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Comments for Advanced Notice Proposed Rulemaking

 

By Ken Ayers


  The National Park Service (NPS) is the only federal agency with
 jurisdiction over recreational parks with regulations prohibiting
 off-leash recreation.  The Bureau of Land Management (63 FR 6075 Paris
 Canyon- Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness )  U.S. Fish & Wildlife ("Inner
 Blair Island " Chronicle, 7/12/2001) and the U.S. Forest Service (Dog
 Lovers Companion, pg. 292)  permit off-leash recreation in their
 parks.   Ironically, when Congress decided to protect outdoor recreation
 in urban environments during the 1970's, it chose NPS for the agency
 best suited to provide recreational open space for our cities.
 Recently, Monterey embarked on a new approach for ensuring recreational
 opportunities for urban citizens by convincing Congress to transfer Fort
 Ord
to the Bureau of Land Management instead of the Park Service.

  Our experience with NPS since 1992 has led many of us to conclude that
 the federal government has no role to play in managing precious
 recreational space in urban areas.  San Francisco embarked on real
 adventure in 1975 when it donated all of its municipal beaches and
 adjacent parklands to the federal government.  At present time, GGNRA
 has control over 38% to 54% of our open space in San Francisco.  We
 cannot have a city where such extensive recreational areas are
 controlled by transient bureaucrats from Washington D.C.  The California
 Congressional delegation has proven that they cannot or will not
 provide Congressional oversight  to curtail administrative abuse by these
 federal bureaucrats.

  The community will with respect to off-leash recreation in San
 Francisco
is crystal clear.  San Franciscans feel so passionately about
 this issue that the sovereign government has told NPS numerous times
 through resolutions, speeches, and consultations that failure to honor
 the historical use of our beaches and adjacent parks would result in
 efforts to take back the parks.  State representatives have also advised
 NPS in no uncertain terms the same commitment to this valued
 recreational use of these beaches and parks.  Numerous editorials and
 articles have expressed the same unqualified support.  Just yesterday,
 Ken Garcia again in his column chided NPS about its bizarre myopia:

    "The Golden Gate National Recreation Area has been cordoning off huge
 chunks of once-open beaches from dogs as part of its assault on the
 reality of urban life in the Bay Area....National park officials have
 been hearing howls of protest from thousands of dog lovers since they
 introduced a plan to curtail off-leash pooches in the Presidio and other
 areas- the federal government's attempt at redefining San Francisco as a
 rural wilderness area"    (ChronicleApril 9, 2002)

  The ANPR process is nothing but a cynical charade as a cover to impose
 a leash law on our city parks.  Our right to walk dogs off-leash on
 former city beaches and parks arises out of the Organic Act 16 USC
 section 1c, the enabling statute, 16 USC460bb requiring NPS to provide
 "needed recreational open space necessary for an urban environment and
 planning", the promise made to the city that historical recreational use
 would be continued if the beaches and parks were donated to the federal
 government, and the promise made to private contributors for the Crissy
 Field Habitat that 70 acres would be available for off-leash recreation.

  We are not going to do this anymore.  We have begun discussions with
 the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to evaluate
 the possibility of shifting some of NPS property to another federal
 agency more committed to recreational use of these resources.  Since
 these agencies are required to administer their lands for multi-use, there
 are formal regulations in place requiring public review and planning.
 Furthermore, we believe the city should take back Ocean Beach, Funston
 Beach, Lands End, Fort Funston and Fort Miley .

  Over twenty years ago, NPS established an official off-leash recreation
 policy for the GGNRA as required by the enabling statute and the promise
 made to the city.  However, NPS refused to bring its regulations into
 compliance with the statute by sponsoring a section seven special
 regulation.  We believe this resistence was for selfish reasons, because
 Washington D.C.  feared that official recognition of this practice in
 San Francisco would encourage its own citizens to push for open space in
 the capitol.  As one planner from Minneapolis admitted in 1998 this
 trend began over 25 years before: "In fact, the city is lagging behind a
 significant national trend which emerged over 25 years ago for cities to
 provide off-leash areas."

  San Francisco was in the vanguard of that movement.  NPS officials in
 the Bay understood the significance of what we were doing here and
 supported us.  Since 1992 a new ideology pervaded the Park Service which
 was anti-recreational.  In fact, GGNRA changed its name to GGNP in an
 effort to convince citizens of the Bay that the paramount mission of the
 National Park Service is to bring the wilderness to the city.  San
 Francisco
did not give NPS its beaches and parks to create native plant
 habitats.   As minutes to the San Francisco City Planning Commission,
 dated December 5, 1974 confirm, the resolution to transfer the property
 was approved on that day because the Commission was told: "the deed
 transferring jurisdiction over the parcel to the Federal Government
 would specify that the property should be used for Open Space and
 Recreational purposes only"  .

 Parks to the People

  GGNRA was established in part through a campaign in 1970  by Secretary
 of Interior Walter Hickel "to bring parks to the people", putting the
 National Park Service in a movement to increase outdoor recreation in
 urban areas (U.S. Department of Interior News Release, September 14,
 1970).  During the early 60's the federal government had established
 several agencies to facilitate funding for outdoor recreation.  The
 Bureau of Outdoor Recreation (BOR) in the Department of Interior was
 created in 1963 to coordinate these federal recreation programs.  (J.
 Futrell, "Parks to the People: new Directions For the National park
 System", 25 Emory Law Journal, pp 255-36). Funds for these programs
 were provided through a Land and Water Conservation Fund derived from
 the sale of oil and gas leases. (Pg. 262)   BOR distributed funding to
 states and outdoor recreation programs with U.S. Forest Service (USFS) ,
 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFW), the National Park Service (NPS),
 and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) (pg. 261).  After
 the riots at Watts and Detroit, BOR channeled additional funds through
 HUD for parks and playgrounds in inner cities.  The entire program
 became a pork barrel source of funding for Congressmen with the National
 Park Service receiving three fourths of the acquisition funds, twenty
 per cent to the Forest Service, and the rest to Fish and Wildlife. (Pg.
 262)

  NPS became the lead agency for providing outdoor recreation for urban
 parks, "in part because of its success in preserving the nation's most
 visited scenic areas and innovative role in experimenting with urban
 parks in Washington D.C." (Pg. 270).  Creation of the two Gateway NRAs,
 the Gateway National Recreation Area in New York and the Golden Gate National
 Recreation Area in San Francisco established a federal precedent.  The
 NPS became "responsible for the assembly, cooperation, and maintenance
 of two major parks for the primary use of the citizens of San Francisco
 and New York.  The justification for the Gateways was the national
 interest in keeping America's major cities livable and not landscape
 preservation." (Pg, 274)

  Public interest focused on creating more urban parks in the Cuyahoga
 Valley outside Cleveland, the Santa Monica Mountains in California, and
 the Chattahoochee River outside Atalanta.  (Pg. 266). From the beginning
 this movement into the urban areas was controversial among officials of
 the National Park Service.  (Pg. 269).  By the late seventies, special
 interest groups were recommending the Park Service drop from the system
 those areas with a strong recreation emphasis, letting state and local
 governments, or private enterprise manage them (pg. 278).  "They see the
 basic mission of the Park Service as the preservation of parks for
 future generations and view the movement to create new kinds of parks
 such as urban National Recreation Areas as a distortion of that primary
 preservation mission."  (Pg. 278).

  The preservationists were  also disturbed by other parks within the
 Park System.  The First National Seashore at Cape Hatteras was created
 in 1937, but was not included at first as a national park because
 hunting was allowed.   Later, Pt. Reyes and Cape Cod were acquired as
 national seashores with emphasis on ocean-oriented recreation (pg.
 272).  The first National Recreation Area was created when Lake Mead
 National Recreation Area  was moved from the Bureau of Reclamation.
 Other intensive water recreational areas were established at
 Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity in California and Flaming Gorge in Wyoming
 (pp. 273-5).  As part of the movement towards outdoor recreation, most
 additions during the sixties were National Recreation Areas. NPS
 regulations for National Recreation Areas required that the "areas be
 designed to achieve high recreation carrying capacity.'  (Pg. 279).  By
 mandate of Congress over forty five of these parks permit hunting and
 twenty permit trapping.

  Coincidental to establishment of the GGNRA, the National Park Service
 was moving in the direction of abolishing the National Recreation,
 Historical Monuments, and Wilderness  Management Categories.  Officials
 in Washington assured field operations that these changes were
 administrative and "not intended to create significant changes in the
 management of parks."  The promulgation of new regulations were
 developed to reflect "the actual Management practices which have become
 established in park areas, either through legislative requirements or
 policy decision." (Memo from Associate Director, Management and
 Operations to Directorate and Field Directorate, 12/22/77).  If a
 general regulation " adversely affects only one or a few parks, it may be
 better for these parks to establish special regulations rather than to
 weaken or further complicate the general regulation.  It should be kept
 in mind that these special park regulations can relax, make more
 stringent, or otherwise modify any general regulation".  NPS recognized
 at the outset that a special regulation would have to be created to
 bring their regulations into compliance with the GGNRA statute requiring
 it to provide "recreational open space necessary to an urban
 environment."


 Organic Act of 1916/ Enabling Statute

  Our right to walk dogs off-leash arises from the Organic Act of 1916,
 section 16 USC 1c(b),  and the enabling statute for the GGNRA, 16 USC
 460bb.
[ These legal issues have already been addressed in two briefs
 filed by the San Francisco Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
 (SPCA) during rulemaking for the Funston closure.]   Section 1c(b)
 requires park personnel to administer the park consistent with
 provisions of the enabling statute: "Each area with the national park
 system shall be administered in accordance with the provisions of any
 statute made applicable to that area."  The statute also provides that
 "various authorities relating to the administration and protection of
 areas under the administration of the Secretary of Interior through the
 National Park Service" and other "provisions of section 1b to 1d of this
 title" are "applicable to all areas within the national park system" "to
 the extent such provisions are not in conflict with any such specific
 provision" within a specific park statute.

  Congress established the GGNRA on October 27, 1972 "to preserve for
 public use and enjoyment certain areas of Marin and
San Francisco
 Counties
, California
possessing outstanding natural, historic, scenic,
 and recreational values.' (16 USC 460bb. ) In addition to this generic
 statement of purpose appearing in most national park statutes, Congress
 included two "specific provisions" unique to the GGNRA.

   First, the park was established  "to provide for the maintenance of
 needed recreational open space necessary to urban environment and
 planning."
  The only other park with this requirement was the Cuyahoga
 National Recreation Area, established after the GGNRA.  This statute
 however, does not contain the additional requirement "recreational open
 space necessary for urban environment and planning"..

   Second, the GGNRA statute imposes a unique limitation on NPS's
 discretionary power for "management of the recreation area": the
 "Secretary of Interior..shall utilize the resources in a manner which
 will provide for recreation and educational opportunities consistent
 with sound principles of land use planning and management. "
 Significantly, the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan
 (16 USC 460x) is the only other park that contains the "sound principles of
 land use planning" language.   Specifically 460x(b) provides
 "Cooperation between Federal, State, and local governments. In
 preserving the lakeshore and stabilizing its development, substantial
 reliance shall be placed on cooperation between Federal, State, and
 local governments to apply sound principles of land use planning and
 zoning. " We believe the "cooperation" clause requiring the federal
 government to cooperate with local governments is implied by the "sound
 principles of land use planning" clause.

  Furthermore, we believe that language was placed in the enabling
 statute because of problems San Francisco had with the Department of
 Army over plans to construct an archives at Fort Miley. Amy Meyer led
 the Outer Richmond Neighborhood Association campaign against the Army
 construction plans.

   "Richmond District activists who lived near Fort Miley led by artist
 Amy Meyer established a network connecting SPUR, the Sierra Club , City
 Planning Department, and Outer Richmond Neighborhood Association to stop
 GSA from building an Army Archives in the woodlands.  Dr. Wayburn had
 already formed a group called Headlands Inc. to pressure the government
 to preserve surplus federal properties , including miles of coastline
 and beaches in Marin.  Soon Meyer and Wayburn formed People for Golden
 Gate National Recreation Area (John Jacobs, Raging Burton, California's
 Most Indefitagible Legislator Like His Scotch Straight and His Parks And
 Beaches Clean", San Francisco Examiner, September 3, 1995)".

 Finally, the House Report No 92-1391 made clear that the GGNRA would be
 confronted with problems in San Francisco that would require careful
 planning because of the high volume year-round visitation :

   "As a national urban recreation area, this new component of the
 national park system will be confronted with problems which do not
 frequently occur at other national park and recreation areas.  Great
 numbers of people can be expected to use the area-particularly those
 portions located in San Francisco County.  " (pg. 11)

   A list of enumerated recreational activities contemplated for the new
 urban park would be impossible, nevertheless, legislative history
 reveals what Congress meant by "needed recreational open space necessary
 for urban environment"."It is a well-recognized principle of statutory
 construction that contemporaneous interpretations of dated legislation
 are ordinarily given considerable deference when its meaning is later
 questioned."( National Rifle Association of America v. Potter 628 F.
 Supp. 903, 911 (D.C. Dist. Col. 1986))   In addition to sun bathing,
 picnicking, horse riding, swimming, hiking, and fishing, off leash dog
 walking was specifically addressed during Congressional hearings.  A
 letter by a seven year old child from San Francisco petitioned the
 Chairman for a dog park where she could play and socialize her dog:
       "Dear Congressman Roy Taylor: I want a park so I can play in the
 park and my sister wants a park to and so my dog can play with another
 dogs and my Mom wants a park so she could take my dog out to play.  I
 hope you will make a park. Elizabeth Linke" ( Hearings before the
 Subcommittee on Interior and Insular Affairs, House of Representatives,
 pg. 414).

