a dog with the Golden Gate Field in the background

On Monday, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) announced a proposal to strictly limit off-leash dog walking within the park’s 80,000 acres. Under the new regulations, San Francisco’s Crissy Field and Fort Funston would lose more than half of their off-leash dog walking areas. In Marin, off-leash access would be limited to a portion of Rodeo Beach. The proposal has earned high praise from conservationists, but prompted anger from dog owners who claim that the restrictions ignore their right to public space. The GGNRA is the only location in the park service that allows off-leash dog walking.

Guests:
Christine "Chris" Lehnertz, general superintendent, Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Neal Desai, Pacific region field director, National Parks Conservation Association
Andrea Buffa, co-founder, Save Our Recreation Areas

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    How can the dog owners claim that the restrictions ignore their right to public space, when they still have access, just not with their dogs off leash.? And there are retractable longer leashes available so that dogs are not as restricted.

    • Bart Leconey

      having access reduced by over 80% is restrictive by definition…

      • Kit

        You could also go naked just to prove your point since decency laws, are by definition- restrictive.

        • Bart Leconey

          yeah because thats totally apples to apples. value add comment

    • Bart Leconey

      having access reduced by 80% is restrictive by definition

    • Tim Steele

      Retractable leashes pose serious risks to dogs and people. Lost fingers (on people) and serious injuries to dogs are not terribly rare unfortunately. These leashes often fail (break) and the dogs are suddenly loose. These types of leashes should be banned – not encouraged.

  • EIDALM

    I totally agree with the GGNRA proposal ,no matter how careful dog owners are ,unleashed dogs are much more likely to poop and make more mess at well than leashed dogs ,they also are much more likely to have a fight with other unleashed dogs ,or even attack other animals or bite other people in the park specially children .we all must remember that incident in GG park attacked and spooked a policeman riding his horse which resulted in serious injury to both the policeman and the horse and could have potentially caused lots of injuries or even death to other people in the park…..Lots of dogs owners ignore the fact that unleashed dogs can potentially bite innocent strangers for new reason ,as I was attacked and badly bitten when I was 7 years old by two very large German shepherd who were unleashed but were walking with their owner who was a woman and was one of our neighbors ,they almost killed me before other people including her tried very hard to stop the attack .not only I suffered lots of injuries but also I had to endure great pain by being injected by 21 very painful anti rabies shots right in my stomach ,…Till today this incident remain vivid in my mined as if it had happened yesterday……Dog owners stop being selfish think about other people who share the park that may be harmed by your dogs no matter how small that chance may be,

    • Bart Leconey

      using one incident in which the horse was neither badly injured nor was the policeman is typical propaganda techniques. the event was unfortunate and the owner was not representative of the great dog owning community. however, do you normally enact wide ranging and drastic laws in congress based on one incident? no you dont. San Francisco has one of the largest population per capita in the US which means dog owners are a large majority and have a right to the public spaces just like everyone else…unlike the GGRNA, the US is based on a voting system in which the voice of the majority rules

      • Kit

        So many incidents of dogs gone nuts. The owners claim no fault. Silly. The Majority doesn’t like your dog/child. They like their own.

        • Bart Leconey

          i’m having trouble even understanding what you’re saying? that majority? who do you think the majority is? during the comment period the overwhelming majority was 3 to 1 against the plan. do the math kit and think before you speak

          • Kit

            Ha! The comment section of Forum is not a real indication of the people of the Bay Area who don’t want to deal with your dog.

          • Tim Steele

            Not the comments on Forum – the comments provided during the process of creating the plan were 3 to 1 against it.

          • Kit

            I was not aware of the comment time during the process of creating the new off leash dog rules but I can only image what a wild time it must have been!

          • Bart Leconey

            kit, if you’re going to be making comments in a public forum at least try to be informed and intelligent. The “Comment Period”(as the name suggests) is the 90 days period after the GGNRA revealed its absurd plan to further restrict access to public lands for dog owners where residents of the bay area can comment on the plan. During that time, 3(thats the number three) out of every 4(thats the number four) people voted against(that means not in favor) the proposal. For you next assignment please look up the definition of “majority”.

          • Kit

            Hmm. Voting. I voted for the people who run the government so I don’t have to show up for all those meetings. That “Comment Period” everybody knows was going to be filled with the needs of the bleeding hearts and their dogs ability to poop on Mt. Tam unrestricted. My ears are throbbing just from the thought of it. Public comment is not public voting Bart. I am just glad my dog and I didn’t have to be a part of it. The government is acting on the behalf of the real majority not the few who were all over the “Comment Period.”

          • Bart Leconey

            clearly you skips civics in high school or maybe you never went to high school because you certainly didnt attend college. Your voice as a citizen doesnt end after you elect one public official. Your argument that only one side of the debate showed up is ludicrous much like your other comments. just because people have disenfranchised themselves by remaining silent isnt an argument to invalidate a vote…if so every presidential election for the last 50 years would be in jeopardy as only 50% of american votes. Public comment periods are intended to let public officials know where the people stand and how they should lean in regards to policy…its called the democratic system. I find it amusing how active you are here but according to you, you’re completely apathetic when it comes to politics. maybe try showing up to a meeting next time instead of hiding behind a screen

  • EIDALM

    Rabies is one of the most deadly disease on earth ,most infection happens because of dogs bites ,it is also called hydrophobia ,in the whole recent history there were only one person who survived rabies ,a 7 old boy…hundreds of thousands people die from rabies each year worldwide ,most caused by dogs bites ,and several happened in the U S within the last several years….The fact is where most dogs in the US have rabies shots ,but some are not ,and a person bitten by strange dog must go through the process of finding out whether the dog had rabies shots….What make the situation much worth is that many wild animals in California ,like bats ,racoons ,opasiums ,skunks .squirrels ,etc are rabies carriers ,and can infect domestic animals ,…In the city of Berkeley every year few animals specially bats are caught and tested positive for the rabies virus…Aside from rabies many people in the U S are killed by dogs every year specially pit pull .rottweilers ,german shepherds ,etc including their actual owners or family member as well as neighbors ,as that was several cases in San Francisco within the last 10 years i8ncluding the case of Dianne Whipple as well as the 10 years old boy whose mother locked him in the house with a family dog….Both were shredded and killed in very painful agonizing way….In the case of Dianne both the dog owner and other neighbors effort to stop the attack failed…

    • Bart Leconey

      lets be logical about this instead of using outlandish claims of rabid dogs running wild through our parks attacking people…how many dog bites occurred in the GGNRA in 2015 and how many of those were incidences of rabies? the answer is 0…you’re logic is pure nonsense and backed by no facts

      • EIDALM

        Many people were chased and attacked by unleashed dogs at GGNP with the famous case of the policeman riding a horse standing out ,but you don’t her about the rest.

    • Tim Steele

      This is simply uninformed and inaccurate fear-mongering.

      • EIDALM

        Ignorance is blessing….Hope you will never be bitten by a dog ,or facing to be injected by anti rabies shots.

        • Tim Steele

          It’s absolutely an overreach to suggest that rabid dogs are running around in off-leash areas. Talk about shouting fire in a crowded theatre.

  • Michelle Sanchez

    The GGNRA is ignoring the Pet Policy they agreed to when taking over from the City of San Francisco. There are more dogs and people than ever in the City, and we need a place to safely exercise our dogs. Ft Funston is an urban park, and is not Yosemite. Taking away most off leash access sets a dangerous precedent. The flooding of people and dogs into city parks will become a place I and my dogs will not want to be.

    • alberto

      Is this not a problem that affects the wealthy for the most part? I have seen any affordable rentals that allow pets. Why would kqed cover this topic?

