Our story begins in 1979 when the park service said that dogs could be off-leash as long as they responded to voice commands. Since then, the beach has been full of responsible dog owners taking their extremely well trained dogs off leash. But in 2005, a judge ruled that dogs could no longer be kept off leash, or at least in certain areas of the beach, because of concerns that the dogs could hurt the endangered snowy plover bird. So the Park Service declared an "emergency closure" and made it so parts of Ocean Beach, stretching from the middle of Golden Gate Park south to Sloat Boulevard, had to be leash only. Or at least leash only from July to May when the snowy plover (wouldn't that be an awesome name for a band?) hung out there.
But dog owners complained because instead of talking and talking it over with hearing after hearing, the park service just did it. As we all know, that's a huge no-no in San Francisco—we like talking thing over and over again. Thus moving it to city control Also, according to dog owners aren't really a threat to the plover (we wonder how many of those dog owners have "Save the Spotted Owl" bumper stickers).
On Thursday, a meeting will be held to go over all of this. It's expected to be such a big deal that they searched out a bigger than normal rule. If it is decided to turn control over to the city, legislation would need to created and the Board of Supervisors would need to pass it. From there, congress would have to vote on it.