Mayor Lee concerned by dog restriction plan impacts 

click to enlarge Ocean Beach
  • Mike Koozmin/The S.F. Examiner File photo
  • The Golden Gate National Recreation Area's plan to restrict dogs on Ocean Beach has met resistance with the Mayor.
Proposed dog restrictions at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area could lead to impacts on other city resources, Mayor Ed Lee told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

“I am concerned about the eventual result of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s dog management plan,” Lee said of the proposal, which would create limits on where dogs could run off leash. “Our parks are welcoming of dogs but we don’t have unlimited space or resources. So I asked the GGNRA to fully consider the totality of impacts on streets, parks and other city property as they draft their new rules.”

The GGNRA has proposed the new restrictions as a way to protect the open-space area. Lee was responding to a question from Supervisor Scott Wiener, who has taken the lead on the board in speaking out against the proposed management plan for the federally managed land that includes Ocean Beach, Crissy Field and Fort Funston.

Lee, however, sounded optimistic about the ultimate outcome.

“I am confident the GGNRA will work with residents and The City in moving any final plan forward,” Lee said. “The GGNRA and the National Park Service have been proven partners with The City since the recreation area was created in 1972.”

A 2011 version of the proposed management plan received about 4,700 comments and raised the ire of dog advocates who complained the proposal was too restrictive. An updated draft released in September was met with similar response.

The federal agency, which is facing mounting pressure to relax proposed restrictions, extended the public comment period on the plan until Feb. 18 after receiving a Dec. 2 letter from House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi requesting the extension.

“There is a long history of off-leash dog recreation in San Francisco which began before the transfer of land from the city and county of San Francisco to the National Park Service,” the letter said. “Responsible dog guardians must continue to enjoy recreational activities with their pets in our spectacular setting.”

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