    Dog walking was also identified as a recreational activity in the
 House Subcommittee Report on the statute: "On a nice day, it will
 satisfy the interests of those who choose to fly kites, sunbathe, walk
 their dogs, or just idly watch the action along the bay."    ( House
 Report No. 92-1391, pg. 7) [The Potter case above reviews this report to
 conclude that hunting was not intended purpose for GGNRA: "The committee
 report for Golden Gate National Recreation Area, for example stresses
 the need for expanded outdoor recreation opportunities, but makes no
 mention of hunting.."  Potter 628 F. Supp at 911 ]. At the time, all
 municipal beaches and adjacent city parks considered for inclusion in
 the park were dedicated to off-leash recreation.

 Agreement with San Francisco

  Almost 50% of the San Francisco Unit was originally city parkland
 donated to the federal government after the park was established.  Over
 600 acres of city parkland was sought by the federal government for the
 park (House Report, pg. 7), the federal government provided 494 acres
 from the Presidio (Crissy Field & Baker Beach), 66 acres at Fort Mason,
 12 acres at at Fort Miley, and 71 acres at Fort Funston.(pg. 8)

  Although the city was interested in having its parks included in the
 new urban park, it wanted to retain jurisdiction over them, surrendering
 total control to the federal government was not part of the original
 deal.    San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto told the United States House
 Hearings that the city parks proposed for inclusion in the GGNRA "should
 remain under the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Recreation and Park
 Commission" (April 6, 1972).  The Department of Interior clearly
 understood that the "taxpayers of San Francisco had the foresight to
 preserve these recreational areas and the willingness to pay for their
 support" and "naturally wish to retain some voice in their operations
 and administration consistent again with an overall master plan." (February
 14, 1972).  The San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission adopted
 Resolution No. 9030 which provides, "[t]hat this Commission, believing
 that inclusion of these properties is vital to the success of the
 concept of bringing parks to the people, recommends that they remain
 under the jurisdiction of the Recreation and Park Commission of the City
 and County of San Francisco." (May 30, 1972).

   The Board of Supervisors adopted Resolution No. 364-72, which
 provides:

1. "the City and County of San Francisco desires to maintain and
 improve the recreation facilities available to the residents of San
 Francisco on the aforementioned property owned by the City and County of
 San Francisco located within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area;"
2. "The City and County of San Francisco desires to participate in the
 planning, administration and operation of the Golden Gate National
 Recreation Area;" and

3. "this Board of Supervisors endorse a policy of
 cooperation and administration and management of the Golden Gate
 National Recreation Area including the property owned by the City and
 County of San Francisco located within the Recreation Area. (June 9,
 1972)".

  Despite this concern by political officials over the future
 jurisdiction of the parks, the citizens of San Francisco were re-assured
 that the transfer was merely a "technical resolution" that would
 preserve recreational access.   When voting for Charter section
 7.403-1(a) authorizing the transfer of the city parks, the citizens of
 San Francisco were told that "the transfer of these lands is a technical
 resolution allowing the City and County of San Francisco to transfer
 city lands to the Golden Gate National Recreation area..a national urban
 park established in 1972 by Congress to preserve 34,000 acres of land
 and water in San Francisco and Marin for recreational use by all
 citizens."  Aware that certain unique restrictions were included in the
 enabling statute requiring NPS to maintain "recreational open space
 necessary for urban environment and planning", San Francisco adopted the
 "technical resolution" authorizing the transfer of city parks for
 "recreational use by all citizens."  Allaying concern over the transfer
 of property, NPS promised the city that "historical recreational use"
 would be continued.


  Before the transfer occurred, an Agreement/ Memorandum of Understanding
 (MOU) between San Francisco and the Federal Government gave the City
 Planning Department jurisdiction to review NPS plans within formally
 owned City lands after their incorporation into the GGNRA.  Department
 of City Planning memos from the 1970s confirm that the MOU requires that
 all NPS proposals be submitted to the Department for review. Both the
 GGNRA General Plan of 1980 and the 1994 Environmental Impact Statement
 for the Presidio confirm the existence of the MOU and this obligation.
 The 1975 MOU "provides that the national recreational area will formerly
 notify and consult with the city on all planning matters relating to
 these parcels, future transit system proposals, and planned construction
 on all national recreation area lands within the boundaries of the
 city." (Final General management Plan Amendment Environmental Impact
 Statement for Presidio of San Francisco, July 1994, pg. 6).  The GGNRA
 General Plan (1980) also notes that "A memorandum of understanding
 between the city and the National Park Service ensures their review of
 park proposals, particularly those related to transit systems, proposed
 construction, and sand incursion upon roadways adjacent to the park."
 (Pg. 220).  Finally, the enabling statute imposes this duty of the NPS.,
 mandating "the Secretary of the Interior shall ..utilize the resources
 in a manner which will provide for recreation and educational
 opportunities consistent with sound principles of land use planning and
 management" (16 USC 460bb, emphasis added).

  Until 1992, GGNRA honored its obligations under the Agreement and the
 enabling statute.  With the closures at Fort Funston, it embarked on a
 unilateral course that was illegal under its own management policies,
 the Agreement with the City, and the enabling statute.  In 1990, NPS at
 Funston constructed fences along the top bluffs without consultation
 with the city or public.  In early 1991, it expanded these fences and
 closed off an additional two acres.  In October 1991, NPS again expanded
 the fences and closed off seven acres of land without consultation.
 Within the closed areas NPS began "substantial alteration of the natural
 environment of above mentioned lands" using hundreds of volunteers,
 bulldozers, and chainsaws without consultation with the city or public.
 In 1993, NPS closed off an additional three acres to public use and
 enjoyment.  In 1995, NPS closed off 15 more acres adjacent to the other
 areas.  Again in 1995, another 10 acres were closed off to the public.
 In 1998, NPS closed off the entire slope of coastal bluffs below the hang
 gliders.  In December 1999, NPD "removed pavement from a substantial
 section of" the only disability trail cutting off access to parts of
 Fort Funston for the elderly and disabled.  In March 2000, NPS erected
 fences and closed another 10 acres along the northern bluff area, a
 closure subsequently overturned by a Federal Judge until such time as
 NPS complies with notice and comment provisions of Title 36.  In January
 2001, NPS closed twelve acres to public use and enjoyment without
 consultation of the city .

  The only group who tried to stop this illegal destruction of park
 resources and closure of recreational open space were the dog-walkers.
 They had to act for the entire city because they were the only
 recreational group organized at Fort Funston.  This ANPR charade was
 prompted by NPS to punish us for our resistance.  The "1979 Pet Policy"
 was never declared null and void.  The motion to rescind it was tabled.
 Despite overwhelming public opposition to the Funston closure and the
 attempt to revoke the 1979 Pet Policy, NPS fenced off the twelve acres
 and began persecuting off-leash recreation in officially designated
 areas.


 1979 Pet Policy/1980 General Plan

  Acting on the promise to the city and the mandate to manage park
 resources "consistent with sound principles of land use planning and
 management" for the "maintenance of needed recreational open space
 necessary to urban environment and planning", NPS developed the 1979 Pet
 Policy through the auspices of the CAC which designated certain areas
 for voice control in San Francisco and Marin counties.  The development
 of this policy was initiated   "because the ordinary guidelines outlined
 in the Code of Federal Regulations do not really apply in an urban
 area.  People and their animals have been visiting the park for too long
 to apply an all-inclusive arbitrary policy."

  Documents relating to development of the policy leave no question that
 NPS and not the Citizens Advisory Commission developed the off-leash
 policy for GGNRA.  In October, 1977,  Rolf Diamont, GGNRA Environmental
 Co-ordinator" prepared a memo proposing a "Draft Dog Policy for San
 Francisco Unit.".  His memo enumerated the following guidelines:

 1.  "No regulation, verbal or written, should be attempted that cannot
 be reasonably and consistently administered."

 2.  "Dog regulations should be different for different areas of the park
 reflecting public needs and attitudes as well as urban geography and our
 capabilities."

  3.   "When we discourage or restrict dogs in any area, whenever
 possible, an alternative site where dogs are allowed should be
 suggested."

  Each precept is consistent with "sound principles of land use
 management'.  Despite the legislative mandate that these principles be
 applied " to maintain needed recreational open space necessary for urban
 environment", NPS summarily closed off in August, 1996, over 15 miles
 off-leash recreational space in San Francisco, 11 miles of trail in
 Presidio, 2.2 miles at Ocean Beach, Lands End, and Fort Miley.  The
 Diamont memo confirms that all closures affected areas used for this
 recreational activity before the park was established : Ocean Beach,
 Fort Funston, Sutro Heights Park, Phelan Beach, Lands End, and Baker
 Beach
.  Diamont's comments concerning Ocean Beach explain why that
 closure has been unsuccessful:

   "Ocean Beach: no rules should be enforced here. Ocean Beach is too
 large and too accessible to control dogs.  It would be a logistical
 nightmare for the Park Service to try.  Also lifestyles are such on
 Ocean Beach, that an inflexible NPS here could hurt our improving
 relations with visitors."

  To facilitate public review of the proposed policy, the Citizens
 Advisory Commission established a Pet Policy Committee to conduct
 hearings on the proposed policy.  A briefing memo for the record
 prepared by the Staff Assistant to General Superintendent dated April 3,
 1978 acknowledged that 36 CFR 2.8 leash law was "applicable to all
 properties of GGNRA".  NPS realized a special regulation would have to
 be prepared:.  "A deviation from this regulation..will require the
 writing of a special regulation specific to GGNRA". The regulation was
 not enforced while the new policy was being developed:  "Enforcement of
 the CFR has been non-existent until a dog policy and possibly a special
 regulation is established."

  The memo confirmed the following off-leash areas were being used in San
 Francisco
: "Fort Mason, Crissy Field, Baker Beach, Ocean
 Beach, Sutro Park, and Fort Funston".    Community concern over the
 future of Fort Funston was specifically addressed:  "Many dog owners are
 concerned about the possibility of losing Fort Funston as an area where
 dogs can be exercised off leash."

  In Marin several areas were also listed as off-leash.  Particular
 problems were noted at Stinson Beach where GGNRA had banned dogs.
 Although off leash recreation was permitted on the portion of the beach
 owned by the county, NPS efforts to enforce the ban met predictable
 resistance from the community.  Between 5/77-2/78, there were 15
 citations,  5,660 written/oral warnings, 2 dog bites, and 200 dogs
 captured and returned to owners.   The memo warned that community
 resistence could be heated :

    "The no pet policy is a major problem area, consuming a large portion
 of routine ranger patrol time to enforce. Visitors for the most part
 choose to ignore plainly- posted-no pet signs within the park.  The
 majority of dog owners are cooperative; however, some are most unhappy
 with the policy to point of being verbally, and in one case, physically
 abusive to rangers attempting to enforce no-pet regulations."

  Several public hearings were held in 1978  to develop an off-leash
 policy for San Francisco.  By September the Citizens Advisory Commission
 had approved proposed guidelines for the San Francisco Pet Policy,
 designating Fort Funston, Ocean Beach, Baker Beach, Crissy Field, Lands
 End, and Fort Miley official voice control parks.  Later, the Great
 Meadow at Fort Mason was added as an official "dog run" area in the 1980
 General Plan.  In October, Lynn Thompson General Superintendent GGNRA
 accepted in total the Commission's recommendation.

  "As you know the Advisory Commission approved the proposed guidelines
 for a pet policy for San Francisco Unit at their September 27 meeting.
 We are accepting in total the Commission's recommendation."  (Lynn
 Thompson memo to San Francisco Unit Manager, 10/6/78).

 NPS issued press releases of the official off-leash policy  (Lynn
 Thompson memo to Coalition For San Francisco Neighborhoods, 10/17/78).
 Again, NPS told San Francisco this policy was developed because the
 "[e]xisting federal regulations' were not "a viable situation in an
 urban area.".

  By summer of 1979, GGNRA had initiated the process to bring federal
 regulations into compliance with the enabling legislation and the
 off-leash policy.  A draft special regulation 7.97(b) was submitted to
 the Western Regional Director NPS for approval.   Department of Interior
 Solicitor Ralph Mihan reviewed the draft proposed regulation and found
 "the proposed regulation to be legally acceptable", but advised the
 formal request should include a "authorship statement or a statement of
 significance" which "must be included within the rulemaking package
 before its transmittal to Washington."  (Ralph Mihan, Solicitor to
 Western Regional Director, Re: Proposed Rulemaking Golden Gate National
 Recreation Area (Pets), 7/23/79).  The draft proposed regulation in fact
 contained a statement of significance, the section seven amendment was
 being proposed "because large portions of land formerly used as pet
 exercise areas have been included with Golden Gate National Recreation
 Area."  (1/9/80 Regional Director memo to Superintendent GGNRA: Re:
 Proposed Special Regulation - Pets   USPROD00386-8).  The proposed
 regulation also called for public comment "within 30 days of the
 publication of this notice in the Federal Register."

  Although this 1979 Pet Policy was consistent with the statutory mandate
 for the GGNRA to provide "needed recreational open space necessary for
 urban environment" and required by the promise made to San Francisco
 when city property was donated to the park, officials in Washington D.C
 did not finalize the special regulation to bring their regulations into
 compliance with the enabling statute.  Based on documents discussed
 below, we believe this was not done because of fear that this would
 require NPS to open up municipal parks in Washington D.C. to off-leash
 recreation.  Subsequently the 1979 Pet Policy guidelines were
 incorporated into the 1982 Natural Resources Management Plan as Appendix
 C.

 Babbitt Administration Attack on Off-Leash Recreation

  At the time the 1979 Pet Policy was adopted, San Francisco Bay was in
 the vanguard of a national movement emerging in the seventies to
 establish officially sanctioned off-leash recreation areas in urban
 centers.  In addition to city parks along the western shore at Fort
 Funston, Ocean Beach, Lands End, and Fort Miley, San Francisco Parks and
 Recreation District opened up sixteen parks with "major dog run areas in
 Golden Gate Park, Crocker Amazon, Bernal Heights, Buena Vista and other
 remote and naturalized areas." (12/13/77 Aldo Chin, Superintendent Parks
 letter to Chairman Animal Welfare Commission).

  Across the Bay , The East Bay Regional Park District encompassing over
 70,000 acres in Alameda and Contra Costa County adopted in 1974
 Ordinance 38 Section 801.3, "dogs and other animals may run at large
 within the District, provided, however, that the owner, keeper or person
 exercising the animal shall keep their animal under control at all
 times, and must not allow their animal to enter restricted areas..or
 interfere with, bother, or harass, park users, or other animals, and
 wildlife." To the north,  Marin Open Spaces permitted access to their
 fire roads and the county portion of Stinson Beach was off-leash.  The
 GGNRA confirmed continued use of Rodeo Beach and Muir Beach in addition
 to several trails in the Marin Headlands.  In contrast, most of San
 Mateo
County
had a very restrictive attitude towards dogs.

  Within the National Parks, other units also permitted some off-leash
 recreation.  In 1974, NPS conducted an employee pet policy survey  for
 the Western District which disclosed that visitor's dogs were allowed
 off leash in some areas of the City of Refuge, Lake Mead, and Lehman
 Caves Parks (7/26/74, Western Regional Director memo to Superintendents
 in Western District, Re: employee Pet Policy.)

  Initially the transfer of  all municipal beaches and adjacent parkland
 to the National Park Service created no problems for San Francisco. The
 NPS honored its statutory mandate to maintain "recreational open space
 necessary for an urban environment" and the promise to the city to
 continue historical use of city donated property.  From 1975 through
 1992, this promise was kept by the administrations of Presidents Nixon,
 Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush.  Our problems began when President
 Clinton appointed Babbitt Secretary of Interior and national park
 personnel were assigned to San Francisco to oversee the transfer of the
 Presidio to the NPS.  From 1992 to the present NPS has revoked off-leash
 recreation in 15 miles of parkland and subjected the off-leash community
 to constant harassment with threats of banning us completely.

   To fully understand the picture you have to realize that almost 50% of
 San Francisco parkland is under the jurisdiction of transient bureaucrats
 who have created a private estate in the Presidio.  While we live
 stacked high in apartment buildings or in row houses with postage stamp
 back yards, these federal bureaucrats and their employees live in a
 palatial forested estate, with below market rents subsidized by our tax
 dollars. Committed to a native plant ideology, they have destroyed our
 park resources and fenced off the recreational space we need.  At
 present the need for recreational open space in San Francisco is even
 greater than it was when the park was established in 1972.  But
 recreation was not part of the Babbitt ideology, the new mission of the
 National Park Service.  In fact, even the old view that contemplative
 experience of nature was a valuable purpose for national parks has given
 way to new ideology based on biodiversity and total ban on human access
 to nature.

 Transient Bureaucrats Control Our Open Space

  Recently the Trust for Public Land has completed a study of municipal
 park systems in major cities, "Inside City Parks" by Peter Harnik.
 Ironically, the cover blurb by Secretary Bruce Babbitt acknowledges the
 importance of urban recreational parkland:

  "City Parks serve, day in and day out, as the primary green spaces for
 the majority of Americans.  Our national parks are justly famous.  Now,
 finally, comes a book that sheds light on the marvelous park systems of
 our biggest cities."

 The facts pertaining to San Francisco are shocking.  San Francisco had a
 population in 1996 of 735,000, living on 29,888 acres of property,
 bordered on three sides by water.  San Francisco has the second highest
 population density in America, after New York City with 24.6 persons per
 acre.  New York City has 37.3 person per ace and Chicago comes in third
 with 18.7.

  Within the seven mile square area, San Francisco Parks and Recreation
 District oversees only 3,317 acres of parkland.  A third of that is
 Golden Gate Park, a"1,017 acre wonderland with nine lakes and ponds."

   Originally a barren patch of shifting, windswept sand dunes, Golden
 Gate
Park
's unpromising site was hand fertilized with thousands of
 cartloads of clay, loam, and manure.  Today, the lush paradise includes
 redwood forests, specialized flower gardens, lakes, playing fields and
 cultural sites, and attracts 12 million visitors a year."

 Rightfully compared to Central Park in New York City, the Golden Gate
 Park
was developed to create this magnificent public open space because
 San Franciscans live stacked high in apartment buildings or row houses
 with postage stamp back yards. The other 2,000 acres of municipal
 parkland provides 94 neighborhood parks, 17 recreation centers, 9 pools,
 6 golf courses, 153 tennis courts, 165 sports fields, and 0 beaches.
 The annual budget was 70,180,000 which came to $95 per resident.

  According to this report the NPS controls 4,106 acres of parkland in
 San Francisco, 13.7% of the city or 54% of the recreational open space.
 (pg. 18) Parks and Recreation District claims NPS has only 2, 066 acres
 or 38% of the city's recreational open space.  The Harnik report notes
 that the 4,106  "acreage includes Golden Gate National Recreation Area
 land within the city of San Francisco only "the "agency is unable to
 break out any other statistic by geographic region." (Pg. 20)    The
 report says GGNRA could not provide the number of full time employees,
 seasonal employees, volunteers, park budget, adjusted budget within San
 Francisco
, revenue or expenditures.  (Pg. 21). Every city in the United
 States
had those figures except GGNRA.  Even Gateway National Recreation
 Area could provide  figures adjusted for New York City and it doesn't
 have a statutory mandate to provide " recreational open space necessary
 for urban environment and planning" or a requirement to "utilize the
 resources for recreation and education consistent with land use
 principles.".  Gateway National Recreation Area (New York) budget in
 1999 was $16,878,000 or $2 per resident with 200 permanent employees and
 400 seasonal employees.  (Pg. 134)

  Given these facts, the city had good reason to be concerned about
 transferring its parkland to the federal government.  What city would
 deed to the federal government all its municipal beaches and adjacent
 parks?

 Funston Closures

  NPS violated their own management policies by destroying exotic species
 at Funston without public review.  For ten years they converted open
 space into closures with native plants without conducting a plan
 amendment which violated both the enabling statute and their management
 policies.   Moreover, they violated the MOU with the City which required
 them to submit these plans to the City Planning Commission.

  As they were developing the General Plan for GGNRA back in the late
 seventies one option under consideration was to create "ecology
 preserves" at Fort Funston.  This option was not chosen, instead
 Alternative A was chosen which was to leave it as it was.   NPS
 submitted these options to the city Planning Department as required by
 the Memorandum of Agreement.  The response by the city was unequivocal:
 " If it is demonstrated that certain unique uses..who need access to the
 site, can co-exist with a 'natural preserve', it could be desirable to
 establish parts of Fort Funston as ecologic areas." If this option was
 chosen, further consultation was required.


   " The Commission...regards the comments as preliminary and anticipates
 a continuing participation in the planning process for the Park.  The
 Commission intends to review the final plan and receive testimony on it
 in order to indicate City policy to you as set out in the Memorandum of
 Understanding between the City and County of San Francisco and the
 GGNRA. (6/21/77 memo Rai Okamoto, Director of Planning to Citizens
 Advisory Commission for the GGNRA Re: Response to GGNRA Alternatives)

  In the early 90;s NPS began to implement an "ecology preserve" plan
 without public review or consultation with the City.  In October of
 1991, the NPS closed approximately seven acres at Fort Funston by moving
 fences designed to protect the Bank Swallow 75 to 100 feet away from the
 cliffs to construct native plant habitats ( Milestone, J. "Just a
 Swallow! Habitat Restoration Project").  By early 1992 almost four acres
 were converted to coastal dune and chaparral.  At this time NPS staff
 began chainsawing 24 Monterey Cypress lining a trail leading to the
 beach, and volunteers pulled up erosion-preventing ice plant.
 Bulldozers were used to level hillocks and bury concrete slabs.  In a
 few months volunteers replaced ice plant with 5,000 native plants in the
 four acre area.  The entire seven acre project was designed to take five
 years to complete with only 75% coverage of plants.  The goal of the
 project was to increase "natural" erosion and create "moving sand"
 ecology.

  At Funston, NPS pursued a strategy of repressing dog-walking each time
 it expanded its closures.  Concomitant with the native plant expansion,
 Rangers began telling dog-walkers in late 1991 and 1992  to leash their
 dogs. In May, 1992 Mark Scott Hamilton, Chairperson for San Francisco
 Commission of Animal Control and Welfare sent a letter to Superintendent
 Brian O'Neill expressing cocnern over "NPS Ranger announcements ..that
 GGNRA's longstanding 'voice control" ..policy at Fort Funston was to be
 changed effective May 1. " He noted that just action would have serious
 impact on "overall dog-walking policies within San Francisco's
 geographic boundaries" and questioned how it could be done without
 public hearings.

   "It seems inconsistent with GGNRA's past policies (and perhaps
 violative of applicable regulatory law) that this change would even be
 contemplated until after public input hearings."

  Public outcry over this was overwhelming.  Western District Director
 Stanley Albright reassured both U.S. Senator Cranston and Senator
 Seymour that they would continue to abide by the 1979 Pet Policy: "At
 this time, there is no change in the 1979 Pet Policy which provides the
 visitor the privilege of walking one's dog off leash."

  Addressing public concern over the closures at meeting that summer,
 Head Ranger Jim Milestone in July, 1992., assured citizens that the
 fences would be in place only one year and the native plants would be
 compatible with recreational use of the area. (Meeting Minutes of Fort
 Funston Dog Walkers Association, July 9, 1992).  The next year NPS
 expanded the native plant habit an additional three acres beyond the
 initial seven acre project, without public review or project approval.

  In June, 1994, an additional expansion/closure of fifteen acres was
 proposed without analysis or public hearings.  The report confirmed the
 project was already "expanding into areas beyond our previously agreed
 to perimeter.  Project originally called for removal of all ice plant (a
 noxious exotic species) from the ten acre Bank Swallow habitat area.
 This is now complete and new area outside of Bank Swallow habitat area
 are now within our grasp." (Project Review Form, Ice Plant Removal,
 North Tip of Fort Funston, June 1994, emphasis added).  The project goal
 was to destroy 15 aces of ice plant, using chainsaws to destroy all
 "exotic" trees and bushes, and using bulldozers where possible.  The map
 attached to this project limited this expansion to the asphalt coastal
 trail.  In fact, this project also was "expanded beyond agreed
 perimeters" to encompass areas east of the trail, covering the entire
 Boy Scout Bowl.

  Again Rangers began telling dog-walkers at Fort Funston, Crissy Field,
 and Ocean Beach in 1995 that they were going to start enforcing the
 general leash regulation, 2.15(a)   At the same time, NPS announced
 plans to close ten acres adjacent to Battery Davis under the pretext of
 erosion control.  Ranger Jim Milestone admitted to the public at a
 meeting in March protesting the proposed closures that this area was
 very popular with children for playing Lawrence of Arabia on the steep
 slope.  Dogs loved to chase balls and frisbees at the bottom of slope.

  Following these closures, in a letter dated March 14, 1995,
 Superintendent O'Neill promised Richard Avanzino, then-President of the
 San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that the
 habitat was nearing completion and would not expand south.  The NPS also
 promised the Battery Davis closure was an approximately 5-year closure
 during which time it would be revegetated.  Signs indicating both areas
 were closed for native plant revegetation were subsequently placed along
 the affected areas.

  Approximately one year later, Ranger Milestone held a public meeting on
 April 10, 1996.  He advised that 200 volunteers would be meeting at the
 Bank Swallow site at the north end of Fort Funston to pull up ice plant
 at  time Bank Swallows would be building nests in the cliffs.
 He estimated the project would take two more years but promised no more
 fences. (Newsletter, Fort Funston Dog Walkers Association, April 1996).
 Despite prior assurances the native plant habitat would not move further
 south,  Ranger Milestone finalized a plan in May 1996  that would "split
 Fort Funston down the middle" with the entire eastern zone extending
 native planting south to the Olympic Club: "restoration in the eastern
 portion would extend from the Olympic Club boundary to the Bank Swallow
 site along Fort Funston's eastern slope and plateau."

  The change in ecosystem affected the bank swallows.  After the 1995
 native plant expansion, the number of burrows began to decline from 924
 in 1994 to 713 in the first year.  They dropped again to 511 in 1996.
 In 1997, NPS lost the data.   In 1998 the number of burrows dropped to
 140 and the birds abandoned the area adjacent to the native plant project
 and moved south to an undisturberd area south along the cliff.  About
 that time starlings, hawks, kestrels, ravens and other birds began
 competing and preying on the bank swallows. (USO3943).  Starlings began
 taking over Bank Swallow burrows in mid-1990s, the public began to note
 a higher incidence of hawks and ravens as evidence by comments at public
 meetings with NPS staff, and the NPS's own study concluded that kestrel
 predation had played a substantial role in reducing the number of bank
 swallow breeding pairs from 340 to just 200 in one year alone (Chow, N.
 1994-5 Bank Swallow Annual Report)   NPS also realized the native plant
 habitat was causing the burrows to collapse by accelerating erosion on
 the cliff where they constructed their nests.  They were losing two
 hundred burrows a year.   The Chow report also notes that erosion pins
 were installed in the cliff in 1995 to monitor the impact of the
 changes.  NPS did not produce any of this data in the lawsuit.

