Ocean Beach Blog


Gavel Banging

Welcome to the Ocean Beach DOG Weblog...

This weblog serves as an online journal whose primary purpose is to compile responses to the various court filings and press releases produced by the Center for Biological Diversity's staff attorney Brent Plater.  Mr. Plater's agenda calls for the complete ban of off leash recreation in all GGNRA areas. In order to accomplish his objective,  the Center for Biological Diversity has aligned itself with various groups Mr. Plater has arbitrarily designated as "animal welfare organizations". Evidence will bear out that nothing could be further from the truth.... 
Please be sure to visit: http://brentplaterunleashed.blogspot.com and http://brentplaterpromotions.blogspot.com for more information on this subject.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Trish King Refutes Brent Plater

The following is a reprint of a Feb. 2007 edition of  "Fetch the Paper":

As we've reported recently in FETCH, the issues around off-leash use of public lands are heating up again (not that they ever really died down--things were just quieter in the first phases of negotiated rulemaking).

In a recent letter to FETCH, off-leash opponent Brent Plater made some claims about prominent experts and their "views" of dogs being off leash. One of them, Trish King, was mentioned in Plater's letter and Trish wants to go on record to let everyone know her TRUE thoughts on off-leash time for dogs:

With reference to a letter to the editor in the February issue, the quote in question was taken out of context from an article I wrote about dog parks.  The article was a cautionary one about owners taking responsibility for their dogs, and understanding potential problems in dog parks.  The article is confined to enclosed dog parks, not open space areas or trails. Dog behavior is complex and can change depending on the locale.

I would like to clarify my position on this matter; I am philosophically in favor of responsible off leash play. 

Trish is the Behavior & Training Director at the Marin Humane Society. Many dog owners respect Trish immensely for her expertise and understanding of canine behavior and we appreciate that she's taking a stand for responsible off leash play.
The following are comments from the above posting:
Brent Plater has demonstrated, over and over, that he will go to any length to lie. His nonsense about "off-leash aggression" was put before the Court in United States v. Barley and rejected en toto. He has lied to the San Francisco Police Commission, to a federal court, and to the San Francisco Animal Welfare Commission. He should lose his license to practice law.

I say as long as Plater only practices law and doesn't actually do it for real, the world may still be safe.

Oh, the lies:
Plater and his minions in Negotiated Rulemaking have aggressively lobbied the GGNRA to eliminate all of the .5 percent of the entire GGNRA designated by the 1979 Pet Policy for off-leash recreation. Also, he has concurrently lobbied the S.F. Police Commission and the SFRPD to eliminate off-leash recreation in all of the designated dog play areas/parks. So what's left? If Mr. Plater wants to continue his charade that he is actually an off-leash proponent, I challenge him to produce an actual, sustainable, economically feasible plan for off-leash dog areas that will replace in total all of the areas he has been fighting so hard to eliminate. If he thinks that one or two small pens in some poison oak infested remote area will accommodate the 150,000 dogs of S.F. proper, then he is more deceitful than even I imagined.

Give us a break, Brent, and go back home to Michigan. You have no business telling those of us who have lived in this area for generations what we can and can't do for recreation. Who is the non-native, invasive species here?

7:55 pm pst

Monday, January 7, 2008

Brent Plater: A Case Study in the Art of Shameless Self Promotion
The following article was originally published on 12/30/2007 in the S.F.  Independent Media (IndyBay). It was removed the following day by IndyBay after persistent threats from Mr. Plater.

Brent Plater: A Case Study in the Art of Shameless Self Promotion


One merely has to look at his self-authored, self-supported web site, i.e., http://www.brentplater.com, and one quickly discovers what Brent Plater is really all about. Is it the environment? No. Is it endangered species? Hardly. The recurring theme of that web site, and pretty much everything Brent Plater does, for that matter, is just one thing: Brent Plater. Nothing else. Everything else is simply an illusion; a diversionary tactic; magician’s slight of hand and misdirection. Just look at the commemorative painting Plater commissioned for his “Big Year” project. It is basically a picture of himself. Not wildlife. Not the San Francisco Garter Snake. Not the Red Legged Frog. Not the Western Snowy Plover. This is all about Brent Plater. Nothing else.


