If the National Park Service’s proposed dog rule goes through, it will constitute the largest single reduction in recreational access for people in the history of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
People with dogs will be banned entirely (even on-leash) from most of Ocean Beach (80%) and Fort Funston (60%) and the entire East Beach at Crissy Field. But the impacts will go far beyond “just” cutting where you can walk with your dog.
The proposed dog rule will encourage Park Rangers to harass everyone walking with a dog, on or off-leash. They can ask for proof of rabies vaccination, dog license, and a demonstration of immediate recall if off-leash. They can do it any and every time they see you.
The Park Service has budgeted $2.6 million to hire personnel to enforce the new rule.
People walking from four to six dogs will be banned entirely from Ocean Beach. They’ll be banned everywhere in the GGNRA in the evenings and on weekends. They’ll have to get the same expensive permits as commercial dog walkers. This could have a substantial negative impact on rescues whose fosters often care for multiple dogs.
The new rule allows the GGNRA Superintendent to arbitrarily impose increasing new restrictions if she decides there’s not enough compliance with this rule. Within five to ten years, there might not be any dog walking left anywhere in the GGNRA.
Update provided by Sally Stephens, SF Dog