I'm not sure what people think when they hear that there's a sled dog race in a local forest or park. There seems to be a lot of concern about the damage and wear and tear that might occur. Sometimes it's very difficult to get permits to use certain areas, and some race organizers have to talk fast to get rangers to listen.
One of the big concerns is that the dogs will be able to interfere with local wildlife. Of course, anyone who thinks about the logistics of having approximately 110-150 large dogs in an unfenced camp site will quickly realize that noone is letting these dogs roam loose to pick off birds or small animals. Especially since most of these breeds are well known for having no recall and many are territorial about their pack and their piece of campsite. In fact, any dog that gets free of its berth/dog box/crate/stake out/drop line/gang line/leash is immediately followed by a cry of "Loose dog! Loose dog!" Everyone drops whatever they're doing and rushes to grab or coax the dog to within catching range. To the sled dog racing community, a loose dog is an invitation to have a dog fight or a lost dog. No thanks!
At the end of this weekend's race meet at the You Yangs, this was what the camping area looked like:
In this first pic alone, we had at least five small camps. Each camp had a car, a tent or trailer or both, cooking equipment, food storage and one to three dogs. And at the end of the weekend, there's not one single pile of dog poo, piece of rubbish, damage to trees and any other thing.
This photo shows a spot that held a camp that included a fire, and there are no smoking remains, piles of ashes or left over stacks of wood. All traces have been cleaned up.
J and I counted 50-60 people at the You Yangs this weekend (and I'm sure we missed some!) and at least 110 dogs. And at the end of the weekend, the tents, trailers and cars are gone, taking away the people and dogs, the portaloos, the rubbish, the fire drums, the scooters and rigs. Hopefully, this is all that was left behind!