Will the Western Snowy Plover be next up for sale by Director Jarvis?
Officials at Grand Canyon National Park were planning last year to ban all plastic bottles from the scenic treasure in order
to reduce litter. But National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis scuttled the plan after Coca-Cola, a major donor to the National
Park Foundation, objected.
Stephen Martin, the former top parks official at the Grand Canyon, said his boss told him last December that Coca-Cola, which sells Dasani water bottles and has donated more than $13 million to the parks, had questioned the bottle ban through the foundation.
Stiv Wilson, a Change.org member who's dedicated himself to stopping plastic waste, has started a petition to bring back the bottle ban.
You can add your name to Stiv's petition calling on the National Park Service to reinstate the ban on selling plastic water bottles
in the Grand Canyon. Please click here to sign the petition.
The Legacy of the Late Brian O'Neill GGNRA Superintendent 1986-2009
By Stephen S. Sayad, Esq. (May 17, 2009)
The glowing accounts in the local media regarding the late GGNRA Superintendent Brian O'Neill probably reflect personal friendships with the man rather than anything approaching objectivity. And, insofar as that is the case, journalists are clearly entitled to their opinion, although it would be more appropriately suited as Op-Ed material rather than hard news.
To the extent the media is attempting to portray O'Neill in his role as General Superintendent of the GGNRA, they have fallen far short of being accurate.
For example, they use the term "sensitive habitat" without explanation. The term has no scientific or legal definition, but came in vogue during O'Neill's tenure for the purpose of putting lands within the Park off-limits to recreational usage, the first and foremost purpose of the GGNRA as a unique urban national park (it's right there in the enabling legislation, a point I will come back to). The term is broad enough to encompass virtually anything and that is how O'Neill used it. Ironically, the media generally refers to the GGNRA as "his park" and that is exactly as he treated it. As he said to a friend of mine on the former Citizens Advisory Committee, "I will not have dogs running loose in my park." Of course, O'Neill's proprietary desires over the Park ran contrary to its purpose. He was so against the Park's unique enabling legislation that he recently enlisted Nancy Pelosi to introduce a bill into Congress that would not simply change the name of the Park, but eliminate the word "recreation" wherever it appears in the original and current enabling legislation. Clearly, under O'Neill's helm, the goal has been to eliminate recreation first from the GGNRA and make it into a museum -- something to be looked at but not used.
O'Neill's warped vision of the GGNRA (that is, one clearly contrary to the intent of Congress and the City and County of San Francisco is deeding lands to it) was manifested in several illegalities: he was found to have acted illegally in closing off a portion of Fort Funston to everyone and everything, and he was found to have violated the law in rescinding his own 1979 Pet Policy on tidelands that remain owned by the State and are without federal jurisdiction (Crissy Field and Ocean Beach being two). O'Neill also brought the nativism movement to the Park, a movement with no scientific basis but only a preferential one. So much so that allegedly non-native white deer are being massacred at Point Reyes. Forget about relocation or more humane tactics -- if the nativists have their way, the non-native is killed and forgotten about, at least until it becomes endangered or threatened. The movement perhaps finds its most ridiculous extreme in the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on "restoring native plants to Crissy Field". Of course, if you are a born and raised San Franciscan or otherwise know the history of Crissy Field, the only thing native to it was the bay. It is all landfill and there were no native plants there other than those that might have lived underwater. The nativists under O'Neill also decimated ice plant at Fort Funston (in favor of "native" plants) with the result that the Bank Swallows fled the area and have not returned.
O'Neill was also responsible for refusing to follow federal law and allow handicap access to the Park. A year or so ago, a lawsuit had to be brought in order to bring the GGNRA into compliance with federal laws protecting the handicapped. With 30 years of time to comply with such laws, they too were flouted by the GGNRA.
There are many pages that can be spent discussing the warped agenda of Brian O'Neill but I doubt they are things you wish to hear. In the end, O'Neill will be remembered by many people as a despot. More significantly, I find him to be the tragic figure discussed by Lord Byron:
"When some proud son of man returns to earth
Unknown to glory but upheld by birth
The sculptor's art exhausts the pomp of woe
And storied urns record who rests below.
When all is done upon the tomb is seen
Not what he was
But what he should have been."
O'Neill's charge was to keep the GGNRA open and active for recreation. Virtually everything he did violated that charge and will continue to do so under the philosophy he created. This is not something for the media to extol.
Yet another dubious honor for GGNRA Superintendent Brian O'Neill and his "environmentally sensitive" staff. Just as
the GGNRA reinstates their seasonal (and illegal) "Emergency Closure" to off-leash recreation on the majority of Ocean Beach
under the premise of protecting the Western Snowy Plover, we discover this fine example of park stewardship. Apparently Supt. O'Neill
and his cohorts want us to believe that by forbidding time honored recreational activities the plover will somehow recover.
Never mind that Ocean Beach is sewage covered, toxic oil contaminated, rat infested, teeming with predatious ravens, savaged by treacherous tides,
and that the GGNRA themselves bulldozed the plover's previous habitat. Could it be that the GGNRA is actually
leading this poor little bird to a gruesome extinction?
Congresswoman Pelosi and her co-conspirators in crime, Golden Gate
National Parks Conservancy Executive Director Greg Moore and GGNRA Superintendent Brian O'Neill, hold hands,
sing kumbaya and plot the end of recreation as we know it in the soon to be extinct Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Introduces Bill HR 6305 to End Recreation in the GGNRA
Nancy Pelosi submitted a bill HR 6305 on June 19, 2008. Much of the bill covers administrative
details (allowing the Presidio Trust to move their visitor center, allowing a concession
contract at the Maritime Historic Park). But Section 2 is very dangerous:
SEC. 2. GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL PARKS.
(a) Name Change-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is hereby renamed the `Golden
Gate National Parks'.
(2) REFERENCES- Any reference in a law, map, regulation, document, paper, or other
record of the United States to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area is deemed
to be a reference to the Golden Gate National Parks.
(3) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS- The Act titled `An Act to establish the Golden Gate National
Recreation Area in the State of California, and for other purposes' (Public
Law 92-589, approved October 27, 1972) is amended--
(A) in sections 1 and 2 by striking `National Recreation Area' each place it
appears and inserting `National Parks'; and
(B) by striking `recreation area' each place it appears and inserting `national
(b) Change of Unit From Recreation Area to National Park-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Golden Gate National Parks, as so renamed by subsection (a),
is hereby designated as a national park and shall be administered as such by the
Secretary of the Interior.
(2) CLARIFICATION- This section designates the recreation area known as Golden Gate
National Recreation Area as a national park and renames that unit Golden Gate National
Parks. Nothing in this section shall be construed as creating a new `national parks'
category of designation with the National Park System.
Offleash advocates have been told by GGNRA staff for years that changing the name
from Golden Gate National Recreation Area to Golden Gate National Parks will make
it easier for them to further restrict recreation within GGNRA boundaries. There
is no other reason for this name change. They want to remove recreation from the
park just as they remove it from their name. It would remove any ambiguity as to
whether or not GGNRA land should be treated differently from national park land
such as Yosemite. This name change says the same management policies must apply.
This proposed name change ignores the historical reality -- the GGNRA was created
to preserve land for the "outdoor recreational needs of the people of the metropolitan
region", according to the 1972 Report from the US House of Representative.
The objective of the GGNRA, according to the 1972 document, is "to expand to
the maximum extent possible the outdoor recreational opportunities available in
the region." The name-change section of this bill flies in the face of the
intention behind the founding of the GGNRA and the promises made to the people of
the Bay Area when it was formed and under which they gave their municipal parkland
to the federal government to manage.
This Section 2 has nothing to do with the rest of the bill, which it says is "To
clarify the authorities for the use of certain National Park Service properties
within Golden Gate National Parks and San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park,
and for other purposes." Clearly Sec 2 is the other purposes. Not making that
part of the description of the bill is highly suspect. Was Pelosi hoping to sneak
this through with the public not knowing what she was doing?
Please contact Pelosi and demand that she remove Sec 2 from HR 6305:
District Office - 450 Golden Gate Ave. - 14th Floor - San Francisco, CA 94102 -
Washington, D.C. Office - 235 Cannon HOB - Washington, DC 20515 - (202) 225-4965
Also contact the Committee on Natural Resources to which the bill has been referred:
1324 Longworth House Office Building
(202) 225-6065 Fax: (202) 225-1931
MR. NICK J. RAHALL, II, West Virginia, Chairman
MR. DON YOUNG, Alaska, Ranking Republican Member
and the Subcommittee on National Parks Forests and Public Lands to which it was
referred on June 25:
1333 Longworth House Office Building
(202) 226-7736 Fax: (202) 226-2301
Mr. Raul M. Grijalva, Arizona, Chairman
Mr. Rob Bishop, Utah, Ranking Republican Member
Let the Pelosi, Committee and Subcommittee members know that you want section 2
removed from HR 6305.
On a recent outing to Fort Mason, Peter Mendoza encountered one frustrating obstacle after another. The sidewalk curbs were too high for his wheelchair, handicapped bathrooms could not be found, and when he finally tried to enter the administration building, there was no ramp in front.
"So I went to the back and pushed the designated button," said Mendoza, 41, a Berkeley resident who was born with cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. "But nobody answered. Eventually I went around to the front again and flagged somebody down. This happens all the time."
Because of experiences like his, a disability rights organization filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday against the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the National Park Service. The suit, lodged in federal court, contends that people with mobility and vision disabilities are being denied access to some of the nation's largest and most beautiful urban parks.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, covering a broad swath of 75,000 acres between San Mateo and Marin counties, includes such landmarks as Alcatraz, the Presidio, the Marin Headlands, Fort Mason and Muir Woods.
"These are parks that many visitors to San Francisco as well as local residents want to see," said Julia Pinover, an attorney with Disability Rights Advocates, a nonprofit law firm based in Berkeley that filed the suit. "These areas are not only naturally beautiful but historically significant."
According to the suit, the federal recreation area is discriminating against people with disabilities by systematically excluding them from such areas as restrooms, visitor centers, trails, pathways. Federal laws since 1973 have obligated Golden Gate National Recreation Area to provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities, Pinover said.
The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, is aimed at forcing the Park Service to take steps to assure that people with disabilities have access.
At the Marin Headlands, she said, the visitor center has a ramp, "but to a third-party evaluator, it was so steep as to be inaccessible and dangerous. Alcatraz offers a tram, but it only holds two wheelchairs - they just don't have the capacity. At Muir Woods, one of our plaintiffs has had problems with paved trails. GGNRA hasn't kept the paved trails in a condition that allowed her to use them."
Chris Powell, a spokeswoman for the national park, said that a review has already begun.
For about a year, the two sides have been discussing ways to bring the agency into compliance.
Powell, expressing surprise and disappointment at the suit, said she believed the talks were "fruitful."
The advocacy law firm disagrees.
"It was our impression that this just wasn't a priority for them," said Pinover. For Mendoza, who grew up in Marin, being outdoors is a joy, but a visit to one of the national parks can turn into a disheartening obstacle.
"Barriers have existed in these parks for years," said Mendoza, a plaintiff in the legal action. "I don't expect there to be a solution overnight, but there's been a law about this for about 20 years. "
Job Description: Snowy Plover Outreach Volunteers will conduct outreach with park visitors who enter Snowy Plover habitat at Ocean Beach and Crissy Field. Volunteers will greet park users, offering verbal and printed information about the plovers, including how visitors can protect these birds. Volunteers will also document actions that may impact snowy plovers and other shorebirds. In addition, volunteers may assist visitors with information about sites and developments within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. In this way, volunteers will assist in the National Park Service mission and stewardship goals. When necessary, Outreach Volunteers alert park rangers to emergency or unusual situations. Duties: o Rove Snowy Plover habitat a minimum of three times per month. o Provide information and materials to park visitors. o Develop knowledge of park resources. o Convey NPS policies and regulations to the public. o Report significant wildlife disturbance to Park Rangers. o Recognize shorebirds of Ocean Beach.
