GGNRA Dog plan update
A federal lawsuit was filed last week against the National Park Service for refusing to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.
Last week Bay Area dog and recreation groups, including Marin County DOG, have banded together to hire the prestigious law firm Morrison & Foerster to represent us and help us fight the National Park Service to save recreational dog walking in the GGNRA. Read more
The draft rule has completely ignored public comments and has restricted dog access even more than their original proposal. The plan will cut where you can walk with your dog by 90%. (Keep in mind that dogs have only ever been allowed on 1% of GGNRA land.) The Park Service has also introduced entirely new restrictions and onerous permits that were never disclosed in previous drafts of the plan over the past five years.
The Park Service gives no legitimate reasons for these drastic reductions and entirely banning people with dogs in many places. They've given no scientific, site-specific evidence that dogs cause negative impacts on the environment, wildlife, or park safety. They did not address any of concerns raised by the Boards of Supervisors of all three counties with GGNRA land – San Francisco, Marin, and San Mateo counties – who have all gone on record opposing earlier versions of the plan.
This rule will have a terrible impact on our city parks if thousands of people and their dogs are forced out of the GGNRA and into already overcrowded city parks. The final rule is expected to take effect by fall 2016.
Click for Frequently Asked Questions.
What you can do:
Less than 1% of trails and beaches in the GGNRA are dog-friendly. That means anybody who wants a dog-free experience has 99% of the 80,000 acres to play in. This rule will cut that 1% by nearly 90%.
There hasn’t been a single peer-reviewed, site-specific study (as required by law) that supports such a drastic restriction of dog-friendly areas. The Park Service gives no scientific, site-specific evidence that dogs cause negative impacts on the environment, wildlife, or park safety. They should have to prove it before they legislate it.
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area was set up to be a RECREATION AREA for a densely populated, urban area. These trails and beaches have been set aside for dog-walking since the original pet policy in 1979. The GGNRA is not a wilderness national park like Yellowstone and shouldn’t be managed as if it were.
If the dog management plan is adopted, Marin’s estimated 60,000 dogs will have to go somewhere — overcrowding the few dog parks available. That will create more dog-related problems than the GGNRA proposal allegedly solves.
The Park Service did not incorporate input from the thousands of Bay Area residents who submitted public comments opposing the restrictions. They did not address concerns raised by the Boards of Supervisors of all three counties with GGNRA land – San Francisco, Marin, and San Mateo counties – who have all gone on record opposing earlier versions of the plan. These are public lands and the GGNRA needs to listen to the public.
The GGNRA has recently changed the designations of fire roads to trails in order to eliminate off-leash dog walking on them. Yet these new "trails" are still accessible to vehicles.
Learn why there has been an effort to rebrand the GGNRA as a National Park and why this designation is important to everyone, not just dog owner's. Click here.