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Thread: No, pet dogs are not allowed in Baxter State Park.

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  1. #1
    Senior Member TJ aka Teej's Avatar
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    No, pet dogs are not allowed in Baxter State Park.

    Just want to clear something up regarding recent social media posts and photos of a hiker and her dog on Baxter Peak. Only service dogs are allowed in the Park, There is no "interview process," no "applying", no "special exception," no "legitimate reason." Either the dog is a service animal, or not. Pets are not allowed.
    Pick up your feet!

  2. #2
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    BTW Maine along with several other states have false service dog laws that have been enacted. Here is the master list https://www.animallaw.info/topic/tab...ce-animal-laws

    Below is a cut and paste of the Maine law. I expect the BSP staff have received training on the legally allowable questions to determine the status."When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform."

    Fraudulent Representation

    A person who fits a dog with a harness, collar, vest or sign of the type commonly used by blind/disabled person in order to represent that the dog is a service dog when training of the type that guide dogs normally receive has not been provided or when the dog does not meet the definition of “service dog” commits a civil violation for which a fine of not more than $500 may be adjudged.

    17 M. R. S. A. 1314-A


    I will let the lawyers figure it out. I expect more than few folks confuse the Emotional Support Animal designation that the airlines allow with Service Animals.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Her dog is a registered Service dog. He can also fly on planes.

  4. #4
    Senior Member TJ aka Teej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    Her dog is a registered Service dog.
    No 'interview process', no 'tenacity', no 'applying' for 'special exception,' needed for service dogs to enter Baxter.
    Service dogs are allowed. Pets are not.
    Pick up your feet!

  5. #5
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    No 'interview process', no 'tenacity', no 'applying' for 'special exception,' needed for service dogs to enter Baxter.
    Service dogs are allowed. Pets are not.
    What is your point on this. Is it the fact that she got her dog in there?

  6. #6
    Senior Member TJ aka Teej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    What is your point on this.
    See the OP.
    Pick up your feet!

  7. #7
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Yeah, I saw that. I'm glad she hiked with her dog. I guess, I'm not really concerned with how.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    Only service dogs are allowed in the Park, There is no "interview process," no "applying", no "special exception," no "legitimate reason." Either the dog is a service animal, or not. Pets are not allowed.
    This issue is actually a significant problem for the Park. Several times a week in the summer folks arrive at the gate claiming that Fluffy is really a service / therapy dog, when in fact the dog is nothing more than the family pet. The lack of certification, Internet availability of fake credentials and service dog-collars, and cost to board an animal while on vacation all feed into this deception.

    Then there is the really gray area known as the "therapy" dog. This designation seems to be at the owners discretion any time its convenient.

    Some folks even try to hide a dog under blankets to get one into the park. Rangers working the gate look hard to detect the presence of a dog.

    When I worked there last year Park security would chase down folks who let dogs off-leash after they gained entrance to the park. Not something you ever do with a working service dog.

    All in all a pathetic abuse of a privilege aimed at the "challenged" population. But if the able-bodied use a handicapped ruse to go to the head of the line at Disneyworld, and Granny's handicapped placard to score the best parking space a the mall, I suppose we should not be surprised they lie at Togue Pond gate.

    May their karma catch up with them...

    cb

    Check this out for a rare example of justice served to a faker.
    Last edited by ChrisB; 07-01-2017 at 08:42 AM.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member TJ aka Teej's Avatar
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    ... with my pup, Cole.... I was lucky enough to apply, beg and pass an interview process that allowed him into Baxter State Park.
    Again, there is no "interview process" to "apply" for. No amount of "begging" will change policy.
    Service dogs are allowed.
    Pets are not.
    Pick up your feet!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Hillwalker's Avatar
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    Shifty eyes?

  11. #11
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    This thread has done me one favor. It has reminded me why, I don't go there. Uptight and over regulated to the point of nauseam.