      • Brad

        Only the wealthy have dogs? This is news to me.

  • Sar Wash

    This war on dogs and people to eliminate the entire utility and point of the parks is horrific. This cannot be tolerated.

    • Sean Dennehy

      Why should the rest of us be forced to interact with people’s dogs? Because when someone’s unleashed dog comes your direction, you are forced to interact with the creature.

      • Tim Steele

        No one forces you to go to off-leash areas.

        • Sean Dennehy

          And when you have parks, which we all should have access to, be off lease areas, then yes I’m forced to go to an off leash area or simply not have access.

          • Brad

            Then you clearly understand the problem? You wouldn’t have access to a part of the park the same as us. Sounds ridiculous, yeah?

          • Sean Dennehy

            You have access to all parts of the park….by having your dog on a leash. The fact that you can’t even do something so simple to maintain your access is amazing.

          • Sar Wash

            Actually dogs on or off leash are completely and tyrannically banned from over 99% of the park.

          • Tim Steele

            You clearly do not have (and apparently do not like) dogs. I get it. But there are many dog lovers in the SF Bay Area. The vocal dog haters shouldn’t be the only ones heard.

          • Kit

            Dog lover here but also I have seen bad situations that could have been prevented by loving your dog a bit more by taking it to a place where it won’t be attacked if another dog gets it into their head to attack.

          • Sean Dennehy

            “You hate dogs” says the person who ran out of arguments and points to make. I accept your concession.

          • Tim Steele

            lol

          • David

            whenever this topic comes up on Forum, it’s a field day for you and i. the dog lover’s reasoning is anything but (and i suspect that like me, you actually like dogs, regardless of whether we own any). cheers.

          • miss415

            It is not “a park” and even with dogs leashed, very little access.

          • Michael McKee

            Boy are you a perfect poster boy for the arrogance and sense of entitlement on the part of too many dog owners. In response to this specific post, no, you’re not banned from any part of the park: your off-leash dog is banned. Put your damn dog on a leash and it’s welcome, too. It’s your pet, not your child. Face it, the bay area is becoming more and more heavily populated and now there are too many dogs and too many people and maybe you should consider the fact that increasingly it’s not a place to own a dog. And before you go crying about the poor voiceless dogs, what about the poor voiceless squirrels and birds and other wildlife off-leash dogs terrorize?

          • SFhillrunner

            WRONG. Dogs on-leash are banned in many GGNRA areas.

        • amyj1276

          Yet the irresponsible dog owners (who now far outnumber the reasonable dog owners) have made ALL areas off-leash areas. This is why more control and enforcement is needed.

          • miss415

            how will these restrictions change that? I agree that enforcement of existing laws is needed.

      • Brad

        I’m also forced to interact with the children that come my way, but it’s just something I have to deal with.

        • Sean Dennehy

          Cool story. That’s not the topic.

          • Brad

            It’s entirely on-topic. Dogs are children for many, many people.

          • Sean Dennehy

            They’re not actual children, however.

          • Kit

            Did you grow up to be a dog?

        • Kit

          Kids won’t bite or growl or go for your crotch.

          • Sar Wash

            Actually kids bite much more frequently than dogs. You must not be familiar with either.

          • Kit

            Totally have both- and you?

          • Sar Wash

            Yes, I have a son and a dog.

    • David

      horrific? oh the agony!

    • David

      and the point of parks is dogs? what?

      • Sar Wash

        No, it is not mandatory to bring a dog to use a park. However, anyone should be able to bring his dog. It’s pretty simple.

        • David

          Why? Why should anyone be able to bring his dog?

  • Sean Dennehy

    Dogs are animals and need to be under owner control at all times. Already, they are having some areas where dogs can run free. But the rest of us have a right to not be forced to interact with an animal (and we are forced to when your dog decides to come our way). Dogs need to be leashed. Period.

    • Tim Steele

      There are PLENTY of places you can be to avoid dogs. Most of the city requires dogs be on leash. However, off-leash play and exercise is also good for dogs. There will now be much less space for dogs to run off leash. Dogs do NOT need to be leashed everywhere. Period.

      • Sean Dennehy

        And what if I want to go to the park? Or are the parks only for off-leash tyrants?

        Dogs can be off lease on your private property. Elsewhere, these are animals that need to be under your full control or else you don’t get the privilege of having one.

        • Brad

          I would like to take my dog to restaurants (as they do in Europe), but it’s banned here outright.

          • Sean Dennehy

            For good reason. The rest of us don’t know how hygienic you are. We don’t know how clean your dog is. If your dog jumps onto our table, will you pay me for a new meal?

        • Sar Wash

          Over 99% of the park’s 80,000 acres already do not have any dogs (on or off leash).

        • Tim Steele

          Yes, because so many people have large yards in San Francisco.

  • Ben Rawner

    I don’t own a dog, but for some reason I have never had an issue with dogs at these locations? Dog owners have been respectful and courteous. How much of this is a few loud complainers who are ruining it for everyone? It should be open space for all of the bay inhabitants including the canine ones.

    • alberto

      In my experience it is people who don’t like America who are most eager to pollute it either with plastic waste or dog poop.

      • Tim Steele

        I see – dogs are anti-American. Uh-huh.

      • HZCrane

        The hyperbole takes the legs out from under your argument.

      • sfcameraman

        I suspect my dog is Mexican, so he fits your theory.

    • Livegreen

      The Snowy Plover & other small birds that live on the beach might not share our experience.

      • SaveOffLeash.com

        This is such a red herring. Snowy Plover aren’t going to live on the Beach at Presidio because of people, not dogs.

        • Livegreen

          Because of both. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

        • Livegreen

          And people don’t go running into the grasses near the beach where small birds hide and many nest. Unleashed dogs do, including in many areas labeled off limits. Not to speak of kids getting bit by dogs as they mention on the program.

          I’m a dog owner and feel there are not enough places to walk. But irresponsible owners are the ones negatively impacting the use of public spaces for all of us.

          • sfcameraman

            Have you looked at the homeless camps in the dunes at Ocean Beach? Those aren’t dogs creating a mess there, they are human messes.

          • Livegreen

            No I hadn’t. Good point. Again, two wrongs don’t make a right.

          • SaveOffLeash.com

            Let’s please get objective and quantified here rather than anecdotal. The numbers of biting incidents are minuscule, let alone any deeper look at accountability of others. The proposed restrictions are akin to blaming all cyclists for a few ill mannered ones and limiting cyclists to some small oval tracks where they can “go cycle if they wish”.

      • miss415

        The plovers are thriving according to an article on the GGNRA website. The dogs are not harming any birds. “According to Dr. Bill Merkle, wildlife ecologist for the Golden Gate
        National Recreation Area, the average count at Ocean Beach is in the
        low- to mid-20s per survey. “[Spotting] 104 birds is four times what
        we’ve normally seen over the last 20 or so years,” he says.”

  • Brad

    Outrageous. I should have every right to enjoy the park with my dogs (who are my children) just as everyone else does. I hate kids; can we ban them just because I don’t like them? People regularly leave trash in all parks, so maybe we should ban food and beverages? The answer is obviously no; I have to accept that it’s a shared space and I can’t shape it as I would like, just as no one else should be able to tell me how I use the public space my tax dollars pay for.

    In any case, this is entirely unenforceable and punishes the 99% for the irresponsible 1%. This is another example of nanny-state policies put in place by a vocal minority (one of San Francisco’s largest exports).

    • Kit

      Silly overreaction comment. You were once a kid Brad and I bet getting a dog bite would have been a bad day for you.

    • Sean Dennehy

      You are allowed to enjoy the park with your dog….by having it on a leash. If you are so lazy you can’t do this little, then it’s your fault.

