GGNRA Dog Management Open House in Pacifica on Wednesday

Letter

Posted by
Mon, March 7, 2011


GGNRA will be holding a public open house on the Draft Dog Management Plan this Wednesday, March 9 between 4–8 p.m. at

Cabrillo School (Google map)

601 Crespi Drive

Pacifica, CA 94044

The Draft Dog Management Plan/DEIS contains two volumes and is over 2400 pages in length. (http://www.nps.gov/goga/deis.htm) It is a compilation of proposed alternatives and analyses for 21 different areas of the GGNRA’s current park system. Although Rancho Corral de Tierra is not specifically addressed in the document because it has not become part of the NPS system but you can see what is in store for the future park.

It would be best to look at the 5 main alternatives and select the one which would be closest to your own ideas on dog management within the parks:

  • No Action – current dog walking practices would continue.
  • On-leash dog walking only - would bring the park into alignment with the NPS-wide leash regulations.
  • Multiple/Balanced Use – would emphasize multiple use, and balance use by county ranging from no dogs, on-leash dog walking, and voice/sight control in regulated off-leash areas [ROLA].
  • Environmentally Preferred – would be the most protective of resources and visitors safety (This is proposed for “new lands”).
  • Multiple/Balanced Use – would provide dog walkers the greatest level of access per area ranging from no dogs, on-leash dog walking, and voice/sight control in regulated off-leash areas [ROLA].

Feel free to add your own additions or other supportive arguments for what you would like to see in the policy. The National Park Service (NPS) has a broad spectrum of park users whose many needs will have to be addressed so thoughtful, substantive comments will be the most productive for the planners.

Note that the comments phase has been extended until May 29th. The entire document, including summaries, maps and charts, is available on the internet at Dog Management DraftPlan/DEIS  (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=11759).

Three ways to comment:

  • Online at National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public Comment:
    http://parkplanning.nps.gov/dogplan
  • Mail comments to:
    Frank Dean, General Superintendent
    Golden Gate National Recreation Area
    Fort Mason, Building 201
    San Francisco, CA 94123-0022
  • Attend one of the public open house meetings

I forgot to add another good reference source for coastside dog people to get more information on GGNRA Dog Management. Go to http://www.montaradogs.com/Site/GGNRA.html

To get further information, you can check out the Facebook page Save Off-Leash Dog Walking Areas in the SF Bay Area and http://www.sfdog.org.

As a senior citizen who has walked/jogged on San Francisco’s beaches for 40 years, I strongly oppose the GGNRA’s preferred alternative.  There is little justification for such drastic action.  By the GGNRA’s own statistics, less than 1/10 of 1% of dog visits result in a citation.  So either dogs are quite well-behaved or the GGNRA cannot enforce the laws already in place.  In either case, it makes no sense to create a new set of laws.  In fact, people cause 98% of the problems according to the same statistics.  So perhaps all people should be banned.

The threatened snowy plover is also not a valid reason for banning or limiting dogs.  The GGNRA does not like to admit it, but most environmental studies (Hatch 1996 and 2006, 2009/2010 Golden Gate Audubon Society, Warren 2007, Forrest and Cassady St. Clair 2006) are inconclusive or show evidence that dogs do not bother the Plovers.  And finally, since the Snowy Plover does not nest at our beaches, studies have concluded that we have no real ability to influence their success or failure.

In my opinion, the GGNRA’s real goal is to manage all of its lands as if they were wilderness areas and to eliminate recreation all together.  People who own dogs and enjoy exercising them off-leash are being targeted now.  Next it will be another group.  People with children perhaps.