BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — Four trails in Boulder will implement new dog-leash restrictions beginning Monday to reduce wildlife interaction as this becomes the most active time of the years for bears.

City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks lands provide important habitat for black bears. Boulder says this time of mid-August is key for these leash restrictions because of the high volume of bears in the area, as they are foraging for food and preparing for hibernation.

“These are leash restrictions we do put in place from time to time to help mitigate any wildlife dog encounters,” said Phillip Yates, the spokesperson for Boulder Open Spaces. “We certainly want to minimize disturbances to wildlife while also making sure people have an enjoyable hike with their dogs.”

In addition to keeping dogs and wildlife safe, Yates said that if there are less disturbances, city life will be safer too.

“If we have a lot of disturbances with bears during this time of year as they prepare for their hibernation phase, that in some degree might push them into Boulder, which we want to prevent,” Yates said. 

The on-leash requirement will go into effect Monday, August 15, and will stay in effect through Tuesday, Nov. 1, in four City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks areas: