On a recent Saturday, I was hiking alone in the University of Michigan's Stinchfield Woods (in Dexter Township) when I was suddenly accosted and surrounded by four large unleashed dogs. No owners were within my sight or hearing. The dogs encircled me so closely I had to stop walking. It wasn’t until I yelled at them to “go away” that a female voice (still not within my sight) called to them.This has been a problem in Saginaw Forest as well. Regardless of what dog owner-users of Stinchfield Woods, Saginaw Forest, or the Nichols Arboretum might think about what the rules of use in these University of Michigan properties actually are, all dogs must be kept on leashes (ignoring signs doesn't mean they don't exist). If the caretaker or anyone else asks dog-walkers to put their dogs on a leash, then that should be done.
I'm sorry if you feel different about your dog or your abilities to control your dog. However, rules is rules. You would expect guests to follow your rules when they visit your property, please do the same here and at other University of Michigan properties. If you do not like the rules, then you can always choose not to use the facility.
Counter to what some people have said about places where they walk their dogs, Saginaw Forest is a research facility, not some "rural" or "woods" area. Dogs off-leash cannot be guaranteed to not become enmeshed in areas used for research.
No, I don't hate dogs. However, I am in charge of enforcing the rules, and these include the "All dogs must be on leashes" rule. It's not personal. If I see your dog off a leash, you will be told that it must be put on leash and asked to leave. If you don't like to be informed that you are breaking the rules, then don't break the rules. It's that simple. If you choose not to put your dog on a leash after you have been asked to do so, then DPS will be called.