Posting by Jan Scott

Whether or not you own a dog, you should be concerned with the GGNRA’s Dog Management Plan, which severely restricts or bans dog walking on GGNRA lands. This plan is one step in a larger strategy to manage Bay Area beaches as wilderness areas rather than recreational areas.

Consider:

  • In 1975 San Francisco gave beach land to the GGNRA with the provision that the lands were to be reserved “in perpetuity for recreation or park purposes”. The GGNRA promised to “notify and consult” with the SF Planning Department before making substantial changes.
  • Soon after, garbage cans were removed, trash was not picked up, and dead marine mammals were left to rot. These are appropriate actions for a wilderness area but not for a recreation area.
  • At Fort Funston large areas were closed off, not just to dogs, but to everyone. These closures were supposedly temporary for native plant restoration, but after 10 years, the fences are still there.
  • The use of new lands is never focused on recreational uses.
  • The latest action is the Dog Management Plan, a complete ban on dogs some places and severe limitations in other areas.
  • Today dogs are being targeted even though off leash dogs are allowed on less than 1% of the land and the GGNRA’s own statistics show that less than 1/10 of 1% of dog visits result in a citation. The citation rate is much higher for people. So will the next action be to close more areas to people?

Jan Scott
San Francisco

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