      • SFhillrunner

        My dog LOVES playing ball on a leash.

      • SaveOffLeash.com

        This is the common argument from someone who hasn’t had a dog. It’s akin to telling cyclists, “If you want to take your bike with you, then you must walk with it by your side because I don’t like cyclists getting in my way when I drive or I’m afraid of getting hit by a cyclist when I walk. If you’re too lazy to do that, then leave your bike at home.”

        I do not want a dog to keep it restrained all the time. Some dog owners may even acquiesce to do this, but it is not humane and it’s a lazy crutch to get out of training your dog properly in many cases. I’m not saying leash isn’t appropriate at times, but leash is not the default full-time solution.

    • David

      “I should have every right to enjoy the park with my dogs (who are my children) just as everyone else does.” classic. your remark reminds me of a friend who thought the same of her dog until she adopted kids…it just doesn’t compare.

    • Beth Grant DeRoos

      Kids and dogs have a lot in common. ‘Parents’ who think every one should love and welcome their ‘child’ every where.

      Federal land is supported with tax dollars from all Americans not just those who live in the San Francisco bay area.

      And according to American veterinarian groups around 36% of American households have dogs. Which would make you the vocal minority.

    • David

      “…no one else should be able to tell me how I use the public space my tax dollars pay for.” wtf are you talking about? it doesn’t work the way anywhere.

      • Livegreen

        At first I thought it was sarcasm, but then it quickly turned into a liberal dog owner libertarian manifesto.

        • David

          there are many things i’m thankful for like not being religious. i may have to add not being a dog owner to the list…

  • amyj1276

    I think the last number of years have proven that responsible dog owners are now far outnumbered by crazy dog people who think that their dogs should never be on a leash, that their dogs should wander through the grocery store and other inappropriate places, and that they shouldn’t have to clean up after their dogs on our streets, parks, and recreation areas. It’s unfortunate because it gives responsible dog owners a bad reputation and it results in rules like this, which now seem necessary. If people actually respected and followed the rules, we wouldn’t need to restrict them. We’ve had to stop using much of the national park/rec area because of off-leash dogs when leash laws are clearly indicated. No more walks on Land’s End. No taking baby to Ocean Beach on warm days. All thanks to the crazy dog people.

  • Chris OConnell

    The off-leash dog special interest group is quite annoying but typically human. Like cigarette smokers, they act oppressed and persecuted as if they are just arbitrarily denied their thing. They have no interest or concern or even apparent awareness of how their thing impacts all the flora and fauna, not just the majority of humans who are not running their dogs off leash. (Or smoking.)

    • Sean Dennehy

      Get ready to have all your comments on the bottom. Off Leash groups are practically brigading the comment section.

      • Chris OConnell

        Thanks for the warning. On this site, you gotta sort by Newest.

  • als….

    For what its worth, there have been some “unwritten” rules about places where dogs are acceptable. Baker beach has LONG been an accepted place for dogs. Owners and visitors know this. Fort Funston too. It is a good for public health to have support of outside activities that are family friendly and free. PLEASE listen to the families and dog owners who want to do the right thing and be more moderate. This is a completeley unworkable plan and quite expensive to enforce. Really you all need to do better. Policy and rule making is supposed to be incremental and this is far from it!

    • amyj1276

      That is untrue, as much as the dog owners would like to think so. When there are clearly marked rules about dogs having to be leashed, that means there are no “unwritten rules” about dogs not having to be leashed. Don’t mistake a lack ability to enforce laws with any kind of complicity in breaking the laws.

  • Zbigniew Rozbicki

    I’m a dog lover, but don’t happen to own one at the moment. That said, I have zero sympathy for Bay Area dog owners who insist upon littering our public landscapes with the little baggies of their dog waste left for other users to pick up? Or do they expect paid GGNRA staff to spend their days collecting the waste they insist upon leaving everywhere?!? Until responsible dog owners begin shaming the others into packing out their waste, I will have zero sympathy for their access to public lands.

    • Tim Steele

      I agree – but as a responsible dog owner, I routinely pick up a few of those baggies at Fort Funston.

      • Zbigniew Rozbicki

        Much appreciated of course, but it remains a big issue that rubs many people badly. I rarely see or interact with dogs or owners on the trails that I frequent, but I don’t think I’ve ever been on any trail when I haven’t seen numerous dog waste bags left along the path. This needs to be remedied if dog owners expect to elicit public sympathy for their cause.

        • Ariel

          Is there a shortage of waste receptacles at Fort Funston? Maybe a map posting trash bin locations could help. It wouldn’t solve the bag entirely, but might help.

    • sfcameraman

      With you, dog owners need to police themselves. That said, poop bags aren’t the issue here. Access and mismanagement are the issues at hand.

  • Kit

    I am a dog owner AND I would appreciate if Muir beach could become less of a dog park.

  • Livegreen

    I am a lover of both dogs, the coast and wildlife. I agree that off-leash dog walking is too limited in the Bay Area. HOWEVER, when our family walks our dog where there are signs prohibiting dogs in wildlife areas there are ALWAYS dog owners ignoring those signs, ravaging the beaches, and could care less about the wildlife. And what about ENFORCEMENT? There is none.

    Irresponsible dog owners who don’t care about the environment are giving all dog owners a bad name. When they don’t improve we as dog owners, responsible or not, must admit signs alone have not worked and we have forfeited our responsibility.

    • Ariel

      I agree that people should obey signs and it is a shame that some don’t follow. But, as you said, off-leash dog walkng areas are way too limited in the Bay Area. It is possible that these people don’t know where it is allowed and just want to make sure their companions have exercise. Others are tourists. And some are entitled.

      The problem doesn’t only lie with the entitled persons, but with the supply of the dog friendly areas. The Bay Area isn’t like most of the US where people can have large backyards for their dogs; that shouldn’t restrict us from having dogs at all.

  • trite

    Slightly off-topic, but there is also the problem of dogs off-leash on public streets–a real problem where I live in the east bay.

  • Chris OConnell

    First World Problems are great. It reflects that we live in quite a rich, entitled society, which sure beats the alternative.

  • Livegreen

    Dog owners should have to get a license, and the education that goes along with it, to use environmentally challenged areas. Then, once again, there has to be enforcement. No enforcement and nobody will feel the need to do it. In Piedmont dog parks they have enforcement when those of us from Oakland go to use it. After a fine or the threat of one you know what people do? They get a permit.

    • Sar Wash

      Humans are the ones who vandalize, litter, pollute, and hurt people and the environment, not dogs. People should have to get a license and learn not to litter.

    • Tim Steele

      My dog does have a license. And she’s on leash where required. I fully support following the law.

  • Chris OConnell

    Because the dog leash crew didn’t get what they want, no one listened to them, they cry. Because no other voices matter, no other voices exist, except mine.

  • Lisa M

    What about the resultant impacts on SF Bay Area parks when these rules go into effect? I have been walking my dog on GGNRA lands for the past 9 years and have NEVER seen a dog attacking a person or knocking a human down. If people don’t want to be around dogs, they have the vast majority of GGNRA’s 80,000 acres to visit. We dog guardians and dog professionals are not asking for much.

    • Kit

      Dog professionals are making money on public land. So we the people get to make the rules about your practices.

      • Lisa M

        Dog professionals pay taxes too and should have just as much of a voice in the process as everyone else.

        • Kit

          Simply- this is public land. You are using it as part of your business model. You need to abide by the rules set in place- even if they are adjusted to make things safer and more enjoyable for everyone. You can still come and make your money but you should be considerate and thoughtful about all the people that are there and be aware of what they are saying- they don’t feel comfortable with your dogs off leash.

