The purpose of this action is to provide a clear, enforceable policy to determine the manner and extent of dog use in appropriate areas of the park. Action is needed because under current conditions, park resources and values could be compromised to the extent that, without action, these resources and values in some areas of the park might not be available for enjoyment by future generations. Additionally, a dog management policy inconsistent with NPS regulations and increased public expectations for use of the park for dog recreation have resulted in controversy, litigation, and compromised visitor and employee safety, affecting visitor experience and resulting in resource degradation. These conflicts will likely escalate if not addressed in a comprehensive plan/EIS.
The document goes on to propose five alternative plans for 21 different dog-walking sites, including Stinson Beach, Muir Beach, Fort Baker, Fort Mason, Crissy Field, and Marin Headlands trails. The five alternatives for each site fall into the following categories:
- (A) Does not change the current policy
- (B) Aligns dog policy at GGNRA with the other existing National Park Service sites
- (C) Emphasizes multiple-use and apportions dog-walking geographically
- (D) Allows for the highest protection of "natural and cultural resources" and visitor safety
- (E) Plans that allow for the greatest level of dog-walking access
However, for each of the 21 sites, the proposal designates a "preferred alternative." The preferred alternative for a majority of the sites is C, which calls for more on-leash areas. Option D, the most restrictive of the no-leash options, is recommended for Muir Beach, Baker Beach, and the bluffs to the Golden Gate Bridge. For one site, Sutro Heights Park, the preference is for a less-restrictive leash policy.
Each set of alternatives also prescribes rules for commercial dog walking.
Below are GGNRA maps for some the sites. These show current areas open to dogs and also the preferred alternative, so you can compare the areas that now allow for off-leash access to the same areas under the preferred, more restrictive dog-leash policy. The first map you see will be the GGNRA's preferred alternative, the second will be the way it is now.
- Stinson Beach
- Muir Beach
- Rodeo Beach
- Baker Beach
- Ocean Beach
- Crissy Field
- Lands End
- Fort Mason
- More at the bottom of this page.
A summary of the changes is available in yesterday's News Fix post.
If you want to submit comments to the GGNRA about these plans, you can do so here.
Public hearings on the proposal are scheduled for the following dates and locations:
March 2: 4 to 8 p.m., Tamalpais High Student Center, 700 Miller Ave., Mill Valley.
March 5: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., San Francisco State University, Seven Hills Conference Center, State Drive, S.F.
March 7: 4 to 8 p.m., Fort Mason Center, Building A, Marina Boulevard at Buchanan Street, S.F.
March 9: 4 to 8 p.m. at Cabrillo School, 601 Crespi Drive, Pacifica.
KQED's Forum will deal with this topic in its Monday show. If you miss it, the show will be archived here.