So what is this ubiquitous, narcissistic, self-styled environmentalist really up to? Clearly he is grooming himself for a run at Washington D.C.  Power has always been his goal. Political office or perhaps a position as a highly paid lobbyist would be the delivery system to get him there. Consider his educational background. A stint at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and U.C. Berkeley’s Boalt Hall Law School tells us all we need to know about Plater’s intentions. The Kennedy School of Government: because where else can one study with the best the art forms of spin, deceit, political corruption, power grabbing and elitism – prerequisites for a gig in the legislative branch. Boalt Hall: because pretty much everyone in D.C. is either a lawyer and/or has a rich, influential daddy.  A stint as a highly visible attorney with Center for Biological Diversity where “the end justifies the means” and being in San Francisco allows him to cherry-pick liberal judges who are quite willing to accept his boiler-plate pleadings. Yes, Brent has always known what he has wanted. I will cede him that.  (I should note when CBD encounters a citizen or entity with some backbone and substantial financial resources, and a judge willing to scrutinize the facts thoroughly, the results are not so favorable.  See appellate decision Chilton vs. CBD at: http://www.apltwo.ct.state.az.us/Decisions/cv20050115opn.pdf).


The next step for Brent is to line his path to Washington with the bread crumbs of supporting constituency groups. Enter the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society, the various Native Plant Societies, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and an array of single purpose Environmental Advocacy Groups. All with undeserved and overstated political clout. All marching to a common theme: “Man and his companions are bad. They are destroying nature.  Mother Earth would be much better off if people were eradicated.”  The savvy Plater has long seen these groups to be the very deep-pocketed, highly ideologic, pervasive media darlings that he would need to seed his assent to our nation’s capitol. Picking his battles carefully (e.g., keeping dogs out of all San Francisco parks and beaches) and doing most of the heavy lifting, Plater has become the ideal general for these groups’ eco-war on the Bay Area populace.  A war not founded on science and fact but rather on emotion and political correctness. Plater even created and anonymously authored an extensive web site (i.e., http://sfdogblog.blogspot.com) where he slanders and defames true dog advocacy groups and individuals while cowardly masquerading as a dog advocate. As is the usual case with Plater controlled web content, opposing comments and opinion are not allowed.


Consider the case of the Western Snowy Plover (WSP). Plater and his legion have joined forces with the GGNRA in their efforts to close down San Francisco’s Ocean Beach in order to protect the plover. The problem for them is that Ocean Beach is not critical habitat for the WSP, and therefore, according to U. S. Fish and Wildlife, inconsequential to the recovery of the species. What’s even more absurd is the continued insistence by the likes of Plater, the CBD and the DOI that the Plover even be included on the Endangered Species List, albeit in a threatened status. Not only is the plover prolific all over the U.S., Mexico and Canada, but it has an established colony of tens of thousands at the Salt Lakes of Utah. Extreme environmentalists, including the aforementioned organizations Plater is placating, contend that although the plovers at the Salt Lakes are genetically identical to the WSPs found on the West Coast, they must be a different subspecies since they have chosen to roost elsewhere. They contend that behavior, not genetics, is the determining factor in subspecies designation. This logic would be analogous to Plater contending that his sister must be of a different species than him since she has chosen to live in New York rather than San Francisco. This is not a foundation based upon fact or science but rather one built upon political correctness and radical ideologies.     


Those who choose to jump into bed with Plater must be made cognizant of his treachery. Consider the GGNRA. One minute, under the umbrella of the Center for Biological Diversity, Plater is suing the GGNRA for its lack of protections for threatened and/or endangered species. What a vile organization this GGNRA must be as it contributes to the extinction of these wonderful national treasures. But what have we now? Why Plater and the GGNRA have become the best of friends. Recently one would find GGNRA hater Plater filing Amicus Briefs in Federal Court in support of the GGNRA’s unlawful attempts to disavow their 1979 Pet Policy - as they collectively spit in the face of the enabling legislation that established the GGNRA (note: the GGNRA was established by Congress in 1972 with a recreation first mandate). But he hasn’t stopped there. Now Plater has donned his pom-poms and bullhorn to extol the virtues of this wonderful organization which is having an environmentally very “Big Year”. Whether it be in the venues of the GGNRA Negotiated Rulemaking Committee meetings, the press (of which Plater gets way too much of) or on his multitude of web sites, Plater is now the GGNRA’s biggest fan. They can’t get enough of each other.   


Why is this man so dangerous? Why is he worthy of my spending my valuable time writing this perspective?  Because this is a case study where ideologies, personal ambition and avarice trump science and fact.  Unchecked, we as a society risk payment of the ultimate price: the forfeiture of our civil liberties. Oh, but forgive me. I almost forgot... We live in a nation whose government is of the Plater’s, by the Plater’s and for the Plater’s. I rest my case.  

8:03 pm pst

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