Thursday, June 9, 2016

GGNRA, the worst kind of neighbor for dogs

San Francisco Examiner/Sally Stephens, Columnist (Opinion), 5/22/16. "Worst kind of neighbor."

"What does it mean to be a good neighbor in a dense urban setting? It means talking with those who live nearby about plans for your property and doing everything you can to ensure that your actions don’t impact them negatively. By this standard, the National Park Service is not a good neighbor. 

Image result for GGNRA dog picture
Ask, I could help.

Image result for GGNRA dog picture
 Recreation area not so friendly.
Image result for dogs controlled picture
Urban canine protest!
In the Bay Area, the NPS manages the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, including all the beaches in San Francisco and large tracts of land in Marin and San Mateo. Thousands of people walk with a dog in this urban recreation area every day — something they’ve been doing without problems for generations. 

.... They (GGNRA) didn’t ask animal control agencies for advice. The nationally renowned Marin Humane Society was not consulted, despite having more than 100 years of experience managing people and dogs.  For more than 40 years, people walking dogs have been allowed on just 1 percent of GGNRA land. The Park Service has proposed a new rule that slashes that tiny amount, in some cases by 90 percent.  Where do they expect all those thousands of people with dogs to go? Park Service staff say people with dogs should walk in city and county parks, not the GGNRA. Yet they didn’t bother to consult with neighboring park managers when developing the plan, nor have they taken anything more than a cursory look at potential impacts.  ... The proposed new dog rule allows the GGNRA superintendent to impose additional restrictions — up to and including banning dogs completely — if she thinks there isn’t enough compliance with the new rules.  ....

It’s not just dog walking. Park Service staff have also put restrictions on bonfires and equestrians. Park officials recently said they are looking closely at bicycling, noting “it’s on our radar.” In a recently published “Urban Agenda Initiative,” the NPS trumpeted the need to collaborate and form alliances with local communities. Yet, when it comes to the GGNRA, they have pushed this restrictive dog plan without consulting local experts and despite the opposition of nearly all local elected officials, including the Boards of Supervisors of all three counties with GGNRA land. They are the worst kind of neighbor."  Read more.

Reference, Opinion author.  Sally Stephens is an animal, park, and neighborhood activist who lives in the West of Twin Peaks area.  Related, organizations. Golden Gate National Recreation, "Current Dog Walking", includes Mori Point trails., "GGNRA off-leash timeline history." Wild Equity Institute,"GGNRA off-leash dog FAQ," (sure). Marin Humane Society, "A world of difference for animals."   Note photographs.  Dog ranger from Ocean Beach dog, "GGNRA Dog Management plan, Ranger Ruff's preferred alternative," includes a map of GGNRA boundaries. No dogs (signs) from Marin County Dog organization, "GGNRA dog management plan update", 2/24/16.  Dogs on steps from Flickr/The U.S. Army on The Autism Site, "Benefits and challenges of getting a service dog." 

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

For anyone interested in this topic, please go here:
for more information and analysis.

Sharon said...

So true and not just for dogs, neighbors close GGNRA find themselves having to cope with relentless vehicle traffic, parking, toilet and trash issues.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately those few irresponsible dog owners who don't pick up after their pets or allow them to run off leash, where not allowed, have contributed greatly to the GGNRA's harsh proposal.

Anonymous said...

@9;54 "Those few irresponsible dog owners who don't pick up or allow them to run off leash [in areas not designated for off leash]" you are referring to are breaking the law. Public policy should never be constructed to punish all for the sins or misdeeds of a few. If that were true, none of us would ever be allowed to drive a car. The problem is the GGNRA does not want their budget dollars directed at enforcing the law. They would much rather spend their money on pet environmental projects (e.g., the multi million dollar frog bridge at Mori Point),that please their donors, than honor their enabling legislation and agreements with cities like SF to provide for historical recreation usage.

Having said all that, the GGNRA has been totally unable to provide any legitimate data or studies that supports claims that dogs are harming the resources in the GGNRA in any way. In fact, the GGNRA even buried a study that they collaborated on, i.e., a U.C. Berkeley Environmental Sciences study presented on May 7, 2007 that concludes within the GGNRA that the feeding of the Western Snowy Plover does not appear to be negatively affected by human and pet recreation (see