From Chris Carr, Baker Botts, lead attorney in the fight to get the federal government to release documents under the Freedom of Information Act:
“It’s very gratifying that the National Park Service formally withdrew the proposed dog rule and cancelled the corrupt planning process that produced it. The Boards of Supervisors of the three counties – Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo – and the citizens of the Bay Area, who for years have used the GGNRA as their urban recreation area, fought for years to preserve dog walking, one of the historic uses of the lands now comprising the GGNRA, and long pre-dating the GGNRA’s creation.
The GGNRA’s Proposed Dog Rule would have cut dog access on the GGNRA’s major beaches by more than 50%, and dog access to the GGNRA’s trails by nearly the same percentage. In fact, it would have reduced off-leash access on trails from 25 miles to 1 mile. But this well-deserved win for the citizens of the Bay Area would not have happened without two things: the Freedom of Information Act suit filed by Save Our Recreation, SFDOG, Marin DOG, and Coastside DOG, and the commitment of Secretary Zinke and DOI leadership to restoring transparency and accountability in the National Park Service.
This wonderful outcome is a vindication of the power of the public’s right to know what its government is doing. While all agree that the GGNRA is a national treasure, hopefully everyone will now recognize that FOIA is too. It’s clear that the Department of the Interior leadership knows the critical role of FOIA in promoting integrity and the rule of law, and it is to be commended for taking on the federal equivalent of cleaning the Augean stables in seeking to reform the NPS bureaucracy.”