Knowledge/Skills Desired: o Enjoy interacting with a broad range of people. o Friendly, courteous, reliable, o Able to work constructively with those who disagree with park policies. o Ability to work independently. o General knowledge of wildlife and park natural & cultural resources. o Comfortable walking for 1-2 hours. o Ability to be calm and courteous during occasional hectic and emergency situations. o CPR and First Aid Trained (training can be provided).
This proposed Rule by the GGNRA/NPS for the seasonal closure of parts of Ocean Beach and Crissy Field to off-leash recreation is described by the GGNRA/NPS as a necessary action to protect the threatened Western Snowy Plover. The language of the Endangered Species Act contemplates and supports the position that any loss of these recreational areas for such purpose be balanced by scientific proof that such sacrifice will indeed help save the plover from extinction. As of yet, that scientific evidence has not been provided. In fact, as I will show within this document, the scientific evidence shows that restriction of off-leash recreation will NOT increase the number of plovers at these locations. Further, it is more likely that the restriction of off-leash recreation in these areas will negatively impact the plover population. It is also critically important to note that the enabling legislation for the GGNRA does not support the implementation of this Rule. Therefore, this proposed Rule should be summarily rejected as a clear effort by our Federal Government to unfairly discriminate against taxpaying citizens who are dog guardians.
Click here to view the entire comment letter.
Submitting comments, by design, is not a user friendly process. The GGNRA directs you to the following link to submit online comments:
Use the center text box "Comment or Submission" and enter "GGNRA Plover" and click on "Go" to get to the next page. From there, click
on "Send a Comment or Submission" to get to the actual comment page. Good luck!
The "Emergency" closure at Ocean Beach was officially terminated by Superintendent O’Neill on
May 17, 2007 with the following statement: "The park has determined that the Western Snowy Plover
(Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) are no longer present in the Ocean Beach Snowy Plover Protection Area,
having migrated to breeding areas…The restriction will be put back in place when the plovers return in July."
The Superintendent’s statement goes beyond what his own Compendium document legally allows,
as it states: "The seasonal restriction will remain in effect for this overwintering season
until monitoring confirms the species is no longer present, as announced by the General
Superintendent." (dated 11-02-2006). There is no provision made for resumption of this restriction.
The controlling law for Ocean Beach is once again the 1979 Pet Policy as specified by the Federal
Court in 2004. Therefore, we should continue to enjoy our off-leash recreation on all of Ocean Beach!!! However,
Superintendent O'Neill has once again illegally claimed a NEW emergency exists and has sent his staff out to the beach
to ticket us should we recreate with our dogs off-leash south of Stairwell 21.
While the plovers were away, and even now when they are (in theory) back at Ocean Beach, the GGNRA will play…play havoc
with the plover’s "protected area", that is. The GGNRA has been busily bulldozing the area of Ocean Beach where they claim
the plovers predominantly roost. Click
here to go to the Closure Section of OBDOG where you can view a video and photos of the GGNRA’s destruction
of the landscape the plover allegedly once enjoyed. Limitation of our recreational rights at Ocean Beach
in conjunction with this type of activity is not only ridiculous, but in violation of the Federal Court's ruling,
USFWS guidelines, the enabling legislation for the GGNRA, and the deed restrictions for the transfer of
Ocean Beach to the GGNRA.
Superintendents O'Neill and Neubacher "aim" to please their NPS superiors
National Park Service Jihad Escalates!
(posted Jan 10, 2007)
The recreational mandate for the GGNRA has already been perverted by Supt. Brian O'Neill's campaign to eradicate
non native flora in "his" park. Now the NPS has decided to expand their Death List to include non native fauna.
According to a Federal Register posting by the NPS,
all axis and fallow deer in the Point Reyes National Seashore and 18,000 acres of the Northern
District of the GGNRA shall be eradicated.
The NPS trophy case
The mission of the NPS, as mandated by the Congress, is to provide for the public’s enjoyment
of park resources while, at the same time, preserving and protecting these great treasures so
they will be unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.
