A recently passed county ordinance that makes jumping from Wagon Creek Bridge illegal also requires dogs to be on a leash all around Lake Siskiyou.

A recently passed county ordinance that makes jumping from Wagon Creek Bridge illegal also requires dogs to be on a leash all around Lake Siskiyou.

Though this has been a regulation for about 10 years, the urgency ordinance passed by the Board of Supervisors on June 4 “gives it some teeth,” said Siskiyou County’s Department of General Services Director Randy Akana.

“This ordinance is a mechanism so the Sheriff’s Department can enforce the regulation when necessary,” Akana said.

Urgency Ordinance No. 13-05 added Chapter 20 to Title 3 of the Siskiyou County Code. It also prohibits blocking traffic over the bridge (by sunbathing or otherwise), barbecuing on the bridge and crossing the bridge in any way except on foot. It also prohibits horses from entering the water.

On July 19, the Sheriff’s Department issued the first three citations for jumping from the bridge to an adult and two juveniles.

Akana said the county knew bridge jumping would be an issue before the bridge was completed in 2010 but decided to “wait and see” how things went before passing ordinances specifically outlawing jumping.

Because some people were blatantly breaking the posted “no jumping” rule, the county decided to enact the ordinance for liability purposes, said Akana.

“It’s a safety issue, a liability issue,” Akana said. “Ninety-eight percent of the time, everything would be okay, but it only takes once. With this ordinance, the county has its ducks in a row, because if something were to happen, we’d be liable.”

Akana said each of the activities prohibited in the ordinance have been addressed there because of complaints and concerns.

He has received calls about horses being ridden into the water and defecating; people having to step over sunbathers on the bridge; people riding their bikes too fast over the bridge; and unruly dogs at the lake.

Dogs, and all other domesticated animals, should be kept on a leash at all times, Akana said, though citations are given at the discretion of the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department.

For safety purposes, cooking on the bridge with a barbecue grill, hibachi, portable stove or smoker are prohibited in the ordinance for safety reasons.

“The deck is made of wood, and if it caught fire the entire structure would be destroyed,” Akana said.

Although Akana stressed the bridge is multi-use and meant for the enjoyment of all, horses should not cross it since they could create a safety hazard if spooked.

To protect the safety of people using the bridge, Akana said people are asked to walk their bikes across.

Other activities forbidden in the ordinance are already posted as regulations, including no unlicensed vehicles; no parking in areas other than those designated; no littering; no discharging of firearms; no fireworks; no campfires except in designated fireplaces; and no camping except in specially designated areas.

People should not wade, swim or bathe adjacent to Box Canyon Dam in the area that’s cordoned off by a floating boom.

When passed on June 4, the urgency ordinance was approved unanimously and went into effect immediately.