The National Park Services’ proposal to drastically reduce off-leash dog areas in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area has stirred controversy since its release on January 14. And the pressure against it is only increasing, with both public protests and a Board of Supes resolution against it on the horizon.

The proposal (you can read it here) 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.”

At a March 7 GGNRA meeting convened to explain the proposal and hear public feedback, Supervisors Wiener and Avalos voiced their opposition to the plan, as you can see in the video above.

At the time, the Muni-braving Wiener said that he believed that “we can make (the GGNRA) understand that this is not the right policy for San Francisco.”

One way, perhaps, Wiener hopes to make the GGNRA understand this is via a formal Board of Supes resolution opposing the plan — which the Ex reports he introduced on Tuesday.

The resolution, says the Ex, “criticizes the plan for not considering the benefits of having dogs off-leash, such as ‘needed exercise and socialization for dogs, nor does it include any consideration of the benefits of the social communities that have developed and flourished.'”

It asks the GGNRA to postpone taking any action on the proposal “until a thorough study is conducted of the affect that its proposal would have” on San Francisco’s city parks, which would presumably pick up the dog-slack, were pups banned from GGNRA lands.

Wiener has also requested a hearing on the proposal, which has off leash advocates planning a rally on the City Hall steps.

GGNRA officials are expected to explain the negative impacts of their dog management policy on SF at and April 11 Board of Supervisors Land Use and Economic Development Committee meeting. Opponents of the proposal say the meeting, scheduled for 1 PM, will be preceded by a noon rally at City Hall.

Supervisors Avalos and Wiener are expected to speak, as well as representatives from the SF SPCA and Peninsula Humane Society. According to rally organizers, these officials will be addressing “(s)everal dozen advocates chanting and waving signs, ‘I own a dog, and I vote,'” as well as “several dogs on leash.”

You can submit your feedback (for or against) on the proposal to the GGNRA until May 30, as well as make public comment (again, in support of or against the proposal) at the Supes meeting at City Hall on Monday, April 11, at 1 PM.

But, please, be respectful of those who disagree with you — no one wants a repeat of this incident.

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • sfbird

    “Nobody wants a repeat of this incident” implies that the incident actually happened. But it’s just as likely that this anti-dog protestor (who, let’s face it, comes across as more than a little unhinged) simply made the story up to get attention and/or sympathy.