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Dog Leash Rules Adopted For Weston Preserve

Land trust member Shaun Malay, of Easton, walks a dog at Trout Brook Valley.
Land trust member Shaun Malay, of Easton, walks a dog at Trout Brook Valley. Photo Credit: Aspetuck Land Trust
A view of the Saugatuck Reservoir from Trout Brook Valley.
A view of the Saugatuck Reservoir from Trout Brook Valley. Photo Credit: Aspetuck Land Trust

WESTON, Conn. – Most dogs at the Trout Brook Valley Conservation Area in Weston and Easton will have to be on leashes starting April 1, the Aspetuck Land Trust says.

Under the new policies, which go into effect April 1, dogs will be required to be leashed throughout the property and remain on designated trails to protect the environment and preserve the wildlife, except for a 2-mile trail loop in the Crow Hill section.

Until April 1, dogs must be leashed at all times throughout the preserve to allow trail and sign modifications to be installed.

The new policy was put into effect following a Connecticut Audubon Society study of Trout Brook Valley, which recognized wetlands areas that must be preserved.

“It’s our responsibility to manage and preserve Trout Brook Valley for future generations and we now have a plan to do this based on the scientific findings in this report,” said David Brant, executive director of Aspetuck Land Trust.

The study identified a wide variety of bird and amphibian species and native flora and fauna habitats and recommended strategies to protect them. Native brook trout and American eel live in the preserve’s streams, its wetlands support an array of amphibians, including spotted salamanders, and more than 156 bird species occupy the preserve.

“We provided Aspetuck Land Trust with the information they needed and their decision reflects a good balance between ecological preservation and passive recreation,” said Robert Martinez, president of Connecticut Audubon Society.

Trout Brook Valley is used by hikers, mountain bikers, dog walkers, bird watchers and others.

Aspetuck Land Trust allows off-leash dog walking on all of its other 41 nature preserves with the exception of Newman Poses in Westport, where dogs must be leashed, Brant said.