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Oh Where, oh Where Can Off-Leash Dogs Go? And Why, oh Why Can’t I Park When There’s No Snow?

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I live year-round at the east end of Donner Lake. I am so very sad and disheartened to learn that the state park that has always “looked the other way” at off-leash dogs at the east end beach is now heavily enforcing the law, and beginning to write citations. I realize we’ve been lucky, but I’m missing this outlet, especially the socialization aspect for my dog.

At California State Parks our goal is to fulfill our mission to protect resources as well as the public. Part of the resources we are charged to protect are that of animals. When dogs or other animals are introduced into an area, it can change the ecosystem of any species that are in the area. Dogs can be predatory animals and not only chase wildlife, but often can disrupt the peace of visitors to the parks. Obviously, not all dogs are this way, however we have to account for those that are.

When it comes to the enforcement of these laws, there are several factors that affect how and when we can enforce. A couple of those are staffing levels and the vast area that we cover. When contact is made concerning a dog off leash or in a prohibited area, it is up to each individual ranger to determine the level of recourse. These levels can be as simple as a verbal warning with quick action to correct the violation, or a citation to appear in court for the violation.

I hope this has provided an answer, however if you need anything further, please feel free to contact me at

~ Brad Cheshire, supervising state park ranger for the Donner Lake/North Tahoe area

Why aren’t we allowed to park on the road during winter, even when there is no snow in the forecast?

It is necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of the people that Town streets and right-of-ways be kept clear of snow and other obstructions during the snow season…

I believe the intent of our municipal code is clear: the overall safety and welfare of the traveling public in the Town of Truckee. The question becomes, when does the Truckee Police Department enforce these parking restrictions and under what authority?  

Truckee Police employees are expected to use sound judgement regarding police enforcement action. Rather than following the letter of the law, we have the ability to exercise discretion, and we expect our officers to use sound judgement given the facts presented before them. The discretion related to this issue can consist of no action, a verbal warning, a parking citation, or vehicle towing.

As we begin the New Year in an extremely dry weather trend, it would seem inappropriate to currently enforce this regulation. However, each situation is different and it’s handled on a case-by-case basis. When a storm is projected it’s the police department’s duty to take the necessary steps to prepare our roadways for efficient and unobstructed snow clearing.  

When snow has accumulated and snow berms begin to increase, the Truckee Police Department employs a more aggressive approach to parking violations during the identified snow season. Enforcing these types of violations leads to fewer vehicles damaged by snow removal equipment and allows public works to be able to clear town roadways quickly and efficiently.

~ Sergeant Danny Renfrow, Truckee Police Department

Editors Note: Moonshine Ink checked with Placer County as well and the answer is essentially the same, regarding ordinance guidelines and relative flexibility in enforcement.

“Our first approach is almost always to educate about the rules, typically favoring warnings over citations whenever it’s appropriate. During those times when the roads and forecast are clear for days, citations aren’t usually our first option,” wrote Kevin Taber, Placer County roads manager (known as King of the Road).  

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January 10, 2019