 NPS Realized Dogs Did Not Affect the Bank Swallow Colony

  NPS realized dogs had no impact on bank swallow colony, but used them
 as pretext to justify closures Studies have shown conclusively that dogs
 on Funston Beach do not chase bank swallows or pose a threat to their
 breeding.   Construction of fences along the border of the northern
 cliffs above the colony nesting site was rationalized because of human
 disturbance as evidence by the following report prepared in 1991:

  "The immediate and continuous nature of the threats is illustrated by
 these observations taken on a November 1990 two-hour walk: 1) a hiker
 ignoring the cliff fence; 2) a couple nailing a sign into sandstone from
 the beach below; 3) the remains of a campfire and party above the cliff;
 4) shotgun shells above the cliff; 5) the remains of a camp shelter
 above the cliff; and 6) a new series of steps carved into the cliff.  In
 1989, during a monitoring visit to the cliff site, it was discovered
 that someone had carved the words 'Bird Hotel' into the cliff below the
 densest burrows (Fish, Memorandum, April 1989)" (US06400)

  Fences on the bluffs were moved back in 1991 to begin the conversion of
 the area to native plants.  The purpose was to transform the geology of
 the site by ripping up ice plants, chain sawing Monterey Cypress trees
 and exotic bushes to induce "natural dune formation", ie. impose sand
 erosion.

    Another objective was to use the site as propaganda tool to justify
 further closures: "The site can be used as a demonstration area for
 future restoration efforts of the greater Fort Funston area."  (1992
 Project Proposal US04115) Signs were posted calling the area a "Bank
 Swallow Habitat".  In fact, NPS documents confirm that bank swallow
 experts do not agree with their contention that the native plant
 "flyover" habitat helped the bank swallows.  Notes of March 16, 2000
 phone conversation with Barry Garrison from California Fish & Game, one
 of the nation's  foremost experts on California bank swallows, confirms
 that he  "doesn't feel need flyover" (USPRO01625)....."doesn't
 necessarily agree that they need a flyover to persist."
 (USPROD01624).    In fact, the dune conversion destroyed the colony
 nesting site the birds had used since 1905.

  Monitoring reports of the bank swallow confirms NPS was aware of the
 destruction but did nothing to protect the birds.   "Since 1993, the
 GGNRA has been monitoring the colony and making great efforts to restore
 the native habitat above the site." (US02425).  The only formal report
 on monitoring data was prepared by Nola Chow ," 1994-5 Bank Swallow
 Annual Report" data. . (USO4906-13). This report was concealed from the
 public in the Justification for the Funston closure.  The report notes
 that monitors noted the presence of hawks, people, dogs, hang gliders,
 and aircraft.  "Observers noted on two occasions that swallow activity
 ceased when aircrafts flew near the colony, but responses to the other
 potential disturbances were not noticed or documented."   ( US04909) A
 contemporaneous memo by Daphne Hatch, Wildlife Specialist, confirms that
 dogs on the beach pose no threat to the bank swallow colony.  "Dogs
 frequently roam in the closed area below the bank swallow colony, a
 leash requirement here might make this closure more effective, but I
 don't think dogs on the beach here have a direct impact on the bank
 swallows or their habitat."  ( June 11, 1995 D. Hatch Memo to Terri
 Thomas, Ecologist USPROD00607)

  Subsequent monitoring reports confirm dogs do not pose a threat to bank
 swallows.  A study of monitoring reports for 1996 contained no reports
 of dogs chasing birds.  NPS lost the reports for 1997.  In 1998, the
 birds fled the southern cliffs adjacent to the native plant closures,
 locating further south, burrowing on both sides of a path leading down
 to the beach.  Out of 61 visits to the new site in 1998, only four observed
 dogs chasing birds, one observed a dog chasing a swallow on the edge of
 the cliffs above the colony. (July 15, 1998).    Only two out of 30
 reports in 1999 observed dogs chasing birds.  After five years of
 intensive monitoring at the colony only one report documented a dog
 chasing a bank swallow on the edge of the cliffs.

  NPS conducted detailed surveys of dogs chasing shorebirds at Funston
 Beach
between April 4, 2000 and August 9, 2000.  Whereas earlier bank
 swallow monitoring reports had noted disturbance of birds, this year the
 monitors were asked to calculate the number of people observed on the
 beach, the number of leashed dogs, the number of unleashed dogs, and the
 incidents where dogs chased birds.  The survey revealed that there were
 over 1367 people on the beach, 69 leashed dogs, and 824 unleashed dogs.
 Of the 824 unleashed dogs, only 17 were observed chasing birds.  98% of
 the dogs did not chase birds.

  These figures are similar to the results of the year long survey of
 dogs at Ocean Beach in 1996 conducted by Daphne Hatch, GGNRA.  Her
 survey observed over 5600 dogs, 99.7% of the dogs did not chase snowy
 plovers, and 94% did not chase any birds.   Other studies of off-leash
 dogs reached similar results as discussed in detail below.


 Crissy Field Plan Amendment

  Enforcement of the leash regulation violates promises made to the
 citizens who contributed funds to the Crissy Field restoration that
 there would be 70 acres dedicated to off-leash recreation.

   Plans were initiated in the late 80's to transform Crissy Field into a
 showcase for the Bay.   The 1988 Crissy Field Site Improvements,
 Environmental Assessment" was prepared and proposals were presented to
 the public through extensive workshops.  As these plans progressed it
 became apparent that one component of the project called for the
 development of large, expensive restoration project creating tidal marsh
 lands. The NPS  promised the public who contributed to the Crissy Field
 Restoration project there would be 70 acres for off-leash recreation.
 Government documents prove that uncertainty over the future of off-leash
 recreation at Crissy Field was seriously impacting NPS efforts to obtain
 public and financial support for the Crissy Field Restoration project.
 To obtain funds necessary to complete the project, NPS agreed to expand
 off-leash recreation to 70 acres and incorporate these designated areas
 in the official planning documents.

   "The 1988 Crissy Field Site Improvement Assessment evolved from
 concepts present in the 1980 General Management Plan.  The Crissy Field
 plan recommends native planting, preservation and enhancement of the
 site's natural qualities, and preservation of views of the bay while
 recognizing the needs of existing and future visitors."  (Final General
 Management Plan Amendment Environmental Impact Statement Presidio of San
 Francisco July 1994, pg. 5)

  Construction began in 1998 and the project was completed in 2001. The
 restoration project cost between $32 and $34 million dollars of private
 funds raised by the Golden Gate National Park Association, with $18
 million coming from the Haas family. ("GGNPA")  (Chronicle, Jane Kay,
 "Star of the Show", April 30, 2001, ; Paul McHugh  "Winter Currents
 Eroding Beach At Crissy Field", January 10, 2001 pg. A15)

  Public concern over the impact of the plan on recreation surfaced in
 1994.  Wind surfers and dogwalkers were concerned that the new Crissy
 Field proposals  did not address future use of the area for these
 recreational activities.  On November 28, 1994, the Crissy project team
 met with representatives of boardsailors and Rich Avenzino from the SF
 SPCA to discuss "the direction [they] were going" . (USPROD00684)

  Meanwhile, GGNPA encountered problems obtaining donations for the
 project because of these concerns. Toby Rosenblatt was responsible for
 raising funds on behalf of the GGNPA for the restoration project.  He
 became alarmed in 1994 upon discovering NPS officials were not honoring
 the "voice control" 1979 Pet Policy established when the city donated
 park lands to the GGNRA.  In December, 1994, he  wrote a letter  to
 Superintendent Brian O'Neill and  Presidio Manager Robert Chandler,
 protesting reports that Rangers and Park Police were approaching people
 in the Presidio, Crissy Field, Upper Fort Mason and Ocean Beach "telling
 them about a leash law and enforcing the law."  Rosenblatt disagreed
 with the change in enforcement and warned "[i]t will raise a very major
 reaction, as you know, in the community and will seriously impact
 relations with lots of people".  He said the enforcement  was  impacting
 fund raising efforts for Crissy Field: "I know that a change which
 implements such a law will hurt our fund raising efforts for Crissy and
 elsewhere - in fact that is beginning to happen already."  Copies of the
 memo were sent to both Greg Moore, Executive Director GGNPA, and Amy
 Meyer, Citizens Advisory Committee. (USPROD00694)

  On January 25, 1995, Superintendent O'Neill drafted a response
 reassuring Rosenblatt that the National Park Service had not abandoned
 the  "voice control policy" for Fort Funston, Ocean Beach and Crissy
 Field, "areas where such use was traditional prior to their coming under
 the management of the National Park Service."  The draft letter
 acknowledges NPS concern that rumors of  a  leash regulation was
 impacting fund raising efforts by GGNPA: "It is regrettable that this
 issue would be of concern or impact in any way, your fund raising
 ability for the park.  It is certainly not our intention to jeopardize
 the significant sustained support you provide the park".A note on the
 draft letter indicates the contents were communicated to Rosenblatt
 during a meeting with Superintendent O'Neill. . (USPROD00748-50)

  Nevertheless, NPS refused to include off-leash recreation in official
 plans.   At this time, none of the proposed plans for Crissy Field
 acknowledged off-leash recreation at the site.  The SF SPCA circulated
 petitions to address the "planning department's refusal to issue a
 positive statement about letting dogs being allowed off leash in the
 Crissy Field Area in the future."  A public demonstration was scheduled
 for March to protest refusal to affirm continued off-leash recreation
 (USPROD00668-77)

  In February, Richard Avazino, President of the SF SPCA, met with
 Superintendent O'Neill, Presidio Manager Chandler and GGNPA Director
 Moore in February to address concerns "about the continued lack of
 official acknowledgment and recognition for this vital recreational
 activity."  In a letter summarizing these discussions, Avanzino noted
 the NPS was refusing to provide official recognition because federal
 regulations require dogs to be leashed, many NPS staff and powerful
 environmental groups who want a wetlands established at Crissy Field are
 opposed to off-leash dogs.   NPS also threatened to retaliate if
 dogwalkers pushed for official recognition during the planning process:
 ""[I]f we advocate publicly for official recognition and status, our
 efforts will be frowned on and may well be greeted with retaliatory
 action".  The SPCA responded by demanding official recognition. "We want
 the National Park Service to officially acknowledge and preserve
 off-leash dog walking as it exists today at Crissy Field.  We want this
 acknowledgment to be reflected in the legal and other documents
 pertaining to Crissy Field, as well as in the official design plans for
 the site."  Copies of the letter were sent to Senators Feinstein & Boxer
 and Representatives Pelosi & Lantos.  (USPROD00666-7)

  Public pressure continued to build.  On March 28, 1995 a public debate
 over the issue of a wetlands and its potential impact on off-leash
 dogwalking  was held at the Commonwealth Club.  A flyer for the
 lecture,  entitled  "Wetlands at Crissy Field - Is this a Good Idea?",
 identified the speaker as James F. Kirkham, Advisory Partner, Pillsbury
 Madison & Sutro, Native San Franciscan and Outdoorsman.  Summarizing the
 issue up for debate, the flyer noted "this habitat could include up to
 half of the entire acreage of Crissy Field, which could drastically
 reduce the amount of space left for recreational activities, including
 off-leash dog exercise."   (USPROD00681A few days later, a  massive
 Presidio dog-in was held on April 1st to show support for off-leash dog
 walking at Crissy Field (USPROD00679-80)

   In April, Avanzino met with Superintendent O'Neill and Citizens
 Advisory Commission members Amy Meyer, Jacqueline Young, and Trent Orr
 to discuss the status of the 1979 Pet Policy and the issue of inclusion
 of officially designated off-leash areas in the Crissy Field Plans.  A
 letter memorializing the meeting indicates the following issues were
 resolved: 1. the "NPS will again honor the Pet Policy", 2.  "legal
 counsel for the NPS has advised" that the Superintendent has
 "discretionary authority to reinforce through the Compendium mechanism
 the principles expressed in the Pet Policy"; 3. " this is permitted even
 though there is some conflict with the Code of Federal Regulations"; 4.
 NPS agreed to include "site-specific plan that clearly delineates
 off-leash dog walking areas"; 5. NPS agreed  "to public review and
 participation at the level of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area
 Advisory Commission of any future changes to the agreed upon off-leash
 dog walking areas."  Avanzino to O'Neill, April 27, 1995 (            )

  Subsequently, the NPS reassured the public in newspaper articles that
 off-leash dog walking would  continue after the wetlands are constructed
 .  "The National Park Service announced it 'has no intent' to forbid
 off-leash, even if a large wetlands area is restored along the northern
 waterfront."...Superintendent O'Neill reassured the public, "All plans
 either maintain or expand off-leash dog walking.  Under any future
 scenario, more generous areas of the Presidio's northern waterfront will
 be available to dogs."  (Steve Rubenstein, Chronicle,  "Canine Lovers
 Win Fight Over Off-Leash Walking" USPROD00678)

  GGNPA reminded NPS that further restrictions in the Compendium would
 impact fund-raising.   On June 26, 1995 Toby Rosenblatt responded to a
 draft of the Compendium voice control policy discussed during the April
 meeting with the SF SPCA.  He faxed a message to Superintendent O'Neill
 raising questions over several issues contained in the draft. Again he
 emphasized that unpopular restrictions would continue to  impact public
 funding for Crissy Field.: "I urge you, however, to think about how far
 all this goes in the context of our trying to get current successful
 support and then funding from the public for Crissy Field.  To be
 direct, we don't want to generate the kind of anger here that lead to
 the Congress concurring with Rep. Lewis about the 'NPS overreaching' and
 the resulting $1/year budget.  Please try to look on all this with major
 respect for the long existing patterns of people who live in and use
 these areas."  ( USPROD00598)

