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New Rules and Regulations for State Parks

posted Jan 7, 2013, 1:57 PM by michele biscoe
The Coalition of Massachusetts Dog Groups (MassDOG) discusses four proposed changes to the rules and regulations at parks across the Commonwealth that are managed by the state's Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) that will impact the way that we enjoy our state parks:  
  1. Prohibiting dogs on all state beaches from from April 1 through September 30;
  2. Establishing a "leash law" in state forests outside of greater Boston where voice control has been the longstanding customary use;
  3. Requiring commercial dog walkers--defined as "any person who receives compensation for walking one or more dogs"--to obtain and display a special use permit; and
  4. Empower the DCR to designate areas where dogs are allowed off-leash.
These proposed changes are incorporated in the draft revision of chapter 302 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations, section 12 (302 CMR 12.00) "Parks and Recreation Rules", which will supersede existing regulations 350 CMR 2.00, 350 CMR 12.00, and 304 CMR 12.00 and establish a consistent (read: cookie-cutter) policy for all the different properties across the state that were formerly managed by the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) and the Division of Environmental Management (DEM).  (Note: Governor Mitt Romney merged the MDC and the DEM to form the DCR.)

The DCR is holding a public meeting on the proposed regulations on Thursday, January 10, 2013, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Ponkapoag Golf Course, 2167 Washington Street, Canton, MA.

Following the public meeting, there will be a formal hearing process, including statewide public hearings and a public comment period, to be conducted early this year.  Additional information is available from the DCR.