  12. #12
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    This thread has done me one favor. It has reminded me why, I don't go there. Uptight and over regulated to the point of nauseam.
    I didn't feel that way when I went for the first time last year and despite all the rules I didn't feel like I was being hassled at all. I thought the park staff was very friendly. I appreciate that there are places left in the country where a concerted effort is made to maintain the overall experience of the area without the pressures of budgeting, politics and the whims of the moment. Staying true to a mission statement made many years ago I find quite admirable actually. It takes more planning and isn't as carefree as NH but the experience is worth it in my opinion. Baxter had a decidedly different feel to it than anywhere else I've gone in NH or NY. I thought Baxter had a good balance of regulation versus personal enjoyment. If every single park was like this maybe I'd have different feelings.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

  13. #13
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    I didn't feel that way when I went for the first time last year and despite all the rules I didn't feel like I was being hassled at all. I thought the park staff was very friendly. I appreciate that there are places left in the country where a concerted effort is made to maintain the overall experience of the area without the pressures of budgeting, politics and the whims of the moment. Staying true to a mission statement made many years ago I find quite admirable actually. It takes more planning and isn't as carefree as NH but the experience is worth it in my opinion. Baxter had a decidedly different feel to it than anywhere else I've gone in NH or NY. I thought Baxter had a good balance of regulation versus personal enjoyment. If every single park was like this maybe I'd have different feelings.
    I understand the premise and the mission to uphold that. I've been once and climbed what I wanted to climb. That being said, I prefer places less regulated. Maybe my taste for the park results in regulations from years gone by. I went to solo the peak in the winter years ago and was flatly denied access. That did it for me. It's no big deal, frankly I just don't need to go back. And I would never go without my dog.

  14. #14
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    I understand the premise and the mission to uphold that. I've been once and climbed what I wanted to climb. That being said, I prefer places less regulated.
    Sierra,

    For me regulation is a double-edged sword: It can enhance and improve the outdoor experience. It can get in the way of my plans, goals and aspirations.

    In Baxter's case, I've come to appreciate their effort to provide a quality outdoor experience by firmly setting limits. The latest example is a permit system that tries to manage the increasing number (3,000+) of AT hikers and the impact they have on "regular" folks climbing Baxter Peak. Trail head parking limits are another example.

    On the other hand, I think park management has relaxed regulation of winter use significantly. Fat tire bikes are now OK on some trails and roads, No more mandatory gear inspection-ranger consultations, and rolling reservation system makes it easier to get in and do cool stuff. Technical climbing is a hell of a lot easier to than it used to be also.

    Present park management is allocating significant resources to trail work (Abol, Northern Peaks, Traveler Loop) and infrastructure projects (bridges, culverts, cabins) rather than letting the park revert to a "wild" condition as was previously the caae.

    Two unique facts about Baxter are:

    1. It gets NO funding from the State of Maine. It lives and dies according to the fees it collects and the management of its endowment.

    2. It prioritizes indigenous wildlife and flora ahead of human visitors when making short- and long-term management decisions.

    While I occasionally get aggravated over some administrivia the park imposes, I'm glad it's not the free-for-all I see in most other New England outdoor venues.

    Occasionally inconvenient, but always immensely rewarding; It's a trade off I gladly accept.

    cb

    NOTE: StinkyFeet - My sincere apologies if I misread your post containing quotes. My dumb!
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    If you have the ability to go out west or abroad, it's great. If you are mostly bound to staying in the east, my experience is that there is Katahdin and there is every other peak. Mitchell and Clingman or Guyot have views because of cliffs or towers. Some of the regulation helps keep it special. There is plenty of local wildlife that might be impacted by a pet let loose OR impact your pet and campsite if that wildlife chases your pet back to you and your site.

    Daytrip mentioned that there seems to be a lot of vitriol regarding the topic. I've learned long ago to avoid dog discussions. Dogs are great, owners/partners are people and there are all kinds of people...........
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

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