  Superintendent O'Neill issued the Compendium Amendment on August 8,
 1996, which included Crissy Field and Beach as a voice control area " On
 beach proper, beginning at the West Gate of the Promenade and old
 Airfield, to the eastern park boundary adjoining the Marina Green,
 bounded on the south by the southern edge of the Promenade and the old
 Airstrip north to San Francisco Bay.   The Compendium confirms these
 areas were used for off-leash recreation predating establishment of the
 park: "The park areas designated for this use are sites where this
 activity has occurred for many years predating the establishment of the
 park,." (GG1 000067-81)

  In letters to the public, NPS once again reassured the public their
 off-leash policy permits recreation in areas where it predated creation
 of the park.  On November 16, 1996, Superintendent O'Neill sent a letter
 to "Friends of the National Park Service" confirming that off-leash
 recreation is permitted in GGNRA despite a federal regulation
 prohibiting it.  "The National Park Service's federal regulations
 prohibit off-leash dog walking in the National Park Systems areas.
 However, at GGNRA we recognize that off-leash dog walking predates the
 creation of this national park and is a valued privilege in this
 community. Consequently, we work closely with the community to identify
 creative ways to allow off-leash dog walking." (USFW 00696)


   As promised, the Crissy Field Environmental Assessment explicitly
 recognized continued off-leash dog walking.   Section 2.1.2.10 Dog Use
 Areas provides: "Dog walking is a popular activity at Crissy Field, and
 both alternatives provide for the continued enjoyment of that activity.
 An approximately 70 acre area would be available for dog activities.
 Walking dogs off leash under voice control would be permitted on the
 Promenade and beach east of the U.S. Coast Guard station, on the
 restored airfield, and in the East Beach area." And the Crissy Field
 Plan Summary confirmed the proposed plan includes 70 acres for
 "off-leash dog walking" (pg. 10).  The areas designated included:
 "Off-leash dog walking will continue to be permitted on most of the
 beach and promenade, and will be expanded to include the restored grassy
 field.  Features such as hidden barrier fencing and dense native
 vegetation will be used to eliminate potential conflicts between
 off-leash dogs and wildlife, and will allow dogs to continue to run
 free."  (pg. 5)

 Applications for Section Seven Special Regulation

   On March 8, 1995, GGNRA contacted Washington D.C with a draft proposal
 of a special regulation officially authorizing off-leash recreation to
 bring the regulations into compliance with the enabling statute. (
 3/8/95 Gil Soper to Dennis Burnett at NP-WASO-POPS RE: GOGA Special
 Regulation ) "Dennis.. As per our telephone conversation this morning
 attached as file PETS.REG is draft language for a special regulation we
 propose for Golden Gate NRA.  This regulation would allow the
 Superintendent to designate through the parks compendium specific areas
 of the park where visitors may exercise their pets (dogs) off leash.
 Please advise as to any changes you feel would be appropriate.  We will
 begin the process of submission through the region."   (USPROD00664) The
 draft is almost identical to the one originally submitted back in 1980.

   36 CFR 7.97. Golden Gate National Recreation Area (c) Pets may be
 allowed within Golden Gate national Recreation Area in those areas and
 under such conditions as designated by the Superintendent. Public notice
 shall be in accordance with the requirements of 36 CFR 1, 1.7 Public
 Notice.  In those areas or circumstances not otherwise noted, the
 requirements of 36 CFR Ch 1, section 2.15 shall apply.   (USPROD00665)


  Meanwhile, public pressure was building in other parks including those
 in Washington D.C. and Cape Cod  for the NPS to modify the restrictive
 regulation and provide areas where off-leash recreation was permitted.
 (8/10/95 Einar Olsen NP-NCO_FIN to Dan Sealy at NP-NCR, Bart Truesdale,
 Audrey Calhoun at NP-GWMP (USPROD00585)) Regional enforcement personnel
 were aware that the regulation needed to be changed.   "Dan Thanks for
 your personal perspective on the dog issue at Cape Cod and GGNRA.  The
 issue is heating up at ROCR with letters being written to Bruce Babbitt
 to get his support to allow dogs off leash.  Babbitt happens to live
 near ROCR. This issue came up about a year ago at Lincoln Park (NCP-E).
 Most of the people advocating dogs offleash were Congressional staffer
 types who were tired of getting cited by the USPP.  The proposal was
 unworkable and was killed. "

   Apparently Park Police in Washington  D.C. employ terrorist tactics to
 control the number of offenders.  "FYI The USPP do establish dog
 enforcement months at selected parks when they do issue tickets in large
 numbers."  Officials realized that the regulation had to be modified to
 deal with the situation.  "Based on our conversations with SOL, under
 the existing regulatory structure, we cannot permit dogs off-leash
 unless they are in a physically confined space. "

  The contents of this e-mail were passed on to Terri Thomas at GGNRA who
 was told "it's a dead issue here" because "Babbitt has been consistently
 against changing any regulation that is based on resource protection or
 public health."  (Dan Sealy to Terri Thomas USPROD00585)

  "As you can see, the issue is bigger than GGNRA and there are problems
 with NPS precedents if we do anything that doesn't jive with CFR.
 Babbitt has been consistently against changing any regulation that is
 based on resource protection or public health and safety, from my
 personal experience.  I believe there is some weird possibility of a
 large enclosed (fenced) area where people could walk dogs, but I can't
 imagine this being applicable at the particular areas at GGNRA where the
 folks want to allow dogs off leash, at least from my feeble
 recollection."

  Publicity over Park Police terrorist tactics in Washington D.C.
 surfaced in the Washington Post in May, 1996, when charges of
 harassment in Rock Creek Park  were brought to the attention of
 Congress. (5/7/96 Washington Post Column by Colman McCarthy "Dog
 Zealots' Biting Arrogance" (USPROD00530) " Congressman Sidney R. Yates
 of Illinois, ranking Democrat on the Interior Subcommittee of the House
 Appropriations Committee "heard from some dog owners growling that
 National Park Service police officers actually dared to enforce the
 leash law.  Rock Creek Park, 1800 acres of sylvan charm and peace is
 overseen by the Interior Department...A year ago Park Police started
 issuing warnings" but were " forced to back off because of  harassment
 charges. " A national movement commenced over twenty five years ago
 finally emerged in the Nation's capitol. "Although this may be the first
 time Congress has let itself be pushed around by dog zealots, city
 governments are routinely under siege."


  Despite the report in Washington Post that Park Police backed off on
 enforcement at Rock Creek Park, Solicitor Mihan told GGNRA that the
 leash law was being enforced until the regulation was changed ( 10/21/96
 Ralph Mihan to Len McKenzie - Heads up- Dogs   (USPROD00406))

   "I have been advised that in response to congressional questioning
 (Yates), the Director advised that dogs off leash in Rock Creek Park in
 the National Capitol Parks could not be allowed until the regs were
 changed.  Until that time, the regs will continued to be enforced. "

  Mihan advised that GGNRA should again petition Washington D.C. to bring
 the regulation into compliance with the enabling statute. "  As I
 advised again a couple weeks ago, dogs off leash in GGNRA are still a
 violation of the regs, until they are changed which I advised 1 years
 ago.  I strongly URGE that at the very least, you get your situation out
 of compendium.  Beyond that it would seem that you need to resolve the
 inconsistency with NCP asap.."

   A few weeks later, GGNRA again approached Washington D.C. with a
 request to modify the general regulation, instead of authroizing a
 special regulation for just the GGNRA. (11/19/96 Gil Soper to Dennis
 Burnett Subject 36 CFR 2.15 - Pets) " Dennis attached is a wp file is
 the proposed revision to the pet regulation that we would like to put
 forward.  This revision would not weaken the basic regulation for those
 parks that wish to keep a strict dogs-on leash requirement.  However,
 the addition of just this one sentence would make a world of difference
 for Golden Gate and some other parks that face the same problem.  Hope
 you can help.  Let me know if there is anything further I can do."
 (USPROD00281-4)

   36 CFR 2.15(a)(2)  "This subparagraph shall not apply to areas
 designated by the superintendent where pets may be allowed under less
 restrictive controls."

  Headquarters was told that the designated off-leash areas were
 dedicated to this recreational use before the parks were donated to the
 NPS, enforcement was impossible, this recreation was popular in San
 Francisco
, and there was no political support for a leash law.

  "Problem: existing regulation provides no flexibility to allow visitors
 to exercise or walk with their pets except while leashed. Prior to
 establishment as an NPS unit, portions of the existing park lands were
 traditionally used as areas for local residents to exercise their pets
 off-leash .  This use continues, is very intense in selected park areas,
 and has a very large dedicated and vocal support group. Enforcement of
 the leash restriction at these sites is not practical from a law
 enforcement or political standpoint."

 Refusal to change the regulation would affect the "recreational needs of
 the tens of thousands of people who use the parks with their pets."

  " Solve problem: this would allow the Superintendent flexibility to
 properly manage and direct this recreational use activity.  Selected
 areas of the park could be designated where no sensitive resource issues
 exist and where the potential for conflict with non pet owners would be
 minimized.  This would allow for more realistic enforcement of the
 regulation and would address in a positive manner the recreational needs
 of the tens of thousands of people who use this park with their pets.

 Finally, this problem was no longer  unique to GGNRA, but in fact was
 emerging as a national issue for urban parks.

  "This is not a unique situation to Golden Gate; rather it is a problem
 share by a number of other park units, especially those located in or
 near urban centers with high day-use visitation."


  GGNRA was told that Washington D.C. had refused the request to modify
 the general regulation.  Head Ranger Ranger Gil Soper again approached
 Washington D.C. to find out who made that decision and whether it could
 be appealed. (4/17/97 Gil Soper to Dennis Burnett Re; Details & Dogs
 (USPROD00264)"

   " One of my favorite subjects...DOGs.  As you are aware GOGA has been
 trying without success to have the 36 CFR 2.15 reg on pets changed to
 allow the superintendents discretion to designate off-leash areas.  We
 first tried with the revisions of 1993 and again with the revisions that
 are now moving through the system.  Our most recent request was with the
 Phoenix material I sent you on cc:mail on Nov. 19, 1996.  At Phoenix you
 indicated to me that our latest request of Nov. 19 was discussed and a
 decision was made not to take it forward.  Our Deputy Superintendent Len
 McKenzie has asked me to find out who participated in the decision not
 to forward the revision.  We would like to know the basis for the
 decision.  Given our situation here an appeal may be in order. Any
 information you can provide will be appreciated. "

 He also offered to give them a tour of the off-leash areas in the GGNRA.
 " I would be pleased to take you on a special "dog tour" of the park
 when you are here next month. "


  Washington responded that NPS was more inclined to become even more
 restrictive on access to the parks.  (4/25/97 Dennis Burnett to Gil
 Soper cc Bruce McKeeman at NP-Voya, Chriss Andress (USPROD00262))

   "Gil the discussions surrounding 36 CFR 2.15 (dogs) were of a nature
 to strengthen existing regulations.  Issues discussed based on
 information received from parks included the following suggestions.:

    1. Prohibit dogs everywhere except where allowed by the
 Superintendent, as opposed to the existing regulation that allows dogs
 except where prohibited by the Superintendent.

    2. Prohibit dogs on all trails except where allowed by the
 Superintendent

    3. Prohibit dogs on all trails except where allowed through
 promulgation of a special regulation

    4. Prohibit dogs in backcountry areas.

    5. Prohibit dogs everywhere except within 25 yards of a parking area,
 roadway or develop area.

  Without conducting any surveys or evaluation of the problem, the
 decision-makers concluded that the regulation should be left alone
 because "it works well for the vast majority of parks."    The only
 change implemented was to expand the definition of  "service dogs "
 beyond those who a re "visually or hearing impaired." Finally, the
 decision was made to leave the regulation alone because of suppositions
 of potential liability issues, "dogs chasing wildlife in many areas",
 and enforcement of "poaching" prohibitions.

   "The consensus of the group(s) (Bruce Keeman is the leader of the full
 group and I chaired the Solicitor review group) in the end was that
 existing 2.15 works well for the vast majority of parks and should be
 left alone.  There are liability concerns when pets are off leash and
 the issues associated with dogs chasing wildlife in many areas.  The
 current restrain regulation assists many areas with poaching and hunting
 issues.  It was the feeling of the group there would be a large outcry
 against lessening the regulations.

 Clearly the response was just a knee jerk rejection without any critical
 analysis of the proposal.  Finally, GGNRA was told to apply for a
 special regulation. " If this is a big enough issue at GOGA, then a
 special regulation for GOGA would be in order."

  Despite Washington's suggestion that they again propose a special
 regulation, GGNRA decided not to pursue that option. (11/14/97 Gil to
 Brian/Len (USOPROD00260-1)) Instead, they elected to delete the
 authorization contained in the 1996 Compendium Amendment which was
 promised to the dog-walkers during the negotiations over the Crissy
 Field Plan   "Our off-leash Amendment was signed on July 8, 1996. We
 have not included it in the 1997 revision which we expect to have ready
 for signature within a couple of weeks.  With the signature of the 97
 revision of our Compendium Amendment this amendment will be history!"
 Instead of seeking a special regulation to bring the regulations into
 compliance with the enabling statute, GGNRA elected to employ a new
 rationalization, called  "officer discretion".


