In the ongoing drama over new proposed dog rules in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, several local dog-owner groups filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday seeking data from the National Park Service on the impact of dogs on the area. As KRON 4 and CBS 5 are reporting, angry dog owners who don't want to see the number of off-leash areas decrease along the SF and Marin coasts are looking to compel the government to show them some hard numbers before the period for public comment on the proposed changes ends.
The group filing the suit goes by the name Save Our Recreation, and as an attorney representing them tells the Chronicle, "It is apparent that NPS has purposefully blocked access to this information because it does not want the public to use the documents in connection with the public comment period for the proposed rule that, if implemented, would radically reduce a long-standing recreational use of the GGNRA."
The group, which serves as an umbrella organization for multiple local dog-owner groups, filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the same data back in November, but heard no response. Thus, the lawsuit.
The new rules, as detailed in February, would drastically reduce the number of off-leash areas for dogs cutting the acreage where off-leash dog walking is allowed by more than half in popular spots like Fort Funston and Crissy Field and banning dogs altogether in some spots.
Many, many people have spoken out against the plan, with even Nancy Pelosi weighing in against it, because as we all know, anecdotally, there are more dogs than children in San Francisco. The new rules would effect a large swath of the coast though, not just in SF, as the GGNRA extends to Marin and down into San Mateo County as well.
The Park Service has previously said that the changes are trying to strike a balance of allowing dog owners and non-dog owners alike space to enjoy the beaches, and protecting habitats and the environment as well.