The NPS justified the destruction of non native plants and the limitation of our recreational
opportunities at Ocean Beach and Fort Funston by claiming the necessity to protect wildlife "resources" in the GGNRA. Now we see
that the politics of NPS policy have redefined the term "resources", and not all wildlife "resources"
are created equal.
As pointed out in a Feb. 2005 "must read" article in the Point Reyes Light(please click here to view the complete article),
in its 2001 Management policies, the NPS has perverted the park mission by instructing
park management to "re-establish natural functions and processes in human-disturbed components of natural systems". Non native species,
e.g., eucalyptus trees, iceplant or fallow and axis deer, are classified as "human caused disturbances".
The management document says the NPS should control non native species "up to and including eradication" to
return to its historically natural condition.
This destruction of park resouces that the overwhelming majority of park visitors enjoy is not consistent
with the underlying mission of the NPS.
Our parks have been hijacked by NPS management who espouse nativism, a philosophy that originated
in Nazi Germany. Furthermore, the NPS does not feel obligated to respect the desires of the local taxpayers who pay for these
parks. Whatever happened to the precept that the national parks are the "people's parks"? Like the fallow and axis deer, is its eradication imminent?
Please click here
to view the Dec. 12, 2006 Marin Independent Journal article detailing the GGNRA's plans with respect to the deer.
Please click here
to view the Jan., 2007 Coastal Post Online article entitled "Deer in Park's Gunsight" to better understand this situation.
Ocean Beach Sloat Blvd. Entrance (Sep. 20, 2006)
Lyin' Brian O'Neill At It Again!
(updated Oct 22, 2006; originally posted Oct 13, 2006)
Yes sports fans, after years of refusal to obey the decision of the Federal Court (both
Magistrate Laporte and Judge Alsup) through failure to remove the signage prohibiting off-leash recreation at Ocean
Beach, Lyin' Brian O'Neill is at it again. The recently placed signage (see above picture) which appears to respect the will
of the Court is merely a ruse perpetrated by O'Neill and his gang. OBDOG has recently discovered that O'Neill has masterminded
a "new and improved" scheme to circumvent the Appellate Court's decision reinstating the 1979 Pet Policy. In lieu of his previous
scheme to disallow off-leash at Ocean Beach, i.e., "Accelerated Rulemaking", O'Neill now plans to institute a Superintendent's
Compendium in order to execute his will. (Please click here to view NRC member Brent Plater's Oct 22, 2006 press release announcing the banning of off-leash at Ocean Beach and
Crissy Field effective Nov. 8, 2006. Also, please be sure to view the video on the upper right hand side of the page entitled
"The Days of Dogs Running Free On SF Beaches Are Numbered")
In 2004, and again in 2005, the Federal Court threw out the previous Compendium issued by Sup't.
O'Neill which banned off-leash recreation at Ocean Beach. The Court made it quite clear that making such a change by
virtue of a Compendium, without a public process, was in direct violation of the law.
O'Neill and the Park Service have already made it clear to the Federal Court that no emergency exists
at Ocean Beach which would justify the rescission of the '79 Pet Policy. Additionally, the GGNRA has admitted in writing
to OBDOG (in response to our Freedom Of Information Act request) that no data exists to support an environmental emergency
at Ocean Beach. We at OBDOG are anxious to see what excuse Lyin' Brian will provide for breaking the law this
Sayad Files Petition for Access to Public Records
(posted Jun 19, 2006)
OBDOG member attorney Stephen Sayad has filed a petition with the Superior Court of the State of
California for the City and County of San Francisco in order to access public records pertaining to communications between
Negotiated Rulemaking facilitators/convenors Gregory Bourne and Michael Harty and the GGNRA. To date, Mr. Sayad has been denied
his legal right to examine such communications. It has become obvious throughout the course of NR that Mr. Bourne and Mr.
Harty have compromised their position as faciltators/convenors as defined by the Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1996 (see: http://mits.doi.gov/cadr/main/regnegact.pdf) by subjugating their duties/responsibities to the GGNRA (the GGNRA is not only the sponsoring agency in NR, but is also
a participant by virtue of their position as an NRC member).
We thank Mr. Sayad for his continued efforts on behalf of OBDOG and all dog guardians.