   "Where do we go from here?  My recommendation at this point is that we
 not seek any change in the regulations.  If we could get a special
 regulation through it would only allow us to do what we have already
 tried with the Compendium Amendment and it has not been accepted by the
 dog walking community.  Our experience is that they do not wish to
 compromise in any manner and I am sure they would continue to challenge
 us over every inch of park that we do not designate for off-leash use.
 I believe our best approach is to enforce the existing leash law and
 allow a liberal amount of "officer discretion" within those areas of the
 park where the superintendent determines that enforcement of this
 regulations is not a priority.  This allows us to continue to
 accommodate off-leash dog walkers at places like Funston, Crissy Field &
 Ocean
Beach
via low-priority enforcement with more aggressive
 enforcement in sensitive resources areas or where there are visitor
 conflict issues.  This also keeps us in line with the general regulation
 and provides a more defensible and consistent approach to this issue."

 Instead of having designated areas where off-leash recreation is
 officially sanctioned, GGNRA chose to place enforcement decisions into
 the hands of individual officers.  Fort Funston, Crissy Field, and Ocean
 Beach
now became "low priority enforcement", not officially sanctioned
 off-leash areas.  In effect, they officially sanctioned a policy of
 Ranger Roulette where the  citizens rights turned on the personalty,
 priority, and mood of the individual ranger.



 Failure to consider the impact of  aggressive enforcement

  Consider what has happened at Ocean Beach since the GGNRA closed off
 2.2 miles in 1997.  Aggressive enforcement at Ocean Beach has not
 stemmed the tide of off-leash use.  While driving along the Great
 Highway
I always see people in the closed area walking with their dogs
 unleashed.

  Nevertheless, NPS has converted that area into a police state.
 Recently they have provided us with copies of incident reports for 1999
 and 2000.  Reviewing summaries of all reports some outrageous facts
 emerge.  Incident reports on pet violations doubled each year from
 1994-6, from 4 (94) to 7 (95) to 25 (96).

  After the closures in late 1996, total incident reports leaped to 332.
 with 134 citations  issued in San Francisco, 76 at Ocean Beach. In 1998,
 the number rose to 317 out of 478 total, ie. 66% of all incidents were
 at the Ocean Beach closure.    With no apparent drop in actual use,
 citations continued to remain high in 1999 and 2000.  Over 223 people
 were stopped for having dogs off leash, 85 of these people were
 subjected to protracted delay while computer searches were conducted on
 them. Angry words were exchanged in 21 of these instances, 17 times
 false identification was attempted.

  A review of the total 478 citations for 1998 reveal that only 7% of
 them were written for formal off leash areas, which is not to say that
 the incidents occurred in the off-leash areas. There were 19 reports for
 Fort Funston, less than 4% of the total.  Crissy Field had 5 reports.
 There were none for Baker Beach or West Pacific Ave.  Muir Beach had 7
 and Rodeo Beach had 4, with none for Oakwood Trail.

  In the San Mateo restricted areas, there were 7 at Sweeney Ridge and 10
 at Milaga Ridge.  In San Francisco, Presidio had 36, Sutro Heights with
 11, the Great Meadow had 8, and Fort Point with 2.  In Marin, there were
 12 at Tennessee Valley, 17 at Stinson Beach, 4 at Coyote Ridge, 11 at
 Miwok, 3 at Muir Woods, and 5 Miscellaneous.

  In conclusion, enforcement of a policy that is not perceived by the
 public to be fair will fail.  A policy developed pursuant to land use
 principles, sensitive to public input, based on careful evaluation of
 the practical experience of all users, aware of scientific research,
 stands a better chance of being accepted by the body politic.


 Research on Recreational Impact on Wildlife



   1. Recreational Impact on Wetlands

  An important early study on the impact of recreation on wildlife in
 wetlands was conducted in 1989 by the Center for Environmental Studies
 at San Francisco State University. (Josselyn, M., M. Martindale, and J.
 Duffield. 1989, "Public Access and Wetlands: Impacts of Recreational
 Use", Technical Report #9, Romberg Tiberon Centers, Centers for
 Environmental Studies, San Francisco State University, Tiberon, CA 56
 pp).  This study confirmed data developed by GGNRA during the Ocean
 Beach and Funston Beach studies in 1996 and 2000.  Dogs have very little
 impact on seabirds residing on urban beaches.

  A review of literature on the subject confirmed that very little
 research had been conducted on the impact of recreational use on
 wildlife.   The only study the authors could locate substantiates that
 permitting dogs on trails had no impact on wildlife.  Although this
 study was limited to dogs on leash, the Boulder study discussed below
 confirms this is true for off-leash dogs as well.  "We found only one
 before-and-after study of the effects of human access on wildlife. This
 was a two-year study of the responses of deer to the presence of humans
 on an inland 'dog on a leash' hiking trail (McGinnis, S.  1987 "The
 effect on wildlife of dog presence in a "dog on leash" hiking trail in
 Long Ridge Open Space Preserve" . Midpeninsula Regional Open Space
 District, Mountain View ).  The number of deer in the area was counted
 just after the trail was opened to the public and again after two years
 of use.  Humans and occasional leashed dogs had no significant effect on
 resident deer populations over time.  The effect of loose dogs was not
 tested. " pg. 6

  Three hundred questionnaires sent out to wetland managers in California
 and the East Coast.  Over eighty were returned.  The two largest groups
 were from freshwater habitat (32)  and tidal marsh areas (27) . The
 freshwater habitats were primarily marshes.  Pg. 17

  Most of the data came from the San Francisco Bay. "Sixteen of the tidal
 marsh responses were from the San Francisco Bay Area, five from southern
 California, one from Elkhorn Slough, and one from Humboldt Bay.  The
 brackish marsh and coastal dune responses were from northern and
 southern California coast sites, from San Francisco Bay and from
 Brooklyn, New York.  Pg. 18"

  Study of dog impact on birds resulted in the same conclusions reached
 by the studies conducted by GGNRA at Ocean Beach and Funston Beach.  "A
 total of 24 dogs, 10 loose and 14 leashed were seen at De Silva Island
 Marsh, 8 at Marta's Marsh (7 loose and 1 leashed), 2 at Main Marsh (1
 loose and 1 leashed) and none at Lockheed. Although the site with the
 highest dog use as well as highest human use had the lowest bird use, no
 disturbances were caused by the dogs that were present during these
 observations."  Pg. 33

  Birds using urban beaches were acclimated to the presence of humans and
 dogs. "When examining the total number of events resulting in
 disturbances, the number of bird disturbances was lowest at De Silva
 Island, despite the high number of human events at the most urbanized
 wetlands.  Pg. 37.  The percentage of disturbing events at De Silva
 Island, (2%), Lockheed (10%), Main (19%) and Mart's Marsh (70%).   As
 the number of total human events increased, the number of waterbird
 responses decreased.   Possibilities: First, sites with a high
 percentage of disturbing events had the greatest density of birds.  The
 crowding and increased interaction between birds might amplify responses
 to human activity.  Secondly, tolerance to human activity may be greater
 due to acclimation of the birds using a particular site.  More sensitive
 species may simply avoid marshes with high human use.  Pg. 37 "

  In conclusion the report confirmed the obvious. " The birds at the high
 activity sites appeared to be acclimated to the presence of humans; the
 percentages of bird disturbances at these sites in relation to event
 were lower than at sites with low human activity."  Pg. 39 "Birds
 utilizing marshes with high human activity were less frequently
 disturbed than those at sites with low or no human activity,.  Pg. 42 "

   2. Off-Leash Dogs in Open Space, Boulder Study

   An important study was conducted by a biologist at the University of
 Colorado of the impact of recreational off-leash dogs on trails in the
 open spaces in Boulder Colorado ( M Bekoff & C. Meaney "Interactions
 Among Dogs, People, and the Environment in Boulder, Colorado,: A Case
 Study", ANTHROZOOS, 10(1), 1997, pp 23-29)

  Another Boulder study indicated that over 20% of the people who use
 trails in the open spaces are accompanied by dogs.  "This community
 resource, which is shared by humans and animals, consists of about
 25,000 acres and approximately 150 miles of trails.  In 1993 there were
 about 1.3 million visits.  In one study, it was reported that 21.3% of
 groups visiting Boulder, Open Space participated in exercising their
 companion dogs."  Pg. 24

  The Bekoff study recorded frequency rates when dogs off-trail or
 on-trail and whether or not owner induced movement off-trail by throwing
 a stick or frisbee.  Pg. 25 It also recorded observed instances when dog
 did not appear to flush or chase wildlife.

  The mammalians species of concern were mule deer, marmots, prairie
 dogs, rock squirrels, jackrabbits, cotton-tails, coyotes, and red
 foxes.  Pg. 25 The avian species included magpies, juncos, ducks,
 stellers jays, mountain and black capped chickadees pg. 25

  Like the Funston Beach study, approximately 800 dogs were observed for
 150 hours.  Off-leash dogs generally traveled less than 2-5 m off trail
 for fewer than 1-2 minutes.  Pg. 25

  Data for three studies at Mt Sanitas were analyzed. The first study
 revealed that 30% dogs remained on trail, and 45% went off-trail b/n 1-5
 m for less than 1 min.   The second study had similar results,  80% dogs
 remained within 1-3 m (15% on trail, 40% less than 1m off trail). As did
 the third, 93% of dogs remained within 5m of the trail .pg. 25   The
 dogs which left the trail were induced to do so by their owners,
 "general impression of observers was that dogs went off-trail because
 owners threw frisbees, sticks or went off trail and called them."  Pg.
 25 There " were only 2 instances of earnest chases, one deer and one
 squirrel". "Dogs only rarely entered bodies of water". Pg. 25 The data
 for the  "Chautaauqua " study  was similar (272 dogs)    Pg. 25

  Analysis of dog on dog interactions show that 20/26 (81%) were friendly
 (dogs greeted, sniffed, or played with one another) or neutral (dogs
 passed one another with no physical contact).  6 had aggressive
 components (19%).   Pg. 25  "All observers noted that dog off leash were
 friendlier than dogs on leash.  Pg. 25  Of 172 people/dogs interactions, 146 were neutral (85%) and 26 were friendly (15%).  Pg. 25


  Surveys were also conducted at shopping malls and open spaces.  450
 questionaires were completed, more non-dog owners than owners (53.2% to
 46.8%).  Pg. 25   The results were significant, similar to the survey
 conducted by NPS in August 1999 which found that 74% of the respondents
 identified off-leash dogs as a positive feature at Funston while only
 1.6% thought there were too many off-leash dogs.  The Boulder poll
 revealed:  " 96.4% were comfortable with dogs and there were no
 significant differences in locations, mall versus open spaces. " Pg. 25
 Most people thought it would lessen quality of own (68.3%) and their
 dogs (82.2%) outdoor experience if dogs had to be leashed.  Pg. 25-26
 Some people were more disturbed by large breed (Rottweilers (35.3%)
 Doberman Pinchers (20%), Pit Bulls (17.1%), and Chows (14.3%).  Pg. 26

  Many more people reported seeing other people disturb wildlife (92.2%),
 vegetation (78%), and bodies of water (60.5%), significantly more often
 than dogs (49.7%; 31.4%; and 9.0%).  Pg. 26

  Questions regarding biggest problems facing open space/park use found:

 1. Too many dogs, 10.6% non-dog owners vs. 2.9% dog-owners

 2. Too many piles of feces on /near trails 28.5% non-dog owners vs.
 19.5% dog-owners

 3. Too many people 47.5% non-dog owners vs. 53.4% dog owners

 4. Too many unruly people 32.4% non-dog owners vs. 28.2% dog owners

 5. Too many unruly dogs, 15.5% non-dog owners vs. 8% dog owners.  Pg.
 26

  Both groups agreed that people, not dogs, were the major problem.
 Disturbances by people included loud talking, trampling vegetation, and
 littering.  Pg. 26  Dogs should not be banned from Open Spaces 93.3%
 non-dog owners vs. 98.2% dog owners.  Additional off leash areas should
 be established. 72.% non-dog owners vs. 64.3% dog owners. Dogs on
 leashes at all times 30.5% non-dog owners vs. 19% dog owners.  Stricter
 enforcement of voice control 76.6% non-dog owners vs. 66% dog owners.
 Pg. 26

  In conclusion the survey found "compared to people, dogs did not seem
 to do much damage to vegetation or bodies of water, and they only rarely
 chased wildlife."  Pg. 26 "Almost 97% of people polled felt comfortable
 with dogs off-leash."  Pg. 27


  Furthermore, the authors noted that the " relationship between people
 and dogs has changed greatly in Boulder over the past 25 years.  In the
 early 1970s many uncastrated dogs ran free without their owners.  Dogs
 occasionally formed packs, chased deer and on a least one occasion
 attacked a child. Since then there has been an increased interest in
 having well-behaved dogs." pg. 27


  Another study at University of Colorado reveals that unleashed dogs
 generally leave humans alone. " A recent study of dogs on the University
 of Colorado
campus showed that leashed dogs initiated contact with
 humans 5.5 times more than did unleashed dogs, and that people initiated
 contact with leashed dogs 3.8 times more than with unleashed dogs.
 Generally, unleashed dogs ignored humans and choose other unleashed dogs
 with whom to interact when they were not exploring their surroundings. "
 Pg. 28


 Public safety risk associated with off-leash recreation

  The data cited by GGNRA in the ANPR regarding incidents of dog bites is
 totally misleading.  NPS has refused to differentiate between incidents
 occurring in off-leash areas and those experienced elsewhere.  Many
 incidents occurred in the Presidio at the homes of the residents.
 Furthermore, there was no analysis of the severity of the bite or
 whether this occurred because of dog on dog aggression.  Were the
 victims owners of the dogs?  My review of the incident reports reveals
 that the over whelming majority of these incidents occur because of dog
 on dog aggression and the injury is very slight.