          • Tim Steele

            That goes without saying. The question isn’t whether or not Lisa will follow the rules. The question is whether or not the rules should change in the first place.

          • Kit

            The people want the rules to change because they don’t want unleashed dogs in areas that are enjoyed by large groups of people. They want that to be enforced. I am glad Lisa will abide by the new rules.

          • Tim Steele

            Because the 99% of the acres which already prohibit off-leash dogs aren’t enough, huh?

          • Kit

            Right.

          • Tom Roop

            This has already been addressed with the rules for professional Dog Walkers. You are right this is public land that has historic uses for people and their dogs. The people of the City and County of San Francisco have the Right of Reversion as written in the second page paragraph B. of the 1973 GGNRA Proposition F that cites that the People due have this right to reclaim this land in San Francisco because of breach of promise to the people… https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2ezi1v4OYkzdnNoR2tjd0d2dlU/edit?pref=2&pli=1

      • Michelle Sanchez

        We pay a permit fee for 3 years now to conduct business, in addition to being good stewards of the space. I see many citizens, with and without dogs, trashing the parks.

      • SFhillrunner

        Yeah – ban the nannies from city parks. They are using the parks to take care of kids. Freeloaders.

        • Kit

          As long as they are following the rules created by the community- they are welcome. They can even bring their pets with them.

  • gaylemjs@comcast.net

    I just tuned in. I
    apologize if this repeats anything said before.

    I have lived in Mill Valley for 34 years and have had dogs the
    entire time. I live below the Miwok
    trail. My dog and are daily users of the
    trails.

    My dog, Izzy, not only uses the trails, but brings a smile
    to 80% of people whom we pass. If there
    are problems with dogs, it is irresponsible owners, just like if people or
    children abuse our precious lands, it’s the people or parents’
    irresponsibility. We don’t ban children
    from the trails and beaches because a very few irresponsible parents allow
    their children throw trash, abuse animals or flora.

    If people complain that they don’t want to be around dogs,
    if they or their children are afraid of dogs–they can now enjoy about 33
    trails and many beaches.

    In my opinion, most dog people who use GGNRA lands are the
    most responsible stewards of the land.

    If GGNRA would reach out to us and work with us instead of
    making us the enemy we could be incredible allies in protecting these lands.

    Currently, dogs are allowed on only about 10 trails—and must
    be leashed on half of those. Dogs are
    completely banned from the 33 other trails. If the GGNRA prevails, the dog ban
    will increase to about 38 trails and all off-leash exercise will be a thing of
    the past on the trails.

    GGNRA has wasted enough time, money, and produced two
    amazingly lengthy reports not supported by scientific study.

    We could all be using this time to create a plan to expand
    GGNRA to more land for dogs–and have dog people work in conjunction with you
    to find strategies to reach your ultimate goal (I hope) to protect the land,
    and the animals; and to keep GGNRA a recreational National Park–which it is
    supposed to be.

    • David

      “In my opinion, most dog people who use GGNRA lands are the most responsible stewards of the land.” we’ll, that’s convenient.

      • Kit

        Yes. Saying something can make it true.

        • David

          cool. so, on that account, it’s true that you’re wrong when i say you are.

          • Kit

            Ha! Sarcasm my friend. Relaxxxxx.

          • David

            ugh, sorry, i just realized that. point taken. my lame.

    • Kit

      Do you know that many people that own dogs also support on-leash efforts? This is scientific fact. The Golden Gate Recreation Administration is protecting everyone in the park who thinks your dogs are cute but don’t want for a moment to have to worry about them. Your dogs might be great for you- most dogs are protective and wonderful to their owners but a stranger is a unknown and it creates a unknowable situation when dogs off leash encounter someone on a trail. Recreation means relaxing. I bet you know that-so why not pass some of that along and allow others to feel the same? Peace my friend.

      • Tom Roop

        A Part of Recreation is Relaxing, but the other part is something people do to have fun : activities done for enjoyment which we as dog guardians enjoy in open areas and trails in the GGNRA where our dogs can run free or follow us on a trail…. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/recreation

        • Kit

          Your fun simply should not affect other people’s relaxing fun. You can still have fun- just do it so that others feel safe. Okay?

          • Tom Roop

            Dogs off leash now are allowed on 1% of 90,000 acres of GGNRA land and if this plan is ratified dogs and their guardians will only be allowed on 0.1 % of the 90,000 acres. This is a huge blow to off leash dog walking. Why should we be the excluded class for recreation in this plan, already we are excluded from every major tourist attraction in the GGNRA. The 1979 Pet Policy worked and was a fair compromise and still is.

          • Kit

            Do you classify yourself as an off leash 1979 dog walker? Tom, You are not a part of a excluded class you are just a citizen who need to be concerned about how your current actions affect others. I am sorry you feel excluded from all the tourist attractions. I bet you could fit into another class- those who buy a leash knowing that many people prefer that you do.

          • Tom Roop

            Twist and misconstrue the words as you may , but the fact is that the 1979 Pet Policy has worked and still does, just apply the rules of this policy to be enforced now…
            We are going to be over regulated by this DMP which will be far more restrictive than any of us ever imagined… There is $ 2.6 Million $ that the NPS has been allotted to enforce these new proposed DMP rules it will mean more Rangers out writing expensive tickets and turning the recreation of off leash dog waling into a criminal offense….
            The NPS and GGNRA never complied with Site Specific Peer Review studies that are needed in any Controversial Rule Making Changes by a government agency to prove that the rule changes were needed. { each agency shall conduct a peer review on all influential scientific information that the agency intends to disseminate. [Emphasis added]} This may be found at OBDOG :http://oceanbeachdog2.home.mindspring.com/id32.html
            The NPS/GGNRA has used flawed science in the form of studies at other places and not with Site Specific Peer Review and along with that the took 15 years to compose this waste of tax payers money. Don’t feel sorry; just get real as you obviously don’t get it that we are all being affected by these rules.
            There are places in this urban environment that have evolved as dog walking areas that were recognized back in 1973 in Prop F and are subject to Reversion by the City and County of San Francisco…

          • Kit

            Change is hard but it comes toward a greater good. 1979 is a long time ago in the life of a city. The population of people has exploded since then and while we can get upset about that and complain how it affects our lives it may be better and healthier to adjust and know that life is about change. You probably had kids who are part of the growth. Do you despise them? I bet not. They are part of you. People around you are part of you.

            Safety for the population is at the core of the changes and while it might be a new twist on things since 1979 I would say you and your dog had a good run. (That is an old dog by the way!) Also when you discuss flawed science- there is simply no way to quantify poop bags and people’s disgust and annoyance towards those who carelessly walk their dogs in a modern world. You can call for science and proof but there is more than enough experience out there that is now calling for the changes to make us all safer. I call up this poem by John Donne that speaks to your connection to others and why your own empathy towards their concerns about your unleashed dogs should matter.

            No man is an island,

            Entire of itself,

            Every man is a piece of the continent,

            A part of the main.

            If a clod be washed away by the sea,

            Europe is the less.

            As well as if a promontory were.

            As well as if a manor of thy friend’s

            Or of thine own were:

            Any man’s death diminishes me,

            Because I am involved in mankind,

            And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;

            It tolls for thee.

          • HZCrane

            Poetry aside, your idea of “the greater good” is yours alone.

          • Tom Roop

            We now have an extra 30 days to hone our substantive comment’s about the DMP. The comment period has been extended to May 25, 2016. http://www.nps.gov/goga/getinvolved/prop-rule-dog-mgt.htm

      • SaveOffLeash.com

        “many people”…”is a scientific fact”? This sounds just like something NPS would write to justify their actions.

