Voice and Sight Tag Program Monitoring
Attention dog guardians: Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, all participants in the Voice and Sight Tag Program will need to comply with new requirements and obtain a 2015 Voice and Sight Tag to continue to use voice and sight privileges. Learn about the 2015 Voice and Sight Tag Program.
Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) began the Voice and Sight Tag (Tag) Program in the summer of 2006. The program’s goal was to increase compliance with voice and sight control laws and decrease the potential for dog-related conflicts. Monitoring was conducted before, one year after, and then again four years after the program’s launch. The Voice and Sight Tag Program Monitoring Report (Dec. 2011) documents the results of the monitoring study.
The Boulder City Council approved changes to the Tag Program in May of 2014 to ensure that Boulder trails remain a safe and enjoyable destination for visitors and their dogs while also protecting natural resources and wildlife. The changes go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015. Details about the program changes are available on the OSMP Website at www.voiceandsight.org.
Monitoring Changes to the Tag Program
Coinciding with the launch of the revised Tag Program, monitoring will be conducted before, shortly after, and then again several years after implementing the changes. The monitoring methods were revised after the completion of a review of the initial monitoring protocols by staff, public feedback, and recommendations from the Open Space Board of Trustees. The monitoring methods have been reviewed by external subject area experts including staff from the National Park Service and local dog training and behavior experts.
Monitoring has been designed to inform staff, community members, and elected and appointed officials about how well changes to the Tag Program have achieved intended outcomes. The Tag Program monitoring consists of three components:
- Compliance with voice and sight control regulations.
- Interviews with guardians to determine if they have a leash.
- Compliance with year-round and seasonal on-leash trail regulations.
Additional details on the data to be collected is available in the Voice and Sight Tag Program Monitoring Protocol Summary . This information will be useful to help OSMP staff make recommendations about what is working, what is not, and share ideas about how to improve the situation so visitors can continue to enjoy a high quality experience while open space resources are protected.
Monitoring of Dog Excrement Removal by Dog Guardians
The failure of some dog guardians to remove dog excrement remains a factor degrading the quality of visitors’ experiences on OSMP lands. Staff is committed to on-going efforts to improve the situation. The deployment of staff for the Tag Program monitoring represents an opportunity to collect information about the proportion of visitors that comply with existing regulations at no additional cost to the community. Consequently, at the same time the Tag Program monitoring is underway, staff will also be making observations and gathering information about the rates of excrement removal.
Baseline Monitoring Results: 2014
The current project was conducted in 2014 (before), and is also scheduled to be repeated in 2016 (soon after) and in 2018 (2 years after) implementation of Tag Program enhancements. The complete results from the first-year monitoring, representing baseline conditions prior to the enhancements, are included in this interim report . A shorter, first-year executive summary is available and additional details on the methodology used for this project are available in the monitoring protocol . A summary of first-year results was presented as an update at the July 8, 2015 Open Space Board of Trustees meeting.