|Crissy Field (Nov. 2005)
NR - How we got here and why we MUST
terminate the process
In 1972 the GGNRA took over management
of thousands of acres of Bay Area parkland, promising to preserve historical recreational use.
True to their word, the GGNRA negotiated
and implemented the 1979 Pet Policy. The 1979 Pet Policy allows off-leash recreation
on less than 1% of GGNRA acreage.
At that time, the GGNRA should have created a Section 7 Special Regulation for off-leash recreation to establish a proper exception
to the National Park Service (NPS) general rule banning off-leash recreation in National Parks.
For reasons never fully explained to
the public, the GGNRA never created that Section 7 Special Regulation for off-leash recreation in the GGNRA.
In 1992, the assault upon off-leash
recreation in the GGNRA began. Federal environmental requirements were violated,
contracts with the municipalities and the public were violated, and incremental closures of off-leash areas in the GGNRA were
In 2001, the campaign against off-leash
recreation culminated in a ban of off-leash recreation in the GGNRA entirely. The
conflict with NPS law was cited as the justification for this action.
The mismanagement of properties and
recreation in the GGNRA prompted the Board of Supervisors of the City of San Francisco to pass a resolution expressing their desire
to take back management of properties they allowed the GGNRA to manage by virtue of the 1972 agreements establishing the GGNRA.
Litigation was undertaken by citizens in response to closures at Fort
Funston. The Federal court confirmed GGNRA violations of law.
To appease the anger of the locals,
the GGNRA filed an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) with regards to a Section 7 Special Regulation for off-leash
recreation in the GGNRA. However, the text of the document was strongly biased against the propriety of allowing
off-leash recreation in the GGNRA, and precluded off-leash recreation from even being considered in several key areas of the
To the dismay of GGNRA officials, the
public submitted thousands upon thousands of comments to the Federal government in favor of off-leash recreation in the GGNRA.
A Federal Panel reviewed the comments, history and legal agreements for the GGNRA; in conclusion recommending the GGNRA
create a Section 7 Special Regulation to allow off-leash recreation in the GGNRA.
At that time, the GGNRA had the permission
of the Federal government to institute the 1979 Pet Policy as the Section 7 Special Regulation for the GGNRA. Instead, based upon their ANPR document, they opined that a change to the current law (no off-leash) would
require Negotiated Rulemaking (NR) to create an off-leash regulation for the GGNRA.
Prior to NR starting, a Federal Court
determined that the 1979 Pet Policy had been illegally rescinded by the GGNRA, and reinstated the 1979 Pet Policy as the controlling
law for off-leash recreation in the GGNRA. With the permission of the Federal
government, the legal protection of a court order, and the support of their own ANPR document (if the new Rule complied with
the current law no NR is required) the GGNRA still refused to institute the 1979 Pet Policy as the new Section 7 Special Regulation,
and continued to proceed with NR. Additionally, the GGNRA appealed the Federal
The GGNRA lost their appeal. The 1979 Pet Policy was affirmed by the Federal Court as the controlling
pet policy in the GGNRA.
|The GGNRA defies the Court as well as the tenets of "Good Faith" (Nov 2005)
The GGNRA continues to show contempt
for the court’s decision, refusing to change the signage in the GGNRA so that the public is aware of which areas are
now legally off-leash. (Update 2006: some of the signage has now
been changed, no doubt due to the adverse attention this posting created). The GGNRA proceeds
with NR, and refuses to acknowledge the 1979 Pet Policy as the logical starting point for negotiations, and the basis for
environmental regulations. In fact, the 1979 Pet Policy is not even listed as
a document the NR Committee will be able to refer to within the NR process (the GGNRA advised the Court that they view the
1979 Pet Policy as an illegitimate document which NEVER had the power of law). The
GGNRA has repeatedly behaved in a manner that would convince any rational person that they are not conducting the NR process
in good faith. In fact, it appears they intend to pervert the NR process to eliminate off-leash recreation from
the GGNRA entirely.
NR requires consensus among participants. If consensus is not reached for a Section 7 Special Regulation, the GGNRA is allowed
to create a Rule arbitrarily, as they did when they rescinded the 1979 Pet Policy.
In NR, the GGNRA has selected
the participating groups and their representatives. Six of the nineteen groups
participating have submitted a petition to the Federal government asking that ALL off-leash recreation in the GGNRA be banned. These same groups have both publicly and privately stated they see NR as a means to
eliminate off-leash recreation from the GGNRA entirely. Despite protest, they
remain on the NR Committee.
Ocean Beach Dog Owners Group, a key
stakeholder in the process, has been denied any representation on the NR Committee.
Should NR proceed as premised by the GGNRA, Superintendent O’Neill
the Federal Statute which created the GGNRA
the grant deed restrictions for the properties transferred by San
the 1975 MOU with the City of San Francisco
the National Environmental Policy Act
the Endangered Species Act
the Public Trust Doctrine
the Negotiated Rulemaking Act
the Code of Federal Regulations governing National Parks
the Federal Panel Recommendations
to the General Superintendent on Proposed Rulemaking for Pet Management at GGNRA
the Department of Interior
Director’s Order 75A.
are asking the public to tell its government that we believe the needs of the public would best be served by termination of
this unlawful NR process, and the institution of the 1979 Pet Policy as the Section 7 Special Regulation for the GGNRA. Please download and sign our petition to make this happen. Also, please distribute
the petition and flyer (as email attachments or links) to all of your friends and acquaintances who wish to see a permanent
reinstatement of the 1979 Pet Policy.
Click here to download a copy of the petition to terminate NR and institute the 1979 Pet Policy as
a Section 7 Special Regulation (Note: the return address is on the petition)
Click here to download a copy of the flyer which briefly explains why we are circulating the petition.
Click here to download a copy of the document which explains fully why we are circulating the petition
for the termination of NR and the institution of the 1979 Pet Policy as a Section Seven Special Regulation for the GGNRA.