Ocean Beach Sloat Blvd. Entrance (June 2006)
GGNRA Misleads the Public... Again!
(posted Jun 17, 2006)
The GGNRA continues their defiance of Judge Alsup's June 2, 2005 appellate decision that
ordered the 1979 Pet Policy reinstated; thereby designating off-leash recreation permissable by law on Ocean
Beach. Additionally, US Fish and Wildlife Service determined in October of 2005 that Ocean Beach was not "critical
habitat" for the Western Snowy Plover. Note that on this sign the GGNRA has designated Ocean Beach a "crucial
habitat" for the Western Snowy Plover. Exactly what is "crucial habitat"? According to Department of Interior
documents, the definition for "crucial habitat" is as listed below. Clearly the GGNRA intends to mislead the public
into believing they have a legal responsibility to provide special protection for the plover here at Ocean Beach, and clearly
this should not have been a designation the US Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to. This is yet again another case of
dishonesty and deceit from public servants whose salaries we pay with our tax dollars.
Crucial habitat – a term describing any particular seasonal range, or habitat component,
which has been documented as the determining factor in a population’s ability to maintain itself at a certain level
over the long term. In Wyoming, this often refers to winter range or habitat. The use of the term crucial habitat is strongly
discouraged when referring to endangered or threatened species so as to avoid confusion with the legal definition of critical
habitat tied to these species. In common usage, the term crucial habitat refers to those portions of a population’s
range utilized to a greater than normal/average extent during any important period, or utilized during the most severe seasonal
conditions as a reserve, or survival, habitat. (Emphasis in original document - see http://www.wy.blm.gov/wildlife/baldeagle/be-appe.pdf).
Park Ranger deploys the new GGNRA Ocean Beach Canine Elimination Unit
"Accelerated" NR Slotted for Ocean Beach
(posted Apr 19, 2006)
At the April 18, 2006 Negotiated Rulemaking Committee meeting, Superintendent Brian
O'Neill's chief spokesperson, Chris "Mini-Me" Powell, stunned some of the NRC when she announced that the 2.2 miles
of Ocean Beach south of Stairwell 21 will be subjected to "Accelerated Rulemaking" outside of the normal NR process. Although
she did not comment any further on the subject, clearly this is an attempt by the GGNRA to circumvent the tenets of the 1979
Pet Policy, and fast-track their will to close down Ocean Beach to off-leash recreation. Stay tuned for updates...
Note: Please check out the "Comic Relief" section for our prophetic satire of "Expedited Negotiated
Rulemaking", authored nearly one year ago.
Supt. Brian "Pinocchio" O'Neill continues his assault on the truth and the law
OBDOG Files for Administrative Review on Negotiated
(posted Mar 6, 2006)
Ocean Beach DOG, in consideration of the many
laws which have been and will be violated in the Negotiated Rulemaking process by GGNRA Superintendent Brian O'Neill, has
filed a request for Administrative Review of the current NR. We are in the process of submitting this document to government
officials in the DOI/NPS/GGNRA, the Federal Office of Management and Budget, City, State and Federally elected politicians,
and both Senate and House Congressional Committees who have oversight of the National Park System. We are calling for the
termination of this illegal NR process and for the permanent ratification of the 1979 Pet Policy as a Section Seven Special
Regulation. Please click here to view the actual document submitted by OBDOG.
Supt. O'Neill's assistant
Additionally, we are demanding that the City of
San Francisco enforce the terms of former Charter section 7.403-1(a). This section, as approved by the
voters, requires that the deed transferring any City-owned park lands to the NPS include the restriction that said lands
were to be reserved by the Park Service "in perpetuity for recreation or park purposes with a right of reversion upon
breach of said restriction."
"and PLEASE don't take away the '79 Pet Policy..."
The GGNRA continues their contempt of Judge Alsup's June 2, 2005 appellate decision that
the 1979 Pet Policy is still in force and that off-leash recreation is permissable in areas such as Ocean Beach and Fort
Funston. The GGNRA's refusal to remove/modify their misleading signage has caused consternation amongst
park goers and could lead to potentially dangerous situations.