    • Free Voice

      perfectly stated, gayle.

    • miss415

      What a wonderful, logical, win-win Solution that would be.

  • Tim Steele

    I see this as nothing more than another example of gentrification in our area. San Francisco has long been dog friendly and it’s one of the many things that makes the city such a great place. But new people moving in are determined to make SF into the sterile utopia that techies dream of. It’s a real loss.

    • Kit

      Yes, people and their weird habit of making things safer is happening. Having a dog running around you can be interpreted as a form of aggression and your comment shows that you don”t much care for people. This is why we need to enact laws that protect people from attitudes like yours that can manifest into a dangerous situation.

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    Wildlife have no choice but to live in wildlife areas. Having a dog is a choice and wildlife should not have to suffer because some human who has chosen to own a dog believes their dogs right to run wild is more important than the rights of wildlife.

    • Tim Steele

      99% of the parks in the area already don’t allow for off-leash dogs. Wildlife has had to work around human encroachment – a much bigger problem than the small number of acres where dogs are allowed to play off leash.

  • Sebastian

    By limiting access to smaller areas we are causing more and more dogs to be accessing the same areas, which increases the impact they have on that area. Instead of allowing dogs in many places and having a few dogs in a place at a time they are concentrating them and increasing the impact. The bay area has so many open spaces but only a small handful are legal for me to go if I want to bring my dog.

  • Christine Holmes

    I live in San Francisco and hike, jog and bike much of the GGNRA adjacent to SF and in Marin on a regular basis. Everytime I am on a trail or beach I see plastic baggies with dog poop along the side of the trail, dogs off leash where they are supposed to be on leash, and dogs romping through wildlife habitat. I have never seen another dog owner admonish or point out the error of this to the errant dogs’ owner. I love dogs and all animals, including wildlife. The National Parks must be a haven for the indigenous wildlife and fauna first of all. Dog owners demonstratively cannot be relied on to respect this. The Park Service’s new rules and very much needed.

    • Tim Steele

      The new rules will not fix the problem you’ve described whatsoever.

    • Sar Wash

      “must be a haven for the indigenous wildlife” – So, shouldn’t all humans be banned? Humans have a much more negative environmental impact than dogs.

      • Kit

        Yes. Ban the Sar Washes.

  • JED

    In Napa, we have a dog friendly park where there is an off leash area and on leash area. However, dog owners almost always have their dogs off leash no matter where they are in the park. So often, I hear dog owners who say that their dogs, “well behaved”, but I feel that they use this phrase to justify their laziness to leash their dogs.

    • Tim Steele

      Responsible dog owners follow the law. I don’t think anyone here is arguing that.

  • Michael McKee

    There are many, many children who are afraid of dogs. Dog owners act like their dogs are children, but they are not. They are pets. I feel children should have preference over dogs. I have children with anxiety disorders and dog phobias and they have not been able to enjoy the outdoors.

    • Tim Steele

      Then you should take your kids to the 99% of the parks which prohibit off-leash dogs. Is that really a burden?

      Further, I hope you will seek the services of professionals who can help your kid overcome the irrational fear of all dogs (which I suspect stems from your own).

      • Kit

        The problem is that in all playgrounds and parks there is always a seemingly free spirit person who has a dog bounding about. Nice or not- as a dog owner and a parent I don’t appreciate the carelessness that these people have about everyone else around them and their dog’s park time. Does it come down to caring for our fellow human beings? I bet for anything else you would be protective and defensive of someone with a phobia- right?

        • Sar Wash

          Some people have phobias of children (who, unlike dogs, spread disease and have a major negative impact on the environment). Should children also be banned?

          • Kit

            Yes, you too.

          • Michael McKee

            Yeah, right. The arguments coming from off-leash proponents are so ludicrous!

          • Sar Wash

            No, the anti-dog arguments are ludicrous.

        • Tim Steele

          I fully support enforcement of leash laws – off-leash dogs in playgrounds is against the law and people breaking the law should be penalized. Responsible owners are simply trying to protect the precious few acres available for legal off-leash play and exercise.

      • Michael McKee

        Typical response. Ever consider the fact that it might be a HEALTHY and NORMAL response of a small creature to fear a larger creature with all those teeth? If you dog owners obeyed leash laws, then everything would be OK.

      • Michael McKee

        Wow, thanks for the analysis, Tim! What a constructive comment on the topic!

        • Tim Steele

          If your kid is afraid of my 13lb friendly dog, you’ve not fully done your job as a parent (yes, before you ask, I’m also a parent).

          • Michael McKee

            Your poor kids! Clearly you understand everyone and everything perfectly. Oh, the high and mighty!

    • Sar Wash

      Why should your anti-dog bigotry take away everyone’s rights? If you have not socialized your children, that is the result of your bad parenting. Please do not take it out on other people and dogs.

      • Kit

        Don’t be mean. You should bark less.

        • Sar Wash

          I am not the one trying to reduce the utility of our parks. I am being nice; the anti-dog bigots are being mean.

      • Michael McKee

        Wow. Great comment. It’s interesting – I find the most offensive and aggressive language coming from the off-leash proponents. Very interesting.

    • Free Voice

      I understand completely, Michael, that not everyone likes dogs. That’s why there are plenty of beaches and trails that you can use where you will never see one. Your children have preference over my pet in 90% of the GGNRA, presently. Why is that not good enough???? How is it reasonable to take away an important form of recreational access for a huge segment of society so that every single GGNRA site is perfectly tailored for another segment? Why can’t we all share and all sacrifice a little bit? How is it fair that not a single wide fire road (which the GGNRA has interestingly renamed as “trails” in, around, to or from Muir Beach will be available to use with a leashed dog???

  • Free Voice

    Neal Desai is staggeringly dishonest and disingenuous. There is not a SINGLE site specific or peer reviewed study in the entire EIS process for the plan. Not ONE.

  • Free Voice

    And…Marin County is being hammered. Muir Beach won’t have a SINGLE trail for use with a dog. Not ONE. Even on leash.

    • Kit

      I am very happy about Muir beach being protected. It is so much nicer at Stinson where dogs don’t rule the place.

      • Free Voice

        Muir Beach and all its inhabitants are thrilled that you’d rather go to Stinson, where you have been allowed to have a dog free experience all along. You won’t be happy when Muir Beach ignores this bogus rule. And it will.

  • John O’Hara

    Dear Forum,

    Thank you for taking the time to address this issue. Many of us on the San Mateo
    Coast are upset that leash laws are not being enforced. We feel the Park
    Service has abandoned us and created an unsafe environment in the park. We have
    asked that they enforce the laws in the park and keep our families and our pets
    safe. We are tired of being shut out of the parks we pay for. There is a
    growing anger with dog owners that disobey the law and the NPS for failing to
    protect us.

    We have started a local petition to ask for help from our legislators.

    What the petition says:

    People are ignoring the laws and allowing their dogs to run off leash causing injury
    to children, adults and pets. We ask the NPS, State Parks and County Parks
    Rangers to enforce the law.

    Petition Background

    There has been a growing conflict on the San Mateo County Coast between families,
    hikers and off-leash dogs and their owners. These conflicts have resulted in
    injuries to children, adults and pets. The potential for violent confrontations
    between hikers and dog-owners are escalating. Our parks should be safe places
    for all our citizens to enjoy. We simply ask that our Rangers enforce existing
    law.

