As president of Friends of the Arcata Marsh (FOAM), I'd like to thank Ryan Burns for writing about the importance (and legality) of keeping one's dog leashed at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary ("Doggy Days," May 17). In fact, FOAM felt so strongly about the issue that we applied for and obtained a grant from a Humboldt Area Foundation fund to print a brochure titled "Humboldt's Dog-Friendly Areas" earlier this year.
The heart of the brochure is a list of areas -- managed by federal, county, city and nonprofit entities -- where it is legal for dogs to be off-leash in Humboldt County. The publication also explains the effect that loose dogs can have on sensitive wildlife and how their feces can negatively impact water quality.
This solution-oriented brochure offers "a carrot, not a stick" approach, by informing dog owners
about alternative locations to the marsh where it is legal to have their dogs off-leash. Readers can obtain a free copy from the marsh Interpretive Center, Arcata City Hall, informational kiosks of agencies and groups listed, dog-related businesses (e.g., pet stores, veterinarians, groomers), the City of Arcata's website (www.cityofarcata.org, type "Dog brochure" in the search field), and soon at FOAM's website, www.arcatamarshfriends.org.
Sue Leskiw, Eureka
Ryan Burns' article "Doggy Days" was cute and informative but did not address a major doggy problem that many residents of Humboldt County endure on a daily basis; nuisance barking! The Journal should do one of its great investigative reports looking at nuisance barking in the county, including unincorporated McKinleyville. You might find it's a significant problem and that county Animal Control, at the direction of the Board of Supervisors, has all but abdicated its authority to effectively address this issue. In other words, the action level for addressing barking as a public nuisance is set so high that action is rarely if ever taken. The only other remedy, besides enduring or moving, is to file a civil suit against your recalcitrant neighbor. However, this is only an option if you can find a lawyer who will take your case. Good luck. ?The afflicted can find basic background on this issue at the website BarkingDogs.net (http://www.barkingdogs.net/barkinglaws.shtml). Hope can be found by reviewing ordinances enforced by some of the more progressive jurisdictions such as Mariposa County or the cities of Pasadena or Costa Mesa, where nuisance barking is not tolerated, period.
Attu Ritsch, McKinleyville