  The most disturbing aspect to this data is the fact that GGNRA has been
 secretly compiling this data since 1999 without sharing it with the dog
 walking community. "Just wanted to confirm that we agreed at the last
 law enforcement meeting that we would start coding the dog bites/off
 leash incidents so that they were easily retrievable in the data base."
 (11/23/99 Mary Gibson Scott Re: Case incidents involving dogs
 USPROD0063).  Furthermore, GGNRA has data on the existence or absence of
 lawsuits over off-leash dog incidents. "Also, Lance, could you provide
 me with some data on tort claims involving dogs off leash over recent
 history?"  This is critical evidence the public needs to know to
 evaluate the problem and develop problem solving strategies, ie.
 "Recreation open space necessary for urban environment and planning."

    GGNRA has pursued the same strategy with cliff rescues.  People and
 dogs getting stranded on cliffs has been a matter of public record since
 before 1992.  Injuries associated with this problem are much more
 serious than dog bites.  Reports on the Sunset Trail closure reveals
 that "two visitors broke their backs and two dogs were killed in falls
 from the cliff in this area."  (USO6330).  The remediation proposal
 included "remove a small portion of the Sunset trial", restructure some
 of the sand dunes, install post and cable fencing to reroute foot
 traffic, and install signs to inform the public of the hazards and the
 trail closure."  Instead of implementing this very limited project, the
 "Project Review Executive Committee urged " that "the project be
 expanded to include the removal of asphalt and closure of the trail
 through the portal of Battery Davis and close off the west side of the
 Battery to the public."  Without any consultation with the public, GGNRA
 went ahead with this draconian proposal, ripped up the entire disability
 trail in this area and closed off the park, banning all public access.
 Only after the lawsuit was filed did they repopen the area.  But nothing
 was done to "restructure some of the sand dunes" and no post and cable
 fence was installed at the frightful site where two dogs died and two
 people broke their backs.  Furthermore, there are inadequate signs
 throughout the rest of the cliffside area.  As documented by the SPCA
 brief on the Funston closure, most rescues occur below the Hang Glider
 area, adjacent to Battery Davis closure, and along the Sunset Trail.
 GGRNA has let this problem fester for over decade without engaging in
 any "land use planning".

  Insofar as there is public concern about this issue, GGNRA and San
 Francisco
should establish a task force to evaluate the problem of
 aggressive dogs.  This is the approach suggested by an article published
 in June.  A few general facts cited by the report is a good place to
 start. "Only about 10% of bites are inflicted by dogs unknown to the
 victim."  (JAVAMA Vol. 218, No. 11, June 1, 2001, pg. 1741, A Community
 approach to dog bite prevention") Unneutered male dogs represented 80%
 of dogs presented to veterinary behaviorists for dominance aggression,
 the most commonly diagnosed type of aggression."  (Pg. 1733) Intact
 males are also involved in 70 to 76% of reported dog bite incidents"
 (pg. 1733)  For the entire US population (children and adults), dog
 bites are the 12th most prevalent non-fatal injury, following, falls,
 motor vehicle accidents-traffic, drugs and biologic, SPORTS, insect
 bite, BICYCLING, medical complications, intentional injury, Poisoning,
 motor vehicle-non-traffic, and knives and blades...( Sosin, DM, Sacks
 JJ, Sattin RW, Causes of nonfatal injuries in the United States, 1989.
 Accident Analysis and Prevention 1992; 24:685-687)

  While evaluating the issue of public safety in the parks, dogs also
 provide a service to the community by being in the parks .  A woman
 friend of mine was saved from an attack in the Presidio when a man
 pulled up in his car to let out his dog for a walk one night.  On
 Christmas eve another night I found someone unconscious at midnight
 passed out in the park as the temperature dropped below freezing,
 probably saving his life.  Last year, the Chronicle had a story of a dog
 walker who found a newborn baby early one morning at Ocean Beach.
 Professional dog walkers in the Presidio have told me of discovering
 dead bodies early in the morning. Karin Hu, Ph.D., professor of
 Scientific Method and Animal Studies at City College conducted a survey
 of park users at Funston last year for the notice and comment.  Her
 study revealed that over 50% of the users were solitary women with a
 dog.   Which brings to mind an observation a friend of mine, Tim
 Beneicke made in his influential book, Men On Rape.  He asked women to
 describe what their life would be like if there was no threat of rape.
 All women said they would have independence and freedom to go wherever
 they wanted. Canine companions often provide a solitary woman freedom to
 experience parks alone.

  Finally, the literature on animal-human interactions is filled with
 accounts of situations in which dogs, dolphins, and other animals
 evidenced an awareness of the plight of humans and acted to assist
 them." ( Sanders pg. 122.)  A few years ago  People Magazine devoted a
 cover story to animals who acted to save humans at peril.  One story
 described a blind dog who swam into a river to lead a girl swept
 downstream back to safety at shore.  (People Weekly, "Hero Pets", July
 14, 1997).  Having dogs in our parks is a good thing.



 Failure to consider our cultural heritage

  NPS has failed to even consider our cultural heritage.  San Francisco
 has always prided itself as a place of incomparable freedom and
 tolerance.  In comparison, cities like San Jose and Los Angeles seem
 like another planet.  Our treatment of animals is more European than
 American, by integrating our companion animals in our personal life.
 Observing the scene, a French journalist was moved recently to suggest
 that San Francisco may have surpassed Paris, the city of light, as the
 premier paradise on earth for canine companions: "San Francisco is a
 true paradise for the French poodles of the world."  (Anne Senges,
 "SF.'s amour fou for the city's dogs", Chronicle, April 18, 2001).

  Reaching back into history, one discovers that Northern California
 always had a reverence for dogs.  According to California Kato Indian
 myth, "the creator was walking around in the world creating things and
 took along a dog. There is no statement that he created a dog; he just
 had a dog." (M. Leach , God Had A Dog, Folklore of the Dog, [Rutgers
 University Press, 1961]) This cultural reverence for dogs by the Kato
 Indians located near Humboldt extended down to the tribes in the San
 Francisco Bay Area :"[T]he tribes of the [San Francisco Bay] area
 imported and prized them, named them, kept them in their own houses, and
 buried them with the same care afforded to human beings, sometimes with
 shell money or other grave paraphernalia."  (Leach,  Pg. 103)

  Early San Francisco shared this exceptional reverence for dogs .  On
 March 28, 1992, a 30" x 20" brass plaque was installed in a tiny park
 shaded by redwood trees at the base of the Transamerica Pyramid to
 commemorate a site where two famous stray dogs named Bummer and Lazarus
 roamed over 140 years before.  (M. Barker, Bummer & Lazarus San
 Francisco's Famous Dogs, Londonborn Publications, 1984, 2000) The dogs
 were officially adopted by the city, sustained by citizens and
 merchants,  a topic on constant comment in the newspapers.   Lithographs
 were created and sold memorializing episodes from their life (Attached
 is a lithograph depicting Bummer's funeral populated with drawings of
 prominent San Franciscans).

  Mark Twain in fact authored some of the articles.  This literary
 tradition continues today.   A couple years ago, the Chronicle published
 a full page editorial "In Celebration of Lawrence Ferlinghetti San
 Francisco's Poet Laureate" with his poem, "Dog", and drawings
 illustrating the dog's sojourn through the city: "The dog trots freely
 in the street and sees reality..." (Chronicle,  September 10, 1998, pg.
 A25 ) Every year, the San Francisco Giants hosts the annual dog day at
 the stadium.   A couple years ago, former 49' er owner Eddie DeBartolo
 Jr. was photographed with his greyhound Frankie being blessed at St.
 Boniface Church (Examiner "Carnival of animals shares in blessings",
 Oct. 4, 1998, B-11 ) Last year, Soprano Patricia Racette, star of
 Opera's Luisa Miller, was photographed with her toy poodle leaping in
 the air at Fort Funston (Chronicle, September 5, 2000, pg. D1), "The dog
 is only a year and a half old and already has been to Paris, Spain and
 New York traveling in a Sherpa bag... In San Francisco, Racette takes
 Sappho out to Fort Funston for fresh air." (pg. D7) One of the best
 examples of this tradition of integrating our lives with dogs is the
 fact Mavericks, the incredible monster wave north of Half Moon Bay,  was
 named after a German Shepherd who surfed there with his caretaker back
 in the 60's. (Jack Boulware, "The Selling of A Wave", SF Weekly , Vol.
 17, Number 36, Oct. 14-20, 1998, pg. 22.)

  Our commitment to the welfare of animals is best exemplified by the
 fact San Francisco has three entities devoted to caring for abandoned
 animals, Animal Care and Control and the SF SPCA.  Recently the SF SPCA
 opened Maddie's Adoption Center, a state of art adoption center named
 after the donor's deceased dog.  Former President of SF SPCA Richard
 Avanzino now heads a $200 million foundation to take up a national
 no-kill crusade. (Matier & Ross , "Animal Crusader's Job the Cat's
 Meow", Chronicle August 26, 1998 A-13 ).


  Perhaps the best example of our success at multi-use off-leash parks is
 found in the NPS survey conducted at Fort Funston in August, 1999.  The
 objective survey asked Fort Funston users to identify what is unique
 about Funston and to include any comments they thought  appropriate.
 The survey revealed over 74% identified off-leash dog-walking as the
 most important feature of the park, less than 1.6% had negative comments
 about dogs.   Respondents without dogs enjoyed watching them play.
 Several parents appreciated being there with kids and dogs.  Only two
 respondents felt there were too many uncontrolled dogs.  None of the
 respondents had positive things to say about the native plant habitat
 closures.

 Failure to consider the changing paradigm regarding animal consciousness

  Over the past decade there has been expanded use of parkland for
 off-leash recreation  arising from increased ownership and the awareness
 of the benefits of recreational exercise with companion animals.  Most
 advocates opposing this phenomenon do not understand that there is a
 fundamental change occurring within the scientific community on the role
 of companion animals in our society.  To some extent the conflict over
 off-leash recreation reflects a split in the scientific community over
 animal consciousness. Descartes regarded animals as mindless machines
 that were not motivated by thoughtful intent. St Thomas Aquinas took a
 different view, the powers of thought and feeling in animals were
 similar to those in mankind.  This perspective was shared by Voltaire,
 David Hume, Darwin and others.  (Clinton Sanders, Understanding Dogs
 Living and Working With Canine Companions [Temple University Press,
 1999] pg 114.)

   During the past century, there have been three major stages in the
 science of ethology, the study of animals.  (Julliet Clutton-Brock,
 "Dog's Best Friend", Times Literary Supplement, June 20, 1997).
 Ethology began with naturalists like Conrad Lorenz, Niko Tinbergen, and
 W. H. Thorpe and others who wrote directly about their observations of
 animal behavior.  From the mid-50/s came behaviorism of B. F. Skinner
 who like Descartes viewed human and animal behavior as very mechanistic,
 " muscular and physiological or hormonal reaction to external and
 internal stimuli".   In the past ten years a new paradigm has emerged,
 sometimes referred to as anthrozoology, resulting in scientific studies
 revealing that animal and human cognition and consciousness are
 similar.  As Sanders points out, this assault on the neocartesian
 assumption of the rigid barrier separating humans from nonhuman animals
 has been "spearheaded by ethologists, anthropologists, and others
 involved in ongoing, intimate interactions with animals."  (Sanders, pg.
 119 ) This new scientific paradigm provides theoretical support for what
 many caretakers understood intuitively: "[O]ur animal companions are
 thoughtful, emotional, intentional, and empathetic partners with us in
 our social world." ( Sanders, pg. 148)

    In addition to this shift in view on the intellectual and emotional
 life of dogs, psychologists, veterinarian, animal behavior specialists,
 therapists are expanding research into the "human-animal bond" and its
 effects on adjustment and well-being.  ( G. Melson, Why The Wild Things
 Are, Animals In the Lives of Children, Harvard University Press 2001,
 pg. 4) Since 1960's there has been a rapidly expanding body of research
 confirming the beneficial role canines play in our psychological well
 being.

  The evolution of scientific paradigm regarding animal consciousness has
 impacted the societal role they are expected to play. Concomitant with
 the rise of behaviorism in the 1960s-1970s regulation of dogs, became
 stricter in cities, resulting in pet bans and scoops laws.  During the
 1980s, research indicating the health benefits of pet ownership resulted
 in the reversal of pet bans in many jurisdictions.  In 1981, the White
 House Conference on Aging adopted a resolution calling on federal, state
 and local governments to support legislation allowing the elderly to
 keep their companion animals.  California, Maryland, New York and other
 states later enacted laws protecting the rights of elderly tenants to
 own pets.  (Mary H. Cooper, "American's Pampered Pets", Congressional
 Quarterly Researcher, December 27, 1996) Recent legislation has expanded
 this protection. Last year California passed a new law prohibiting
 trailer courts from banning pets.  The bill originally included
 condominiums, but Republicans cut this provision in the last few days
 before passage.

  A select list of popular books reflecting the development of the new
 scientific paradigm includes the following: Vicki Hearne, Yale
 University's Institution for Social Policy Studies, "Adam's Task Calling
 Animals by Name" (Vintage 1982/1987);  Elizabeth Marshall Thomas,
 Anthropology, "Hidden Life of Dogs" (Houghton Mifflin 1993); Jeffrey
 Masson, Psychoanalyst/Sanskrit scholar, "Dogs Never Lie About Love,
 Reflections on the Emotional World of Dogs", (Crown Books, 1997);
 Marjorie Garber, English Professor at Yale University, "Dog Love"
 (Touchstone 1997); Clinton Sanders, Professor of Sociology at University
 of Connecticut, "Understanding Dogs, Living and Working with Canine
 Companions", (Temple University Press 1999); Gail Melson, Professor of
 Child Development and Family Studies at Purdue University, "Why the Wild
 Things Are, Animals in the lives of Children (Harvard University Press
 2001); R. Shelldrake, Ph.D. Biochemistry, Dogs That Know When Their
 Owners Are Coming Home (Crown Books 1999); M Derr, Historian, Dog's Best
 Friend Annals of the Dog-Human Relationship (Henry Holt & Comp. 1997);
 Caroline Knapp, Author, Pack of Two The Intimate Bond Between People and
 Dogs, (Delta 1998); Gene Meyers, Children and Animals Social Development
 and Our Connections to Other Species (Westview Press 1998) .

