Saturday's weather was quite warm, and - as I made my rounds of the property - I came across several people who were walking their dogs off-leash. Each person that I encountered got the same message: please put your dog on its leash, and please come back when you want to follow the rules. The rules are - again - very simple: dogs must be on leash. Saginaw Forest is not a dog park. Saginaw Forest is not public lands. Saginaw Forest is a research facility of the University of Michigan. As such, failing to follow the rules of use of the land owner constitutes a failure to follow the law.
Even if it were public lands, state law requires that dogs be on leash in public unless they are working dogs. However, the only kind of dog that can be "working" in Saginaw Forest by visitors is a guide dog, which - by necessity - must be on its lead.
Again, if people do not like the rule (or the law that supports the right of the landowner to set the rules of use for the property), then they can make complaints to the appropriate people. However, the fact remains that if you are not following the rules, then you will be informed that you will be welcome to return to the forest once you care to follow the rules, but that until that time, you must leave.
If your dog does not like walking on leash (or you don't like walking your dog on leash), and you don't want to get angry at being informed you that you are breaking the law, then don't bring your dog to Saginaw Forest and let it off its leash.
Use of the Forest
Public use of Saginaw Forest is encouraged. Rules for the public's use include (but are not limited to):
- No parking in front of the access gate.
- Public use hours are from 6am to 6pm only; no camping on the site!
- No vehicles or bicycles are permitted on the site except those for approved research and teaching use (bike parking available at the main gate).
- Dogs with owners are welcome to visit, but they must be on a leash. (Also see here.)
- Dog owners must carry out all pet waste; please bring your own doggie bag to do so.
- No cutting or collecting of plant material; no hunting or harming vertebrates (this includes no fishing).
- No smoking.