All-day K needed
I believe both parents in many households are working two jobs to maintain a home here in Steamboat. This isn't about parenting, it is about giving children an earlier start, making Steamboat more affordable for families with children, and trying to keep children in one location all day to reduce stress, cost, and need for transportation.
Sheepdog signage needed
What can we do as a community to make sure that clear and unmissable signage is seen by visitors to National Forest areas where ranchers are keeping their animals. Is it possible to sign the National Forest Access Roads with a warning of Great Pyrenees in the area and a map of where the grazing permits are given for? Could there be an insert in a publication like the Steamboat Pilot at the start of each summer with maps showing where permits have been issued for GP to be guarding flock? Maybe these ideas are not practical, but there must be some better way of warning people than the small inadequate signage that is currently in place.
Herders have right, too
The herders have just as much right to be there as you and your dog, but I'm not sure where the idea that your dog has a right and expectation to be able to run around off his leash comes from because he's a lab and you want him to be able to do that. Anyone who lives in this area KNOWS how dangerous the sheepherders dogs can be. If you see sheep, take your dog somewhere else to protect it.
Herders need breaks
The herders who are hired to tend the sheep are not expected to be with 100% of the herd 100% of the time. These guys need to take breaks, sleep, etc. and are often tending more than one herd at a time, hence the dogs to guard the sheep.
These dogs are supposed to be trained to go after any animal that is posing a threat to the sheep but never go after people under any circumstances. Yet our experience has shown that these dogs have run away from the herd towards our dogs when they were leashed. And these dogs have at times run away from the herd, barking and snarling at people without dogs.
My advise to all is : The dogs are supposed to only go after an animal that is posing a direct threat to the herd, not people or pets that are leashed. If you have an encounter where the dogs go beyond this then report it to the National Forest Service or whoever is responsible for that land. If the complaints continue then perhaps the NFS will intervene and make efforts to ensure that the herders' dogs stay within their scope of protection.