Analysis by Arnita Bowman

Hi All,

I spent about 2 weeks battling my way through the 2400 pages of the DEIS document to understand the impact of dogs on the GGNRA.  I’ve also spent quite a lot of time going to parks in Marin and SF, which are outside my home turf of San Mateo and Fort Funston, to understand the adverse impacts claimed by the DEIS from the “No Action” alternative.  I’ve attached a pdf with my summary of the “No Action” Alternative adverse impact for you to use in your own assessment.  It has the impacts and also my own current assessment.  I’ve provided several versions: summary level, moderate and major adverse impacts only, and all impacts by park area.

I really believe everyone needs to focus on providing evidence that the “No Action” alternative provides tremendous health and safety benefits that the NPS has omitted from the DEIS.  We not only like going with our dogs but it makes some 450,000 people more mentally and physically healthy.  These families, seniors, and other individuals go to the park for an average of 80 times a year, some multiple times a day.  The Preferred Alternative, with the poison pill, will have a significant impact on these peoples health and the health of future generations.

  • Maintaining our heritage of high visitation to places like Fort Funston, Ocean Beach, Muir Beach, Baker Beach, etc. for recreation; out weighs the benefits of converting these areas into new, highly protected habitats for coastal plants and wildlife.
  • As for other GGNRA locations, the NPS needs to provide substantial scientific evidence and measurements, instead of just speculation and exaggeration, before discouraging people from continuing our heritage of walking dogs in these areas.  These same DEIS criteria for adverse impact levels would easily exclude all humans from the park without any evidence of real degradations to the environment.
  • This DEIS could just replace “dog” with “human” and the arguments would be virtually the same except “humans” have a greater adverse impact because of the larger visitation counts.  Believe it or not, humans are natural born predators, and the GGNRA law enforcement data proves humans have been known to attack each other, go off-trail into closed areas, and disturb wildlife.  Plus, humans, like dogs, have been known to make noise, litter, dig in the sand, splatter sand, bump into other people, walk around the batteries, trample hiking trail beds, produce garbage, find and report injured wildlife, pee on the bushes, injure themselves while exercising, etc.

Please let me know if you want the excel file that I created.  Also, this is my best attempt at summarizing 2400.  I didn’t pull all minor impacts that are buried in the 2400 pages but tried to make sure at least all the major and moderate impacts were included. I also categorized impacts at the highest level from the document.  The adverse impacts are not documented consistently throughout the document.  The Executive Summary is significantly different than the details provided in the rest of the DEIS.  I also included some page number references but certainly not all.

See all of you tomorrow,
Arnita

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