  Again the Bay Area has played a major role developing research in these
 areas.  During the first week in August, three separate international
 symposiums dealing with humans/animals were held consecutively on the
 University of California, Davis campus: Nature in Legend & Story
 (NILAS),  International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ) , and
 International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE). Two San Francisco
 scholars presented papers, Maureen Adams, "Elizabeth Barrett Browning
 and Flush: Possibilities within the Human-Dog Bond" and Anne Alden, " A
 Critical Analysis of Canine Cartoons Over Time".  Other papers presented
 included two concerning the SF SPCA, one by President Ed Sayres
 "Preventing and Solving Problems with Aggressive Dogs"; another by
 Allison Nixon/Lynette Hart, and Neil Willits, "Successful dog adoptions:
 Influences of dog behavior on retention and relinquishment."  Later this
 month the American Psychological Association will hold its annual
 meeting here in San Francisco.  Last year they added a section devoted
 to the human/animal bond.

  More specifically,  scientists at Davis are turning their attention to
 the issue of off-leash recreational activity.  A research proposal has
 been developed to evaluate off-leash exercise areas in northern
 California and nationwide.

 Failure to consider the beneficial role dogs play in the life of kids.

    As a single parent who raised a son in San Francisco, you must
 understand that the view presented in the ANPR about dogs and children
 is not representative of our community.  The true voice of San Francisco
 children is found in a letter written by six year old Elizabeth Linke
 contained in the official proceedings of the House of Representative
 Hearings in 1972 over the proposed establishment of the GGNRA.   "Dear
 Congressman Roy Taylor: I want a park so I can play in the park and my
 sister wants a park to [sic] and so my dog can play with another dog and
 my Mom wants a park so she could take my dog out to play.  I hope you
 will make a park.  Elizabeth Linke" ( Hearings before the Subcommittee
 on Interior and Insular Affairs, House of Representatives, pg. 414).

   Elizabeth's view is shared by most children in the city.  Interviews
 with children who do no have pets, from preschoolers through adolescents
 in Montreal, in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, and around Syracuse,
 New York
, reveal a nearly universal yearning for one.  (Melson, pg. 36)
 The study from the Greater San Francisco Bay Area mentioned in the
 Melson book found that 99.3% wanted a pet whether they owned one or
 not.(A.H. Kidd and R. M. Kidd "Children's Attitudes Toward their Pets"
 Psychological Reports, 1985, 57, 15-31, pg. 20) This comports with my
 experience.  Children always flock to my dogs when out in public.  Many
 kids who attend church in my neighborhood confess that they would love
 to have a dog but their mothers won't let them have one.  I even have
 good friends who are guilty of this crime.

  The San Francisco Bay study contains other remarkable results. Dogs
 were clearly the preferred pet, almost 33% of the children owned dogs
 only, while 60% owned dogs and other pets. (pg. 21)     61% of the
 children believed their pets could talk or communicated in some way. (
 pg. 21)    95% of the children reported their pets loved them and 94%
 said they loved their pets. (pg. 23)  Over-all 91% said they missed
 their pets when separated from them (pg. 23)  Dogs were preferred more
 often than cats for playfulness, loving behavior, learned tricks, and
 protectiveness.  (pg. 24)

  Another study of "Dog in Families" conducted in Contra Costa County in
 1986 provides additional insight into the role of dogs in the lives of
 children in the Bay Area. (Cecelia J. Soares, DVM, MS "Dogs in
 Families", The Lathram Letter, Vol. VII, No. 4, Fall, 1986)  All
 families surveyed considered their dogs to be family members, as
 illustrated by the fact that dogs slept on the floor or on the bed with
 a family member. In families with adolescent children, a child was most
 often reported to have the closest relationship with the dog. If there
 is tension in the household, the dog is reported to be a source of
 comfort most often for children and next for adult women.  There was
 high satisfaction correlated with obtaining the dog as a children's
 companion or for recreation, while it was in fact low if the dog was
 obtained for breeding or protective purposes.  Of particular relevance
 for off-leash recreation, the author notes that in Contra Costa County
 "suburban leash laws in the subject area are strict, thus precluding the
 casual, more rural, image of a child roaming with its dog as a
 companion."

  Melson's book summarizes other research. A study of third grade pet
 owners ranked their dogs in the "top five most important relationships",
 more important sources of comfort when ill or scared than a "best
 friend" and of equal importance to their mothers and fathers." ( Melson,
 pg. 61)  Another study of elementary kids who rated all their ties that
 bind - friends, parents, and pets - the pets got the top prize as most
 likely to last "no matter what" and "even if you got mad each other."  (
 pg. 61)  A Michigan study of youngsters 10 to 14, found that 75% turned
 to their pets when upset. (pg. 60)

  The positive influence of dogs helping children with learning
 disabilities has also been documented.  "Evidence is growing that groups
 of children with emotional, physical and mental disabilities who get
 animal-assisted therapy..improve and function better than other, similar
 children who do not."  (Melson, pg. 123)   Boris Levinson pioneered
 research in this area with his classic text, Pet-Oriented Child
 Psychotherapy ( 1969). " Further research by him has summarized and
 categorized the importance of pets for children as companions, friends,
 team-mates, admirers, confidants, mirrors, trustees, defenders, toys
 servants, slaves and scapegoats.  Pets serve as sources of learning, can
 be used to minimize emotional trauma, help alleviate emotions, problems
 and promote good mental health." (Kidd, pg. 16.)  The research in this
 field has been collected in a bibliography of pet assisted therapy by
 Tufts University.

  Additional research has been developed by Dr. Lynette Hart at Davis
 which confirms that dogs help socialize the disabled in public. Melson
 cites one study in her book that showed half of those who passed by
 wheelchair-bound children with dogs sent friendly glances their way,
 compared to only 20% of those walking past children without dogs. (
 Melson, pg. 125)

  Other research confirms the beneficial use of dogs in helping troubled
 teens.  A project was initiated in Contra Costa County a couple years
 ago using dogs with troubled children to help develop self-esteem and
 instill sense of responsibility.  A similar program was initiated in
 Milwaukee and Fairfax, Virginia w/ PAL (People-Animals-Love) linking
 troubled children and teens with hard-to adopt shelter dogs with a
 training program to teach violent prone kids to develop non-violent
 strategies and help rehabilitate dogs. (Melson, pg. 194-5) A couple
 years ago the Chronicle ran an article on young runaway street kids in
 Berkeley who rely on dogs for companionship.

  Convinced of the profound role animals play in our lives,  Professor
 Melson proposes a "biocentric" view of child development, one that
 recognizes the pervasiveness of real and symbolic animals in children's
 lives.  "The study of children has been largely "humanocentric" assuming
 that only human relationships- are consequential for development." (
 Melson, pg. 4-5)
 For many children in contemporary America, pets are more likely to be
 part of growing up than are siblings or fathers."  (Melson, pg. 34)

  Considering how much open space is already devoted entirely for use by
 children, it is ironical that Coleman Advocates would seek to relegate
 all canine activity to confined pens, insensitive to the societal
 benefits of having areas where children and dogs can experience
 recreation together.




 Failure to consider the impact on the disabled, chronically ill, and
 elderly.

  The benefits of canine companions for the disabled, elderly and
 chronically ill is so well documented that it is unnecessary to address
 this issue in detail.  PAWS has already come out against the revocation
 of off-leash areas.  No thought was given to the role of  pets in
 socialization of those who face mobility and emotional problems.  I have
 elderly friends who have told me that going to the park with their dog
 is the only opportunity to get out of the house.  When Noe Courts was
 experiencing conflict over the use of the park, one eighty year old
 woman had to take a cab down to Stern Grove to give her dog exercise.
 She was outraged because this prohibited her from spending time with her
 friends while throwing the ball for her small dog.


 Failure to consider the benefits of off-leash recreation.

  Instead of developing a policy based on empirical evidence, NPS
 resorted to a rigid and mechanical approach premised on the assumption
 that off-leash recreation is a nuisance which should be banned or
 segregated.  Clearly the agency doesn't have clue about dogs.

  A National Survey of People and Pet Relationships, conducted last year
 by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) revealed that 83%
 acquire pets mainly for companionship.  Nearly one third (29%) of all
 pet owners and almost half unmarried owners (48%) rely on their pet the
 most for companionship and affection, .  93% buy presents for their pet,
 more than half purchase at least four presents annually.  77% of dog
 owners travel with their pets, while 80% take them along on errands.


  To understand the phenomenon, turn to people who have studied it.   As
 the sociologist Sanders points out, life with a dog is a complex
 relationship.   "Unlike many of the painfully manipulative and
 inauthentic relationships people routinely have with their fellow
 humans, owners' relationships with their dogs typically are seen as
 significantly more satisfying and authentic." (Sanders, p. 30)
 "Caretakers typically see their dogs as having the ability to understand
 their emotions and , in turn, they can read the emotional states of
 their dogs." (Sanders, pg. 22-23) "The interaction between people and
 their dogs is..premised on communicative acts." (Sanders, pg. 23)
 Animals with whom they have an ongoing, intimate relationship behave in
 ways that indicate they are actively involved in trying to view
 situations from the perspective of others and behaving in ways
 purposefully designed to shape the subsequent actions to their own
 ends."  Sanders, pg. 24-5.

  A recreational policy restricted to pens does not foster the freeplay
 necessary to allow this relationship to flourish.  What does it mean
 when dogs  play?  Animal behaviorists have found play to be a sign of
 physical and mental well-being in an animal (J. Masson, "Dogs Never Lie
 About Love", pg. 131).  "Play is undoubtedly connected to humor, and
 dogs display it in abundance" (Masson, pg. 130)  "Caretakers ...provided
 descriptions of times when they observed their dogs engaging in
 deceptive actions while playing with other dogs." ( Sanders, pg. 24)
 All dogs tease one another and enjoy being teased by humans. (Masson,
 pg. 131)  "When dogs deceive, they tease, which is different from
 cheating." ( Masson, pg. 131)

  So how do people play with dogs?    The national survey found that  79%
 provide daily exercise for their pet, 52% provide more exercise for
 their pets than themselves.   A break down of activities reveals that
 57% walk the pet, 48% play catch, 9% jog and 11% swim.  When children in
 the San Francisco Bay study  were asked how they played with their
 pets,  58% played games involving natural behaviors like chasing balls
 or string, 25% played children's games like hide and seek, cops &
 robbers, etc. , 15% played tricks or games based on learned behavior
 like retrieving or catch. (Kidd, pg. 26)

    From this data it is clear that dog pens ranging in size from one to
 five tennis courts will not provide the flexibility necessary for a
 satisfying recreational experience.  I've never had dogs who enjoy
 playing in closed areas.  My afghan, toy poodle and cocker spaniel do
 not play catch or bump and run with other dogs.  They enjoy meeting
 other dogs, but spend more time exploring the park in company with me.
 As for playful deceit, afghans are notorious tricksters.  Everyday
 involves  psychological intrigue.  At Funston, this would sometimes
 result in them hanging back pretending not to join me on a trail, then
 scampering down a parallel ravine popping up around the bend, laughing
 at my surprise.  Furthermore, afghans don't play catch, they play hide
 and seek with the ball.  Only one of my toy poodles ever had an interest
 in playing catch.  Certain breeds have proclivities, all dogs are
 individuals.    None of my dogs like closed areas. I tried taking my
 dogs to tennis courts in White Plains, New York one winter and the dogs
 were bored.

 Failure to consider the role off-leash parks play developing community

  An integrated off-leash recreational experience is good for the
 community.  On a personal level, I agree with Burton Rockwell,
 architect, Friends of Golden Gate Park, who confided to me during a
 conversation at Fort Funston in 1997 that people do not realize  walking
 his dog is the only community social experience he engages in on a
 regular basis.  During hearings before the Board of Supervisors in
 March, 1997 one woman commented on how she lived in Noe Valley for
 almost ten years without getting to know her neighbors until she
 acquired a puppy and began exercising the dog at Noe Courts.  Suddenly,
 she developed a community of friends at the park, which transformed her
 life. Shopping at the supermarket became a joy, everyday  a chance
 encounter with people who she had come to know.

  Research indicates that generally society finds the presence of dogs to
 be beneficial. "Dogs with people in public settings provide a shared
 focus of nonthreatening interaction between strangers.   A study in
 London indicated that owners accompanied by dogs spoke with strangers an
 average of three times but engaged in no social exchanges when walking
 the same route without their animals, ( Sanders, pg. 8)  One Swedish
 study found that 83% agreed that "my dog gave me the opportunity of
 talking with other people."  ( pg. 7) Another study of pets in family
 found that 37% said their companion animals helped them make friends or
 increased their social contacts. ( pg. 7)  A third study found that
 people pictured with animals were judged by undergraduate students to be
 more social, content, and easygoing. ( pg. 7 ) Animal focused activities
 increase participants' positive social contacts as well as provided a
 pleasurable way to spend time. (pg. 9).  Enthusiastic involvement and
 cooperative work with dogs...expand the owner's social encounters and
 enhances their self-esteem ( pg. 9) .




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