Dogs at Sagehen


  • We are a member of the University of California Natural Reserve System (UCNRS). This organization has an unequivocal policy of no dogs on its reserves;
  • Dogs can unintentionally disrupt wildlife, damage infrastructure and interfere with ongoing data collection, site research and experimentation;
  • Dogs present a potential safety hazard, cleaning burden, and unfair inconvenience to other station visitors, as well as an unacceptable risk to the station;
  • There’s no such thing as one dog–everybody else who has one will insist on bringing it if they see yours, even if you try to keep it in the car (which is not fair to the animal).

This is not a case where begging forgiveness is easier than asking permission. If you–or your students or guests–arrive with a dog, you will be asked to leave immediately. Please don’t force us to be firm. Try Dogvacay to find a great local sitter for your bestie.

“…Domestic dogs can act as predators reducing prey for native predators and also can harass mule deer adding stress to does as they fawn (Lowry and McArthur 1978). Even leashed dogs leave the scent of a predator or can introduce pathogens (Cleaveland et al. 2000). Scent left by dogs can make prey species more wary while intriguing native predators such as coyotes and wolves that may view a dog as a potential competitor (Vanak et al. 2009).”E. S. Larrucea, 2018


UC Berkeley has a new dog policy, including clarity on service animals:

…not only must the service animal be a dog, but the dog must be trained to perform specific tasks – “the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.”

If you have a service dog and need to bring it to Sagehen, please contact us ahead of time to make arrangements, so that we can make accommodations.


From time to time, a research project at Sagehen requires specially-trained working dogs. In the past, this has included wolverine scat sniffing dogs, black bear aversion training dogs, and wilderness search & rescue dogs.

Again, if your work requires a dog please contact us in advance to make arrangements, and keep your animal under leash control while within the field station footprint. Working dogs should wear a uniform to distinguish them from pets.


Sagehen is located on Forest Service land, so the general public may pass through the gated section of road with their dog if the animal is on a leash and the traveler is under their own power (walking, skiing, biking).

There is a perfectly serviceable bypass road to access the public campground and the upper watershed from Hwy-89 if you are in a vehicle, or refuse to accept these conditions.