Public To Weigh In On Golden Gate Dog Access Limits

MILL VALLEY (BCN) – The National Park Service was set to hold the first of four open house meetings Wednesday to allow the public to discuss a proposal to drastically reduce off-leash dog areas in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

The proposal, released by the park service on Jan. 14, would reduce the size of off-leash areas for dogs at 21 spots in Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties, including Ocean Beach, Crissy Field and Fort Mason.

The park service said in the proposal that the “increased expectations for use of the park for dog recreation have resulted in controversy, litigation, and compromised visitor and employee safety, affecting visitor experience and resulting in resource degradation.”

Wednesday’s hearing is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Tamalpais High School, located at 700 Miller Ave. in Mill Valley.

The other three meetings are scheduled for Saturday at San Francisco State University’s Seven Hills Conference Center, Monday at Fort Mason in San Francisco, and March 9 at Cabrillo Elementary School in Pacifica.

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener has expressed concern over the proposal and called for a committee hearing on the issue.

Wiener, who represents San Francisco’s District 8, said the reduction in off-leash space in the national park could lead to “a corresponding increase in use at neighborhood parks” in the city.

He said his hearing would likely be held in the next month or so before the park service’s public comment period for the proposal ends on April 14.

For more information on the park service’s proposal, visit

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

  • James Srubber

    Weiner said this would lead to, “a corresponding increase in use at neighborhood parks” in the city.
    I love dogs, and I love to see them able to play unleashed but, as this is a “National Park” and a “National Environmental Resource” and as the residents of the Bay Area lobbied the US Congress and the National Park Service to take control of these areas in the first place, I think it is only right and proper that if the “City of San Francisco” wants to have a “dog freindly environement” that it be done using “City Parks” and “City Resources”. Who elected this idiot? Oh San Franciscans.

  • William

    My wife and I walk often through Fort Funston and along Ocean Beach. Some of the folks reading this may know us because we usually carry extra water and toys for the dogs we meet there, we really enjoy them, happy to just be dogs. But this isn’t just about Dogs vs. NPS and it seems to me very narrow minded and selfish to frame the issue that way. But if you need to distil it, than it is really about the dog owners vs. the Snowy Plover and about the City wanting a service that it is unwilling to pay for and an issue this Cities leadership is unwilling to ask their constituents to reconcile with in their own neighborhoods. The birds are what these areas were initially created to protect. It is here in part because of them. I have seen a lot of California disappear under asphalt and encroachment in my life and can’t tell you how many times I hear even younger people express nostalgia over the loss of some special part of this place that, as a result of unthinking public policy and popular myopia, is gone forever. I would rather tell my children that I remember when we could run the dogs unfettered, than to tell them I remember when Snowy Plovers were still living. These people need a better perspective particularly if you want to call yourselves “Green”. The Board of Supervisors is so willing to talk the talk-well this where you need to be grown-ups and walk the walk.

  • Susan Adams

    There is no evidence the Snowy Plover is disturbed by off leash dogs at all. If people did a little research, you would see that GGNRA’s own 1996 Hatch report confirms this fact. In fact, the highest population recorded of Snowy Plover at Ocean Beach was in 1994, a time when dogs were allowed to run free on that beach. The population varies from year to year on completely dog restricted beaches like Half Moon Bay State Beach. Dogs can’t be blamed for that. You mnight want to check the GGNRA’s own record of plowing over WSP habitat in 2007 on Ocean Beach.

  • Red

    Who decides to place the links in the comments? It is particularly concerning when the link to dog food ads is linked to “dog owners”. Why didn’t they link a picture of a dog owner? Why didn’t they link a photo of starved dead Snowy Plovers? Why no link to NPS in the Susan Adams comment? What is the political agenda of the person creating the links? Dog owners buy dog products Snowy Plovers don’t buy anything. Perhaps that is it, San Franciscans no longer really care about the environment in spite of their costly cultivated advertized image and CBS no longer stands for objective civic minded reporting but Censored by commercial Broadcasting Sponsors. Dog owners + CBS + Purina = extinct bird speicies.

  • Shab Abus

    Why would CBS want to kill birds? That is rediculous, unless its that they just don’t care.

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