law enforcement him- or herself. Three are second hand accounts, where the person describing the incident heard about it from someone else.

Two tickets have been issued.  We have a first-hand account from a person who got a $50 ticket on the Winchester reservoir lands. We have a second-hand account a person who received a ticket, but we do not know where the incident happened. The person who received the ticket allegedly got an apology from someone at the DCR. We do not know if the ticket was dismissed.

Please see our google spreadsheet of dog owners' encounters with law enforcement at the Fells. We hope this information helps to reassure people with dogs about visiting the Fells.  As long as you stay away from the Winchester reservoir lands (the trails around North, Middle and South Reservoirs), you should be fine.  Note: The Winchester reservoir lands are NOT controlled by the DCR, but rather by the Town of Winchester; the town does not allow any public recreational access on its reservoir lands (though there is a community initiative to open the reservoir lands for public recreational access).

Remember, according to the Acting Commissioner of the DCR, we were supposed to be allowed to have our dogs off-leash at sheepfold beginning in Spring 2011.  If you encounter Park Rangers or State Police at Sheepfold, respectfully ask them to enforce the leash law elsewhere.  For more information see the previous post, "Rangers Enforcing the Leash Law At Sheepfold: Go ELSEWHERE".

If you have information about other incidents, please tell us using this form: