Two weeks ago officials for The Golden Gate National Recreation Area announced plans to delay their decision regarding a new dog policy in the national parks. At stake is whether dogs will be allowed on 21 sites of about 14,000 acres of parkland, and with how much freedom. At the present time the GGNRA
only allows dogs on about 1% of its land. After receiving over 4,700 comments from the public about dogs, the National Parks Service decided to take more time discussing the matter and hopes to release a plan in the fall.
At the outset park officials were leaning towards deterring dogs from free roam in parks that were deemed sensitive. Backed by the Audobon Society the thought was to disallow dogs, especially off leash from those parks, which include Stinson
Beaches. The plan went to the dogs, so to speak, when word got out and vocal dog owners barked their displeasure.
At the heart of the matter is voice control, and whether a dog can ever truly be under control if they are off a leash. This debate dates all the way back to the 1980’s and with the latest delay a final decision is not expected until 2014. The new Dog Management Plan
timeframe calls for a report this fall, which will be open for public comment, then a review and another report taking into account comments and public opinion. The hope is to have resolution once and for all by the winter of 2014.