    You can read the stories of the other side here.

    http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/enforce-existing-laws

    John O’Hara
    Safe SMC Beaches and Trails
    Montara

  • Hinda Chalew

    I lived in Alameda County for many years. Alameda County has fairly liberal off leash rules and it seems to work. I live in San Mateo County which seems to have the MOST restrictive dog rules. In my opinion San Mateo County has a lot of wealthy people with horses. Horse people don’t want the dogs on the trails off-leash or on. Most parks have a NO dog policy. Which dovetails to the GGNRA. In my opinion there needs to be a balance of off-leash and on-leash areas. I don’t believe that most dog owners want full off leash in all areas of the park. Fort Funston is a fantastic place for dog owners and for non-dog owners. I would advocate it remain as is. Chrissy Field is a bit more complex in my opinion. It’s more accessible than Fort Funston and thus has a greater mix of use. I think GGNRA could allow off leash at certain hours of the day and on-leash at others. This might be a good compromise. I would personally hope this whole thing doesn’t degenerate and GGNRA becomes like San Mateo County and not allow dogs.

  • sfcameraman

    Just listened to the segment, and feel the need to comment.

    The GGNRA is disregarding the public wishes, plain and simple. All of their arguments are specious and refutable. Additionally, they are largely unwanted.

    These affected areas are our collective backyard. These lands aren’t appropriate as a compartmented, separated, and managed from a one-size-fits-all viewpoint.

    It is my belief, if these rules go forward, common sense public users will actively remove the barriers and change the rules back to what they are now. Basically, I think this is a huge waste of time that, I hope, will backfire against the NPS.

    • Mttamer

      This comment illustrates the problem where the current rules are often blatantly disregarded by dog owners. Why do you think we’ve reached this point of further restrictions?

      There are obviously public wishes on both sides of the argument, not just your side.

      • sfcameraman

        Who is talking about blatant disregard. My comment refers to repeal of any changes, should they occur.

    • Kit

      The Golden Gate National Recreation is about just that recreation. The public does wish for you and everyone to be more respectful of the land and so are putting rules in place that they expect you to follow. You can be a free spirit and care about others right? I thought so.

    • Chris OConnell

      Yes, we have heard these points over and over. You are all repeating the talking points. GGNRA is hardly disregarding the public wishes, just not granting yours. Their arguments are not specious. And they are most welcome.

      And your last comment just illustrates how dog owners don’t follow the rules.

      • sfcameraman

        Welcome by only 1 in 3 survey respondents, according to the program today. That’s 1 person for change out of three. When has that been a majority? Additionally, no local politicians are for the change. So, basically, the argument for change is from a small minority and from influences outside the region.

        My last comment isn’t that I will intend to disregard the rules but rather to repeal any changes made.

    • Kit

      The Golden Gale Recreation Administration? Oh yes, they are taking care of the vast amount of people who are in the community who welcome the changes. Please follow the new rules.

      • Tom Roop

        Kit, there are no new rules yet….. This idea you have that there’s a vast amount of people who are for this DMP is pure fantasy.. The use of substantive comment will show that these proposed rules have came to us without site specific peer review studies to prove that dogs are the problem…. Here is a little bit of information about safety that shows Fort Funston which has the most visits of dogs with their guardians is one of the safest places in the GGNRA/NPS because there are less incidences requiring Ranger assistance.and Fort Mason the GGNRA Headquarters with lowest number of dog visits has the most incidences over a 6 year study between 2001-2006 that can be found at : http://oceanbeachdog.home.mindspring.com/id80.html

  • sfcameraman

    Another thought… this feels an awful lot like the attempted management of mountain bikes on Mt. Tamalpais. It feels like, if the laws are enacted, we can expect ridiculous policing efforts, outrageous confrontations, polarizing factions.

    For pete’s sake… The Bay Area is a magnet for failed, over-reaching managerial policy. So many other urban parks manage to get these issues sorted out in a sane manner. Why can’t we? I can’t believe this is going to end well for the NPS.

    • Kit

      Nope! Just reining in those who don’t care too much about others. It is very Bay Area to act like an island but I can assure you that you are not. The population here is growing fast and it is time to be respectful and aware of others. As SF becomes more urban- even in areas like Marin it is time to be less of a island and more part of a larger community.

      • sfcameraman

        Exactly, we need to understand that there are lots of people… including dog owners, mountain bikers, etc… who use the land as well. We cannot isolate the “park” from the “people”. It isn’t wilderness, it is almost an urban area… and with that, like it or not, comes more use from people living their daily lives. That includes lots of different uses, and I don’t believe those uses are necessarily bad forms of recreation. Quite the contrary.

        Your island idea cuts both ways.

  • SFhillrunner

    We have given away our ENTIRE COASTLINE to the feds. Why? They do not have our local best interests in mind. This is not democracy.

    • Kit

      Nope- we are the federal government. The government is the people- surprise! Welcome to America!

      • SFhillrunner

        They asked for comments- then ignored them. Local politicians are against these new regulations – GGNR has also ignored this.

        • Kit

          I am tired of dogs on Muir beach sniffing around my lunch while the owner seems unaware/ uncaring? The point is no one wants so many dogs unmanaged in public places. As a democracy we all voted for the people who can see the logic and best interests of the community even if we don’t go to the meetings. The special interests who think dogs are children etc. simply have the time or motivation to have the time to show up for “commenting.” I am just glad I can go back to Muir at some point and feel actually relaxed.

          • Free Voice

            there are countless other beaches you could go to and not see a single dog. you could go to stinson. you could go to tennessee valley. you could go to Limantour. muir beach is surrounded by 150 homes, with more dogs than children living there. if this plan goes through, we lose the beach, and we lose every single solitary trail and fire road that surrounds muir beach. people will literally have to either walk their dogs on highway one, or get in a car adding to terrible traffic and drive 30 minutes. miwok is lost, coastal is lost. kaashi way is lost. dias ridge is already off limits. coastal view, owl, heather cutoff, redwood creek, coyote ridge and green gulch are ALL dog-free. how is that reasonable??? it just isn’t. i am 50 years old, and i grew up in marin, and my family made a decision on any given day–dogs or no dogs? and we’d alternate between stinson and muir depending on what kind of experience we would want. it never, ever occurred to us that we had a right to tell others that they couldn’t use that amazing beach with their dogs. since when did we get to demand that everything is perfect for us all the time? since when did being “tired of dogs” allow the shaping of a public space. i’m tired of finding dirty diapers in the sand, and broken glass, and fishing hooks. i’m tired of hauling beer bottles and trash off the beach. my friend had her son get 3rd degree burns on his feet from stepping on a buried fire that someone just tossed some sand over. are we banning people?? of course not. these lands are supposed to be shared, and that’s why the 1979 pet policy elegantly laid out places all throughout the GGNRA for use by people with dogs–so every community would have nearby hiking and running and beach opportunities with their canine companions. that policy was drafted by a citizens advisory commission and done with elected officials and an accountable process. what we have here is an out of control agency that has powerful private interests like the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy pulling the strings, shaping priorities and morphing the mission. i would not relax too much if i were you or plan on having an uninterrupted lunch. i suspect that muir will not bend perfectly to this. and i also suspect this is going to the courts for the sham of a public process that it was. the draft rule is basically identical to the first set of preferred alternatives. the public comments created no compromise or concessions. this was a pre-determined outcome.

          • Tom Roop

            Well Said Free Voice !!! A very insightful post comment that: ” the public comments created no compromise or concessions. this was a pre-determined outcome.”

            The comment period for the DMP Rulemaking was extended to 90 days and will now end at 11:59 PM ET on May 25, 2016 : http://www.nps.gov/goga/getinvolved/prop-rule-dog-mgt.htm

            Also Ocean Beach Dog has release their take on how to turn this latest fiasco ,known as the 2016 DMP: There is a lot more to be said and learned here at: ROLL OVER is the new battle cry learn more at : http://oceanbeachdog2.home.mindspring.com/id33.html

  • Bebopsruin

    GGNRA oversees 80,000 acres, the affected areas – Fort Funston and Crissy Field – comprise ~350 acres, this constitutes 0.4375% of the total land overseen by GGNRA. So what dog owners are being told here is that the 0.4375% of park land that they can take their dog to and let them off leash to run around is too big.

