dog-holding-gavel.jpgThe National Park Service is holding the first of four open house meetings tonight to allow the public to discuss a proposal to drastically reduce off-leash dog areas in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

The proposal, released by the park service on Jan. 14, would reduce the size of off-leash areas for dogs at 21 spots in Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties, including Ocean Beach, Crissy Field and Fort Mason.

The park service said in the proposal that the “increased 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.”

Today’s hearing is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Tamalpais High School, located at 700 Miller Ave. in Mill Valley.

The other three meetings are scheduled for Saturday at San Francisco State University’s Seven Hills Conference Center, Monday at Fort Mason in San Francisco, and March 9 at Cabrillo Elementary School in Pacifica.

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener has expressed concern over the proposal and called for a committee hearing on the issue.

Wiener, who represents San Francisco’s District 8, said the reduction in off-leash space in the national park could lead to “a corresponding increase in use at neighborhood parks” in the city.

He said his hearing would likely be held in the next month or so before the park service’s public comment period for the proposal ends on April 14.

For more information on the park service’s proposal, visit

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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