Complaints led to dog ban |

Complaints led to dog ban

Andy Bourelle

Dogs, dogs, go away.

If not, dog owners, you’ll have to pay.

Lifetime South Lake Tahoe resident Stephanie Sorensen went to Dog Beach this week; she came home with a $35 fine. She was one of many South Shore residents who don’t know yet that the U.S. Forest Service this year is going to crack down on those who violate the ‘no dogs’ rule at the Visitors Center Beach – often called dog beach.

Sorensen, 20, who was cited Wednesday for her dog, also is one of many people unhappy with the enforcement.

“It kind of makes me mad. We’ve been here 20 years; that’s always been dog beach,” she said. “All my friends have dogs, and we take them there.”

The beach is part of a Forest Service Visitors Center area, which includes trails, wildlife viewing areas and a stream profile chamber where residents can see fish under water. The area receives as many as 400,000 visitors each year, and complaints from people have resulted in the enforcement of a rule banning dogs from the beach.

Richard and Vera Holbrook of Yerington, Nev., came up to the beach Tuesday with their three dogs, oblivious of the ordinance. They come to the beach two to three times a year but avoid the busy summer months.

“I kind of understand what their thinking is, but I can definitely sympathize with the local people,” Richard said.

“There really isn’t anywhere for people with dogs to go,” Vera said.

Jim Hardin of Tahoe Paradise was walking his dog Tuesday on nearby trails. He had only heard “a rumor” about the ordinance.

“That’s really a shame,” he said, adding that he did not often go to the beach part of the area but sympathized with people who did.

“I understand (the Forest Service’s thinking),” he said. “My wife and I like to come down here and watch the bald eagles. I appreciate nature, but where else can you go (with your dog)?”

Kimberly Mason, a four-year South Lake Tahoe resident, likes to in-line skate around the area, then relax with her dog on the beach. She was informed Monday by the Forest Service about the ordinance.

“I think this is stupid. They can’t even take one beach and let us have dogs there,” she said.

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