    What?

    As a large dog owner, there are precious few places I can take my dog to let her run around and get some exercise. I, as many in this city, live in a small apartment and having an area available for me to take my dog so she can get some exercise is critical. If both Fort Funston and Crissy Field are shut down for off-leash walking, there would be a grand total of 0 places for my dog to get the exercise she needs in a way she and I can enjoy.

    I have a counter-proposal for GGNRA. Leave Fort Funston and Crissy Field with the access levels they already have, let dog owners and their dogs enjoy those parks off-leash, and maintain the other 99.5625% of the land they oversee as either on-leash or no dogs. That way everyone from the comment section who doesn’t want to be ‘accosted by dogs’ has a wide array of space to choose from while the people who enjoy playing with their dogs on the beach still have one or two places they can go.

    • Kit

      Dog park it.

      • Bebopsruin

        I am dog parking it. GGNRA is trying to change that.

        • Kit

          Nope. There a places called dog parks- they are not called Muir beach or Chrissy field. Google them.

          • Bebopsruin

            Muir Beach, Crissy Field, and Fort Funston are currently classified as off-leash dog friendly parks. That shouldn’t change. I’m sure if you’re a really bad troll or just not getting it. But I would recommend you google some parks that don’t allow dogs in the area and go visit those instead.

          • Kit

            Huh? They are currently classified but….They are going to be on leash parks very soon. Soo…It is time to put your dog on a leash or go to a contained off leash dog park that most cities have created for the purpose of off-leash time with your dog. They are everywhere. Google away cowboy.

          • Bebopsruin

            They are not reclassifying at the moment, they are fielding a proposal and looking for public input. So it is most certainly not time to put my dog on a leash, it’s time to let the GGNRA know my opinion and work to keep those parks as the doggy heaven they have been and should continue to be.

            I’ve read through a bunch of your other comments throughout the discussion and it seems your primary concern is your dog interacting with other dogs in an off leash area.

            I’m not sure why you feel that way as my experience with my dog and other dogs in off leash areas has been great every time I have been to Fort Funston, but maybe the problem is on your end as most of the other commenters here seem to be in favor of keeping the parks off leash.

            I should also point out – what you are currently doing is the logical equivalent of walking into a bar and complaining they serve beer. If you don’t like off leash dogs, fine, go somewhere that doesn’t allow them, but don’t try and shut down something I enjoy and my dog enjoys because you don’t like it.

          • Kit

            Your doggie heaven is exactly why this is happening. These well loved areas have become places where people like myself are not welcome- or feel unwelcome. This is public land and should be made to be usable and comfortable for everyone not just you and dog parent fanatics. I do have a dog who loves other dogs and loves to go to dog parks. My dog does not mess with the wildlife, poop without me being right there, or troll people at beaches. I do want to support the effort to make our National parks safer and many of the comments here are in support of that. I am here in support of children who are not online to defend themselves, people who are uncomfortable with dogs, people who may look like a threat to your dog for some reason, or people with small dogs who do not want your dog to injure them. You must be able to see the logic in it and while it may be sad to change your behavior for others- I suggest you look in the mirror and wonder how you actually feel about other people- not just dogs.

          • Free Voice

            Why should dog owners feel unwelcome EVERYWHERE, yet people who don’t like dogs should feel welcome everywhere? There are many, many more sites in the GGNRA and in the counties that don’t allow dogs. You have MANY choices for a dog-free experience. There is nothing right about you asserting that everywhere should be perfectly just as you want it. No one has that right. The whining from dog-haters is getting old.

          • Tom Roop

            Kit the rule hasn’t changed yet, we now have until May 25, 2016 to oppose this plan with “substantive” comment”!

            I walk with my dog around our neighborhood but she and I get more out of going to a place like Ocean Beach that allows off leash dog walking where she is allowed to meet and greet other dogs and people….

            At this time I don’t know if you really have a dog or if your just a shill for the GGNRA…. I know that you have a knack for twisting what is said by others with your condescending statements!

            I can tell you know nothing of the History of this DMP or even care how we got here!

            What peer Review Scientific Studies have been done by the NPS/GGNR to justify this drastic rule change for people on park lands recreating with their dog?

            The NPS could have saved a lot of time { 15 years and $2.6 Million Dollars$ } and money by enforcing existing rules and educating people about these rules to those with dogs on park land… But the NPS dragged this out in the hopes that the Dog Owning Community would forget about their trusted K-9’s and their times running free on a beach or hiking on a trail… Well we have not forgotten and will work to keep these freedoms in place…

            This whole DMP by its design is set up to fail and has this clause that could eliminate all dog activity called the ” Monitoring-Based Management (aka, The Poison Pill) is still a part of the rule. This means that if people do not comply with the new rule, the Park Service can change the status of any area. For example, the few remaining off-leash areas could be changed to on-leash or no dogs, and on-leash could be changed to no dogs.”

            Learn More by Going to OBDOG: http://oceanbeachdog2.home.mindspring.com/id33.html

    • Free Voice

      um…please don’t throw us under the bus. there are other parts to the GGNRA!
      marin is losing EVERYTHING. muir beach won’t have a single solitary trail or fire road accessible for even a leashed dog if this terrible plan goes through. how is that “reasonable”????

  • John

    Dogs are a nuisance.

    • A Different Perspective

      Dogs certainly can be a nuisance. Landlords definitely understand this and therefore do not generally allow pets, dogs especially. Dog owners – who seem to be so obsessed with their pets – need to recognize the ‘Nature’ of their so-called “domesticated” animal. However they might want to anthropomorphize their pets, they are predator animals nonetheless.

      • A Different Perspective

        By the same token, as much as pets take on qualities of their owners, owners become more like their dogs — pack animals and hunters. Like other predators, they assume primacy in the social order and display loyalty to their own kind.

  • EIDALM

    In our neighborhood in North Berkeley as well as in Tilden park and Wildcat Canyon parks I have observed on many occasions dogs even those on leash ,run and attack wild birds setting on the ground .including piegons ,swallows ,and other birds.

  • Free Voice

    I lived in the Oakland Hills for 7 years. It was a trail-sharing dog-loving, mountain bike loving and equestrian loving paradise. We all got along. Redwood Park and Joaquin Miller Park are fantastic and there is none of this anti-anything venom. The trails were voice control, the pro dog walkers were without exception professional and well-behaved. Since people are condemning all dogs because of their anecdotal experiences, I just want to add mine. ,

  • bigpchamber

    One problem is most people don’t have voice control over their dogs but they think they do. This wasn’t such a problem seven or eight years ago, but places like Crissy field are much more crowded these days. I would suggest that if dog dog owners find themselves apologizing over the behavior of their dogs, they do not have voice control. I would like to see a certification requirement showing that the owners have voice control before they are allowed to let their dogs off leash.

    Another problem is professional dog walkers. I have seen these people with 8 or more dogs, all running around on their own. There is no way they watch all these dogs, yet alone control them.

    I have seen owners do nothing while their dogs dig holes it garden areas and in the lawn. I have had dogs run at me, bark at me, sniff me and even jump on me while the owners simply reply ‘that’s alright, he’s friendly’.

