Editor, Index-Tribune:

I want to thank Lisa Summers for a well-informed Op-Ed piece on June 13. As a Montini Preserve volunteer, it has been great to see the removal of trash and litter and the establishment of well-thought-out trails. I look forward to this special place being open to the public, but as a volunteer I don’t want to be a “dog cop” telling people to get their dog on a leash.

People commonly have their dogs off-leash at the athletic field behind the high school. They even have their off-leash dogs on the fenced-in track. This is where runners go specifically to avoid distractions like potholes, traffic and dogs, so they can focus on form and speed. The off-leash dogs happen despite well-posted signs. When I have tried to be the “dog cop” and inform people of the rules, it has never been well received, so I finally gave up.

The idea that people will keep their dogs on leashes in Montini is just not realistic, based on behavior I have repeatedly observed. Perhaps a compromise is to use the part of Montini that is between the paved road that goes to the water tanks and the baseball fields. This could be fenced as a dog run, which would be much larger than the small dog run near by, allowing dogs a proper workout without impacting the preserve and its’ ecosystem. This is a solution that will honor the intent of the preserve, but avoid the degradation and confrontation that will occur if dogs are allowed in the preserve.

David A Cain, DDS, MSD