Despite objections, Jefferson County to close dog park

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- More than 100 off-leash acres of wheelchair accessible, mountainside hiking trails at Elk Meadow Dog Park will close for good.

Jefferson County officials announced the closure in February, saying the land needs a rest because there's too much erosion and too much dog waste.

Many also think there are better solutions.

"Why not close parts of the park and then bring them back? And rotate closures? You don't have to close all 107 acres," Betsy Rich said.

The county agreed to her idea as long as her nonprofit group of volunteers manages the new space.

But then 11 days ago, Jefferson County made it official, announcing it would keep an eight acre off-leash area while the majority of the park is closed for restoration.

The county started installing the fence posts to close off the new spot while the volunteers put together a management plan.

But on Friday, Jefferson County changed its mind, saying, "This would help address some concerns but not all. ... So we have decided to close all 107 acres."

Jefferson County said the eight-acre plan would do more damage to the land and make restoring it more expensive. And it doesn't solve the waste problem.

That's an answer a lot of these dog owners aren't buying.

"There`s something that stinks here and it's totally not dog poop," Rich said.