Marin County DOG is reeling after the Golden Gate National Recreation Area announced this week that it plans to eliminate recreational dog walking in most of our favorite places. After years of trying to kick dogs off our beloved beaches and trails, it appears that the NPS is one step closer to achieving its goal. The Proposed Rule for Dog Management was released, and it doesn’t bode well for Marin.
The losses are staggering. There will be no off-leash anywhere on GGNRA lands in Marin with the exception of a small stretch of Rodeo Beach. Furthermore, many formerly dog friendly fire roads and trails are now off limits to dogs, even on leash: Coastal Single Track, Coastal Fire Road, Miwok Fire Road, Kaashi Way (Muir Beach lagoon Trail) and Oakwood Valley Trail, just to name a few. The worst change though is Muir Beach, where folks there are being forced to leash their dogs, which we believe is effectively a ban.
In a nutshell, dog owners will have a measly 8 miles of trails to walk on with their dogs, but every inch on-leash. The only place in Marin where dog owners can have a leash free experience is the north end of Rodeo Beach--a dangerous stretch of beach with treacherous currents--that requires a long drive for all visitors, and adds to southern Marin’s already terrible traffic.
The National Park Service decided to ignore the thousands of public comments, and thumb its nose at all three Bay Area counties’ Boards of Supervisors which opposed the plans and called for significant changes. This final draft plan, which is virtually identical to the first preferred alternatives, is being rammed down our throats and represents the largest reduction of public access in the history of the GGNRA.
We need you to help us fight to protect our access to this long-standing recreational activity and ensure the Park Service respects the recreational needs oflocal communities. Can we count on you? Here is what you can do:
1. Comment on this latest plan.
Yes, we know they are not listening but when this goes to court, and it will go to court, your substantive comments will lay the groundwork for a suit. Stay tuned for the link to file your comment and tips for how to make those comments really count.
Plan to join dog lovers from throughout the Bay Area for a protest march to the Federal Building in San Francisco. Date to be determined.
3. Seek out GGNRA supporters.
Help us target companies and organizations that give money to the GGRNA and ask them to reconsider their support until we reach a balanced plan.
4. Get ready to fundraise.
A lawsuit is expensive but we think preserving recreational dog walking in our recreational area is worth the money. It’s why we live here!
Stay tuned for news and updates. This is the eleventh hour, the moment of truth….and our last, best hope to maintain what we hold so dear