No, this is not a story of Alcatraz being turned into a closer-reaching Guantanamo Bay. As the Ex reports, there’s a lot of history to the Rock that’s still completely inaccessible to tourists and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area wants to change that, as well as stabilize some of the buildings.
Under these proposed plans (You can download and read the “GOGA, Draft GMP/EIS, Volume I, Part 4: The Alternatives for Alcatraz Island” PDF from the list on this page), in addition to building restorations, a concession stand and overnight accommodations for “participants in education, conservation and stewardship programs” could also be erected. Though only a small portion of Alcatraz is accessible to the public, officials are also considering expanding that section to include areas that are presently available only to wildlife.
The Golden Gate Audubon Society cautions against such a measure, saying that increased visitor access could harm the many bird species now residing on the island. Habitat restoration for birds will also be increased in the plan, however. Another thing not to change is how you get to Alcatraz: ferries will still be the only way on and off the island.
Those interested in seeing what GGNRA has in mind and giving them feedback have until November 7 to do so.
You can submit your feedback electronically here, or in person at upcoming GGNRA meetings scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Ingrid B. Lacey Middle School in Pacifica or 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 4 at Tamalpais High School, Mill Valley.