By Nikki Silverstein
Zero: Doggone. Well, in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), dogs are almost gone. The National Park Service’s latest and likely last proposed rules were announced on Wednesday and place extreme restrictions on our canine pals. In Marin, off-leash dogs would have the run of only one place: A small slice of Rodeo Beach. Leashed dogs would have few options, limited to areas of Stinson Beach, Muir Beach, Homestead Valley, Oakwood Valley, Alta Trail, Rodeo Beach, Rodeo Valley and Fort Baker, all located in Southern and West Marin. What is the GGNRA thinking by corralling Marin’s many mutts into sparse spaces? If (probably when) the new rules come into effect in early 2017, we predict Rodeo Beach will be deluged with dogs and soon environmentalists will squawk, rightly so, about the disruption to our bird population.
We envision the leashed areas monopolized by commercial dog walkers, which will incite regular folks to complain about the loss of their neighborhood recreation spots. Perhaps that’s been the intent all along; take baby steps to rid the GGNRA of all dogs. What’s next on their elimination agenda? Biking, surfing, horseback riding? “This federal bureaucracy is imposing its will onto the local community and completely ignoring the needs of the people who live nearby and frequently use these areas—the very reason that the GGNRA was created,” says Andrea Buffa of Save Our Recreation. With a mere 60 days to comment, we urge Marinites to review the proposed rules at federalregister.gov/public-inspection and voice your opinions.