WhiteWater Trail Closed--Feral Pit Bulls!

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WhiteWater Trail Closed--Feral Pit Bulls!

Postby cynthia23 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:44 pm

Just saw a news report that trails in the Whitewater Preserve are closed, because rangers found a mauled calf (there are wild cows in the vicinity) and because three hikers on the PCT witnessed three pit bulls mauling a cow. :( The Whitewater area near the preserve has some very shady houses, including some drug houses, and it's likely that some of these folks had pit bulls they let run wild and who have taken up residence in the Whitewater preserve--where, unfortunately, the cows will provide them with plenty of food and accustom them to the idea of attacking large prey--like, say, humans.

Closing a trail due to wild dogs seems almost humorous, but it's worth remembering (I certainly do) that feral dogs actually killed a jogger who was running on a desert road near here in Thousand Palms. It was needless to say a horrible death. It would be far preferable to be killed by a mountain lion. I myself have seen feral dog packs roaming in these urban-wilderness areas. They are dangerous because they are hungry and unpredictable.

So, if you were planning on hiking in this area, make new plans until they find these dogs. And always keep in mind that if you are hiking at all near civilization, running into feral dogs is an unpleasant possibility. Plan accordingly.
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Re: WhiteWater Trail Closed--Feral Pit Bulls!

Postby Wildhorse » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:00 pm

It is sad.

Some years ago I discussed the cattle problem with BLM, who claimed ignorance and showed due concern. Action was promised, but never happened. Now feral dogs too. BLM confirmed that the cattle should not be there. The owner may have some political power.

I don't think BLM is fulfilling it management obligation. Hopefully Wildlands Conservancy and its board are able to get action now.

People have long abused the land in that area.
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Re: WhiteWater Trail Closed--Feral Pit Bulls!

Postby cynthia23 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:32 pm

I agree, the erosion the cows are causing in that area is horrific. It gave me an appreciation for how devastating over-grazing can be on BLM lands, which has long been a problem in the West. Why this is allowed here on the preserve is inexplicable.
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Re: WhiteWater Trail Closed--Feral Pit Bulls!

Postby Ulysses » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:16 pm

That is a bummer. I love hiking in Whitewater Canyon and was hoping to get out there later this winter or spring. I think I'll make other plans.

Several years ago I was warned by Forest Service staff that there was a pack of feral dogs living in Martinez Canyon
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Re: WhiteWater Trail Closed--Feral Pit Bulls!

Postby hiiker » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:57 pm

Thanks for the info, you saved me a long trip out.

If the feral dogs are that bad then I'd say it will quickly take care of the few cattle that apparently remain in the area. Later allow a few hunters in there while it's closed and the feral dog problem will be taken care of in no time.

I guess I should consider myself lucky, never seen or heard of any feral dogs in the areas I've hike. I've always been on the lookout for bear, coyote and mtn. lion though.
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Re: WhiteWater Trail Closed--Feral Pit Bulls!

Postby chris in redlands » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:41 pm

Where, exactly, are the cows?

I've seen evidence of them (cow pies), primarily in that side canyon off to the west before Red Dome that's a popular hike into a slot with a seasonal waterfall.

There was also a dead cow in that area near the PCT a couple of years ago. But despite many visits and lots of off-trail exploration, I've yet to encounter a live cow. I had heard they were gone, as of a year or so ago. Sounds like they're not. The Saturday before last (Jan 13) we went up the wash a couple of miles above Red Dome. Didn't even notice any old pies in the usual areas, but I wasn't looking too closely.
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Re: WhiteWater Trail Closed--Feral Pit Bulls!

Postby cynthia23 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:17 pm

Personally, I haven't seen the cows, just seen freshly (and massively) eaten over and eroded slopes, which had been so eviscerated that the trail underneath had actually collapsed. I do know someone who has seen a herd of them directly. It's quite a mystery as to why they are there, but I think they have been there for a long time. I don't think they are necessarily wild, it may be that someone grazes them. As Wildhorse says, it could be that someone is turning a blind eye.
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Re: WhiteWater Trail Closed--Feral Pit Bulls!

Postby neverwashasbeen » Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:35 pm

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... 398&type=3

Not sure how the photo thing works, but here is a link to a photo I took about 2 weeks ago in the preserve. If you look carefully, there is a green patch slightly above center that has cattle in it. There are more than a few “wild” cows.
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Re: WhiteWater Trail Closed--Feral Pit Bulls!

Postby halhiker » Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:55 pm

The Preserve is now open again.
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Re: WhiteWater Trail Closed--Feral Pit Bulls!

Postby zippetydude » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:39 pm

Does anyone know if the dogs have been removed or just not recently seen and presumed to have left the area?

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