.Hero & Zero: A doggone zero

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.

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  1. This plan is more than leashes or no leashes. It represents total loss of access, even with a leashed dog, to the most beloved fire roads and trails of the GGNRA/Marin Headlands. Many of the fire roads are now called “trails” to somehow make them seem more sensitive and to somehow justify banning a person with a leashed dog on a 15 foot wide fire road that trucks go up and down. There is nothing fair or reasonable about this plan. Nothing.

    Dogs will be banned on the following routes: Note banned trails constitute full loss of access and terminate the use of many trail loops that are very popular daily hikes amongst local residents walking their dogs. Some banned GGNRA trails are connector trails to community owned trails regularly used by residents.

    • Stinson south Picnic Area. Dogs allowed on leash in parking lot, North & Central Picnic area, and trail from North lot to Marin County (Upton) beach.
    • Muir Beach at times due to a seasonal closure. No dogs in winter when Redwood Creek flows are high enough to cross beach to reach ocean. (Coho closure not addressed directly in plan)
    • Coastal Trail (all trails around Muir Beach) From GGNRA web-site: Coast Trail between Hill 88 (junction of Coastal Trail and Wolf Ridge Trail) and Muir Beach
    • Wolf Ridge Loop (Coastal Trail to Wolf Ridge Trail; Wolf Ridge Trail to Miwok Trail; Miwok Trail back down to Coastal Trail)
    • County View Road and Marin Drive connector trails to North Miwok Trail
    • Miwok Trail from Tennessee Valley parking lot to Rt. 1 above Muir Beach (North Miwok Trail)
    • Rhubarb Trail (GGNRA portion)
    • Oakwood Valley Meadow trail
    • South Rodeo Beach and trail to South Rodeo Beach (from Battery loop to beach??)
    • Coastal Trail from Golden Gate Bridge to junction with Wolf Ridge Trail


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