    Here is a picture I took a few years ago. I was photographing a great blue heron hunting for gophers on a berm at Crissy Field. Dog are not allowed on the berm, but this spanail appeared over the top and charged the heron at full speed. I looked for the owner, but could not find him/her.
    http://goldengateaudubon.org/wp-content/uploads/Dog-v.-GBHE-Crissy-Field.jpg

  • A Different Perspective

    Dogs are an invasive species. ; )

  • A Different Perspective

    “People’s Park” in Berkeley is a misnomer: it has been occupied by the homeless and listless, thus making it obnoxious and unusable by more civil folk for any recreational purpose. Similarly, Larkey Park in Walnut Creek has transformed into a dog zoo. This is an unfair imposition upon everyone else and an appropriation of public assets by their dog-obsessed owners. Frankly stated, dogs (and secondarily cats) are an American bourgeois fetish. Across the State, our parks have increasingly gone to bums and dogs. It is time to reclaim civilization for the rest of us.

  • Jackie E

    “most dog owners are environmentalists” well, potentially hypocritical ones, 1 dog carbon footprint = 2.5 SUV’s

    • Ariel

      What’s the comparitive size for 1 human (vegan) carbon footprint? I’m actually curious as you came to that calculation and does that mean there should be no companion animals?

      • Jackie E

        google “carbon footprint of dog vs SUV”, and should? everyone has to decide that for themselves i suppose, just quit pretending it’s not a problem that affects us all

        • Ariel

          Their study looks at an SUV driving 6,200 miles per year. According to the US Department of Transportation (Federal Highway Administration) the average annual miles driven in the US is 13,476 which is more than double their study size. Given that the study was in New Zealand, there are many factors which could change the outcome (which could be positive or negative for my argument). For example, we may have better/worse regulations on feedlots, or better/worse alternative energy solutions.
          However, the fact that this study is based on HALF the mileage of an American driver shows that it could be that having a dog equals an SUV.
          Given that, we are comparing a LIVING thing to an OBJECT. Of course more energy will be consumed by the LIVING thing. The OBJECT is not running 24/7. There are studies that show having a dog can help one’s health (both physically and mentally). I have seen no study for SUVs.
          I never said that I was pretending that dog emissions affect the environment, but EVERYTHING does. You must do a cost-benefit for everything and to me, unless you are driving off-road, an SUV doesn’t compare to the benefits of a companion animal. (The reason I say companion animal is because you may interchange it with a hamster, cat, iguana, etc.)

      • Jackie E

        google “carbon footprint of dog vs SUV”, and should? i suppose everyone has to decide that for themselves, just quit pretenting that having a dog or cat or SUV or child has no effect on everyone else

    • Free Voice

      what about dog owners that live surrounded by GGNRA lands who don’t have to ever touch a car to access their trails and beaches….but as soon as this plan is adopted, they’ll have to drive 30 minutes just to find a dog-friendly trail? the way the 1979 Pet Policy was crafted, everyone finds a little slice they can use, right close to home. this plan is greenhouse gas disaster.

  • miss415

    Why couldn’t there have been enforcement of existing laws? Because there are too many dogs? That makes no sense! Responsible dog owners see the stuff irresponsible dog owners do and WISH THERE WAS SOME ENFORCEMENT!! And Neal Desai said there are 35 endangered species in the GGNRA but if one looks at that list, how many of those 35 species have habitat in dog walking areas? The Snowy Plover? An article on the GGNRA website March 2016 says how plovers in the GGNRA are thriving. The endangered list contains 4 mammals, 12 plants, 5 birds, 6 invertebrates, 7 fish. I think 1 plant & 1 bird have habitat where dogs walk off leash in SF. Your arguments are bogus and I hope you end up in court because your justifications are a bunch of stuff not based on reality.

  • EIDALM

    When consumer electronics were made in the U S ,my company had more than one hundred employees…….Small businesses are the backbone of the middle class .all of that is something of the past.

  • A Different Perspective

    “Companion animals” as it has come to mean is a euphemism for a psychological fetish. But no one wants to go there because dogs and cats are America’s “sacred cows.” This is an anthropological phenomenon that pet owners cannot comprehend: we are blind to our own personal and cultural biases. In Vietnam and China, they eat dogs. Your “companion” is someone else’s dinner.

    • Free Voice

      what’s your point? what an offensive comment.

  • Free Voice

    I think it’s bizarre that Jared Huffman and Neal Desai and Amy Meyer support commercial cattle ranching for 15 families in the Point Reyes National Seashore, but they somehow find walking a dog too damaging in an urban recreation area. The hypocrisy is astounding. I think they know what side their bread is buttered on, and it’s grass fed hand churned butter.

  • Malieka Landis

    I love dogs, LOVE my dog in particular, always had family dogs even after a dog bite from a family dog leaving me with a lifelong scar next to my eye. Listened to the program, did not read through all the comments (though many seem to repeat the same argument of ‘fairness’ based on perspective). Two perspectives I think are being overlooked. First, the NPS is getting slammed for limiting off-leash areas when it is the ONLY off-leash area in the entire NPS system. The GGNRA is actually PRESERVING special access for a specific user-group. Second, as the owner of a rescue dog who has demonstrated dog-specific aggression despite both formal and non-formal training, I can only walk my dog where there is a virtual guarantee of NO off-leash dogs. For us, designated off-leash areas actually limit our available recreation area. We accept that. Each individual may have the right to own a dog, but like all rights it comes with responsibility, not only to the dog but also to your fellow citizens.

    • Free Voice

      I am sorry that you had that bad experience with a dog as a child. That’s terrible. But I want to give you some perspective here. It’s not just about off-leash access. Marin County is losing ALL access to most of its historically dog-friendly fire roads and trails in the Marin Headlands, EVEN ON LEASH. Muir Beach, a community of hundreds of people, will be left with ZERO ACCESS OF ANY KIND to trails and fire roads around, in, to or from Muir Beach. There is nothing fair or balanced or reasonable about that. Even for you and your dog that needs to be leashed. We do all have to take responsibility for our dog’s limits. My own dog can’t hike off leash, as he would run off. But my last dog was an angel who stuck right by my side at all times. I would think the park service would want to help all of us to work together to actually make the recreational access mandate work for everyone.

  • Shammy

    I can’t believe how restrictive and awful these new rules are. Ludicrous!

  • A. Moldvay

    I am a former dog sceptic, then we adopted / rescued a mid sized spaniel who has become a welcome addition to almost all family outings.

    Yes there are irresponsible dog owners to whom I would suggest watching Ceasar Millan on YouTube and cleaning up after their dog. The current fascination by some people with aggressive breeds is very unfortunate, but the majority of dog owners are only interested in the welfare of their dog(s) and are responsible citizens.

    Government agencies appear to have totally forgotten that they are here to facilitate society, not to dictate a regime of rules that they have dreamed up among themselves and have spent 15 + years doing it . The current mode of public service is to find the useful Fools that are most aligned with their aims then act as if they are addressing them as their constituency.

    Most people are busy with work, family, their lives and do not realize they need to keep a vigilant eye on their so called public servants. Worse yet is the extreme nature of the True Believers that have worked their way into government under the banner of one type of activism or the other. Rational consideration of the needs of middle class citizens has given way to grand vistas of social engineering.

    I have been a responsible, low impact, carry out what you carry in hiker for all my life. Dogs do not cause erosion but bikes and people do. Hiking the trails and enjoying the nature of the California coast is the right of California’s residents. I am concerned that this exclusionary move will be worked into whatever changes the Coastal Commission will be making with it’s new leadership.

    This philosophy of limiting and forcing Citizens into a few fanatics vision is not the work of a Democratic government.

  • Trouterspace

    A few bad apples spoils the bunch, same reason I can’t ride my bike on many of these trails.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor