Save Off-Leash Dog Walking in the San Francisco Bay Area

Maggie Moo at Fort Funston

I moved to San Francisco in 2003, and I’ve always taken our dogs to Fort Funston – a wonderful off-leash beach about 20 minutes away from our house. The picture (above) is our dog, Maggie Moo, enjoying some time on the beach.

Although San Francisco is generally fairly dog friendly, there actually aren’t that many off-leash areas, especially close to the city, so we really treasure Fort Funston.

On January 14th, 2011, the National Park Service released a massive 2,400 page draft Dog Management Plan for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) for public review. Basically, this proposed plan aims to severely restrict dog walking and eliminate off-leash areas within the GGNRA, including Fort Funston, Ocean Beach, Crissy Field, the Marin Headlands, Muir Beach, Sweeney Ridge, Baker Beach, Mori Point, Lands End, and other locations that have welcomed dogs for decades.

As a dog lover, who only has a limited number of off-leash areas available, the prospect of this plan passing is extremely disturbing. Currently, dogs are only allowed in about 1% of the GGNRA, so it’s absolutely astounding to me that they’re looking to take most (or all) of these areas away from us.

The draft-plan was originally released for a 90 day public review and comment period, which has now been extended to May 29, 2011. I strongly encourage all dog owners to get involved and voice your concern over this proposition. Basically, speak now or forever hold your leash.

I’ve included links below for the draft plan, maps, and other helpful information. I also encourage everyone to show your support by attending one of the public rallys / meetings.

March 7th, 2011 (4:00pm – 8:00pm)
GGNRA Open House Meeting
Public Rally outside at 5:30pm
Lower Level, Fort Mason Center, Building D, San Francisco

March 9th, 2011 (4:00pm – 8:00pm)
GGNRA Open House Meeting
Cabrillo High School, Pacifica

March 10th, 2011 (5:30pm)
SF Animal Control and Welfare Commission Meeting
San Francisco City Hall, Room #408
GGNRA item is second on the agenda (probably starting around 6:30pm)
Facebook Event

April 11th, 2011 (1:00pm)
Board of Supervisors Land Use Hearing re GGNRA Dog Plan
San Francisco City Hall, Committee Room 263
Facebook Event

May 29th, 2011
Deadline for public comments regarding the GGNRA Dog Plan