You are hereDraft Environmental Impact Statement For a Dog Management Plan in the GGNRA

Draft Environmental Impact Statement For a Dog Management Plan in the GGNRA

By champsee - Posted on 30 January 2011

On January 14, 2011, the GGNRA released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for a new Dog Management Plan. The 2,400-page DEIS looked at impacts of five alternatives for a dog management plan at 21 sites, and selected a sixth as a Preferred Alternative. The Preferred Alternative will severely restrict access for people who want to recreate with their dogs off-leash compared to where they are currently able to do so. [Click here to read the DEIS]

Read the Executive Summary and the summary of the Preferred Alternative, then read in more detail about the places in the GGNRA that you enjoy visiting. The 21 sites include: in Marin – Stinson Beach, Homestead Valley, Oakwood Valley/Alta Trail, Muir Beach, Rodeo Beach, Marin Headlands Trails, and Fort Baker; in San Francisco – Fort Baker, Fort Mason, Crissy Field, Fort Point, Baker Beach, Lands End, Sutro Heights, and Fort Funston; in San Mateo County – Mori Point, Milagra Ridge, Sweeney Ridge/Cattle Hill, Pedro Point. You will see the Preferred Alternative severely restricts off-leash access in all these places.

For example, at Fort Funston, the only off-leash area would be a small area bounded by the parking lot, the Sunset Trail, and the Chip Trail. The Chip Trail as it extends past the picnic table and the drinking fountain would be on-leash only. The horse trail and all the land east of the Chip Trail would be not allow dogs at all. Similarly, the northern half of the beach at Fort Funston would not allow any dogs, whether leashed or unleashed. But dogs would be allowed off-leash on the southern half of the beach.

At Ocean Beach, the Preferred Alternative would allow off-leash dogs on the northern end of the beach, north of Stairwell 21 and near the Cliff House. However, there would be no dogs allowed at all on any part of the beach south of Stairwell 21 (which is near the Beach Chalet).

At Crissy Field, the Preferred Alternative would allow off-leash dogs on the central part of the beach, but require them to be leashed on the eastern part of the beach (nearest the parking lot). No dogs would be allowed on the western part of the beach, in the Wildlife Protection Area. About half of the airfield would be off-leash, while the other half would require leashes.

There are severe restrictions on off-leash in Marin County, and there would be no off-leash access on any GGNRA lands in San Mateo County. All new lands added to the GGNRA in any county would not allow dogs at all.

In addition, there is a poison pill – if the GGNRA determiners that there is not high enough compliance with the new restrictions, they will change the status of off-leash areas to on-leash, and on-leash areas to no dogs. This change will be permanent, with no possibility of going back to off-leash at any time in the future.




The public has 90 days to comment on the DEIS, with the public comment period ending on April 14, 2011. 

It is critical that people speak out against the Preferred Alternative. Comments should not just say that you like walking your dog off-leash in the GGNRA and oppose any restrictions, although you should tell them that you do enjoy recreating with your dog off-leash in the GGNRA. But comments should also include more substantive criticisms of the Preferred Alternative – why it is too restrictive, what issues did they not consider, what issues are misrepresented, etc. – and suggestions that the GGNRA must develop a new alternative that addresses the failings of the Preferred Alternative and allows traditional recreational uses like off-leash dog walking to continue in the GGNRA. SFDOG and other dog groups will be posting suggested points you can include in your comment. 

There are two ways to comment – online and by snail mail.

Click here to comment online

To comment by mail, send your comment to:

Frank Dean, General Superintendent
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Fort Mason, Building 201
San Francisco, CA 94123

There will also be four public open house meetings conducted by the GGNRA. These will not be public meetings where people get two or three minutes to state their opinions on the record. Instead, the GGNRA will set up information stations about the various sites under consideration, with staff available to discuss the DEIS with the public. We still encourage people to attend, to let GGNRA staff know the Preferred Alternative is not acceptable.

Open Houses:


March 2, 2011, 4 pm to 8 pm, Tamalpais High School, 700 Miller Ave, Ruby Scott Gym, Mill Valley, CA

San Francisco:

March 5, 2011, 11 am to 4 pm, San Francisco State University, Seven Hills Conference Center, State St, San Francisco

March 7, 2011, 4 pm to 8 pm, Fort Mason Center, Building A Conference Center, Marina Blvd at Buchanan, San Francisco

San Mateo County:

March 9, 2011, 4 pm to 8 pm, Cabrillo School, 601 Crespi Dr, Pacifica, CA

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