As promised, a crowd of dog owners, fans, and SF City Supervisors gathered outside the Golden Gate National Recreational Area offices at Fort Mason last night, to protest a proposal to restrict dog walking areas in places like Crissy Field, Ocean Beach and Fort Funston and entirely banning dogs from places like Muir Beach.
According to the Chron, “hundreds of people, some with their dogs, waved signs and shouted in anger at a proposed canine crackdown that they claim is ‘extreme’ and unnecessary.”
Meanwhile, at a meeting inside, ABC7 says the GGNRA tried to explain the plan. “We need to consider the spectrum of visitor use of an area,” GGNRA spokesperson Howard Levitt said, “people who want to enjoy the park with their dogs off leash, people who want to experience it as dog-free, and all of our, as you can imagine, 16 million visitors that fit along that spectrum.”
Supervisors John Avalos and Scott Wiener both addressed the protest, with Avalos, according to the Ex, “suggesting The City should take the park land back if proposed regulations are enforced.”
Wiener, as you can see in the video above from Appeal pal K9, held out hope that the GGNRA would come around to the dog side, saying that he believed that “we can make (the GGNRA) understand that this is not the right policy for San Francisco.”
“This is not a national park or museum, it’s a recreational area” Wiener said to the crowd. “GGNRA isn’t a separate little island.”
The public comment period to weigh in on the proposal’s been extended until May 29. You can share your thoughts (pro or con, of course) on the ban with the GGNRA using the “comment” button on this page, or by mailing them to Frank Dean, General Superintendent, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Building 201, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA 94123-0022.
Wiener also says he’s requested a hearing on the proposal, scheduled for April 11, at 1 PM, in the Board of Supes chamber in City Hall.