New Federal Habitat Designation affects Ocean Beach
(posted Oct 30, 2005)
New critical habitat designations have been released for the Western Snowy Plover, effective October 31, 2005. Ocean Beach
is not listed as critical habitat for the Western Snowy Plover. What exactly does this mean?
“Our current designation of critical habitat is different from the 1999 rule in two primary ways. In this designation,
we utilized a different methodology for determining essential areas,and we relied upon additional scientific information which
was not available in 1999. Thus, this rule, while similar in many respects to that in 1999, is a new designation, and
does not designate the same areas.”
Specifically with respect to Ocean Beach, the following is written: “We have decided not to include the
suggested additional areas because they do not meet our three criteria from the Methods section: They do not support either
sizeable nesting populations or wintering populations, nor do they provide unique habitat or facilitate genetic exchange between
otherwise widely separated units. Although we do not consider these areas essential for recovery, we do consider
them important, and will continue to review projects in these areas that might affect WSP as required by sections 7 and 10
of the Act.”
Allowing humans and off-leash dogs to enjoy Ocean Beach is not a new project, it is an activity that has persisted for
over 50 years. We believe the GGNRA might find their best management practices later in the text of the new designation: “Nest
exclosures, predator-proof trash receptacles, aversions conditioning, and both lethal and non-lethal control of predators
has been successful in reducing the impacts of predators on plover reproduction and survival. We believe that these actions
implemented to reduce the impact of predators on plover nesting, and other management measures designed to reduce the potential
impacts of humans (e.g. use of symbolic fencing, public education, and enforcement of regulations), are responsible for the
increases in plover breeding success documented at many locations.”
We refer again to Ocean Beach DOG's latest recommendations for management of the plover at Ocean Beach: Proper
control of beach fires and camping in the areas where the plover roosts, exclosure fencing of roosting areas where appropriate,
and control of the litter and the ravens (predators of the plover) the litter draws. All these measures could assist
in protecting the plover appropriately at Ocean Beach. Year-round leashing of dogs is not a rational, measured response to
the plover’s limited presence seasonally at Ocean Beach. That should be abundantly clear in light of the latest critical
habitat designation as released earlier this month.
Ocean Beach DOG Fights Back!
(posted Sep 28, 2005)
Thanks to the hard work of member attorney Stephen Sayad and Dr. Suzanne Valente,
Ocean Beach DOG submitted a response today to the emergency petition to ban off-leash recreation in the GGNRA. Please click here to view the OBDOG response petition. A special mention goes out to supporting cast Chris Cannon and your humble webmaster.
Several documents are referenced in our response petition.
Yes, the Center for Biological Diversity, and their mouthpiece,
attorney Brent Plater, are at it again (click here to view the web log chronicling CBD activity). Along with the usual cast of characters, (i.e., Golden Gate Audobon Society, Coleman Advocates, the Sierra Club, EQUP, Yerba
Buena Chapter of the Calif. Native Plant Society, etc.) the CBD has issued a press release announcing their submission
of a petition calling for an emergency ban of off-leash recreation throughout the GGNRA.
One comes to expect such "end run" tactics from
these groups since that has been their practice throughout the years. Their complete and uttter contempt of court (i.e.,
Judge Alsup's appellate decision reinstating the 1979 GGNRA Pet Policy), as well as their making a total mockery of the
prescribed Negotiated Rulemaking Process (their press release cites that NR is for the express purpose "to implement
leash laws"), tells one all they need to know about the petitioners.
However, the recruitment of Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB)
to assist in their bidding is disturbing. GDB is an organization that has historically enjoyed great support
from the dog community. It would appear that GDB has no problem asking that dogs make great sacrifices for us and our handicapped,
yet they can't seem to find it in their hearts to provide these heroes a place to play fetch or to swim.
Please take the earliest opportunity to let Guide Dogs for
the Blind know how you feel about their participation in this matter. Let them know about the financial ramifications
of their decision. GDB contact information follows:
Two separate reports of a stocky, Caucasian male jogging at Ocean Beach early AM who
has brandished a knife at dogs running up to greet him. He matches the description of a man who stabbed a dog at a Santa Cruz
beach whom authorities have stated was paroled recently. (posted July 11, 2005)
NOI Comment Update (updated July 9, 2005)
The next step to establish the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee for
Dog Management is here. The Notice of Intent to Establish a Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory Committee for GGNRA
was published in the Federal Register on June 28, 2005. This notice gives the public 30 days to comment on the establishment
of the Committee and the proposed members. The deadline for comment is 7/28/2005 at 12:00 AM.
The NOI gives the public a chance to comment on the following two issues:
The proposal to create the Committee; and b) If members of the public believe they will be affected significantly by the
regulation and their interests will not be represented by those identified in the notice, they are invited to apply or
nominate another person for membership.
The GGNRA has advised us to utilize the following link to view the
documents and comment:
OBDOG has completed its analysis of the significant
aspects of this document. We have many concerns with respect to the process itself, as well as to the entities and
individuals who have been identified as members of the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee. OBDOG believes that if the process
is allowed to continue without significant changes, our interests and lawful rights will not be served.
Please take the time to read the comment letter provided
by the OBDOG advisory staff before submitting your comments. Our letter does an excellent job of pointing out
these problematic areas to the GGNRA. It is critical that our concerns are on record so that our position can
be properly considered by the court upon judicial review, if that becomes necessary.
A special thanks goes out to all of our members
who fought and funded this effort.
Reminder About Hearing Date (posted
May 23, 2005)
It has been confirmed that the appellate hearing regarding the GGNRA's attempt to reverse Magistrate
Laporte's ruling that the 1979 Pet Policy is still in force, as well as Stephen Sayad's appeal on the the tidelands issue
at Crissy Field, is scheduled for May 31, 2005 at 2 PM on Judge Alsup's calendar. Judge Alsup's regular courtroom is
Department 9 located on the 19th floor of the S.F. Federal Courthouse at 450 Golden Gate Avenue.
Sayad Reply Brief Filed (posted
May 10, 2005)
OBDOG member attorney Stephen Sayad's reply brief to the GGNRA appeal brief is now available.
Cannon's Appellees' Brief Filed (posted May 1, 2005)
OBDOG member attorney Christopher Cannon officially filed his Appellees' Brief with the U.S. District
Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco Division. This is an answer to the appeal filed by the United States
of America against Barley, Kieselhorst and Sayad after their victory in the Motion to Dismiss their off-leash citations.
Please click here to view Chris Cannon's Appellees' Brief (865k file
The Park Rangers/Police are choosing to ignore Magistrate Laporte's decision returning us
back to the 1979 Pet Policy. Continued ticketing has been reported at Ocean Beach, Crissy Field and Fort Funston. Additionally,
the NPS/GGNRA has filed an appeal to the Magistrate's decision. One must view with extreme skepticism the "good faith"
intentions of the so-called "Negotiated Rulemaking" process. Click here to view member attorney Stephen Sayad's cross appeal against NPS/GGNRA
EXTRA! (posted 12/2/2004)
Federal Magistrate Laporte has officially
ruled that the 1979 Pet Policy must be reinstated. It will remain in effect until the Park Service engages in the public comment process which is required
to abolish the policy. This is a HUGE victory for us. It will be interesting to see what leverage this provides us in
the negotiated rulemaking process. Click here to view the actual court ruling. A special thanks goes out to all of our members who fought and funded this effort.
News Update (updated 10/25/2004)
The "Motion to Dismiss" hearing vis-a-vis off-leash ticketing at Crissy Field has been rescheduled
(for the second time) and will now be held:
Date: November 2, 2004
Time: 1:30 P.M.
Place: U.S. District Court Northern District of California
The exhibits referenced by the defendant's brief
will be posted at a later date - due in part to their extremely large file size. This motion has been consolidated with
the previously filed "Motion
to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction". Click here to view a draft version of that document. Kudos to our member attorneys for carrying out this time consuming
and expensive battle which is sure to benefit all of us off-leash advocates. Although we hope to prevail in this
matter, please be advised that the defenses presented in this document have not yet been legitimized by the Court. Please