Some of you may not know about my involvement with organizing and working hard to maintain access to open spaces and parks to dogs in SF and the GGNRA (SF/Marin). This is an issue very near and dear to my heart as the past/long-time webmaster for SFDOG, founder of (now defunct) District 5 Dog Owners & Guardians, and countless volunteer hours devoted to a variety of efforts/campaigns related to the issue of preserving access to open spaces and promoting responsible dog walking/handling. I feel very strongly that preserving access to these areas is absolutely vital to the quality of life and health of many SF Bay Area residents (dogs & humans of all ages) and that recreational activity such as hiking and dog walking is not at all incompatible with the protection of wildlife and the local ecosystem.
Currently and urgently, we’re trying to get as many people as possible to sign an online petition to protect recreation in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (Fort Funston, Ocean Beach, Crissy Field, Marin Headlands, Muir Beach, Rodeo Beach, and properties in San Mateo County).
With the stroke of a pen, a few GGNRA and National Park Service officials could change the mission of the GGNRA from one focused on *recreation* to that of a *nature preserve*. This change could force out tens of thousands of us who recreate in the GGNRA — both with and without dogs. If you surf, fish, bike, ride a horse, walk a dog, hike, picnic, kayak, windsurf, and any of the other ways people recreate in the GGNRA, you may be forced out. Even if you don’t walk with your dog in the GGNRA, the proposed changes in its mission will mean all forms of recreation are at risk there. Our petition, at http://tinyurl.com/protect-recreation-in-GGNRA, will show the GGNRA and elected officials that there is widespread opposition to their plans. We need to stop this while we still can.
We need as many people people as possible to sign on. Please take a moment to sign and then pass this on to other lists or people you think may be willing to sign their name to this petition.
A few staff members at the National Park Service could take away recreation for millions of Bay Area residents unless we act now. The staff has already indicated that they might very well take away most recreation in the GGNRA – that’s why we need to act together to make our voices heard right now before it is too late.
Please make sure your voice is heard by signing our petition to make sure the GGNRA preserves recreation and hears all concerns before taking unilateral action to keep Bay Area residents out of our own backyard.
Nearly 40 years ago, the City and County of San Francisco and other local governments transferred management of the GGNRA lands with the express promise that these lands would be managed to preserve recreation. Now that promise and pledge could be broken. The staff has clearly indicated they are moving to severely limit, even ban, local residents from tens of thousands of acres of what is a designated recreation area. This includes restrictions in popular areas where people surf, hike, bike and walk their dogs.
Our request is simple – keep the promise and preserve recreation in this recreation area.
The Bay Area is one of the most crowded urban areas in the nation. And the last thing we need is to lose tens of thousands of acres of recreation area because a few staff members want to designate it a nature preserve. There is room for both protecting nature and preserving recreational areas.
We are fortunate that prominent local leaders like Congresswoman Jackie Speier, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, San Francisco Board President David Chiu and the entire San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Marin County Board President Kathrin Sears and the entire Marin Board of Supervisors, San Mateo County Board President Dave Pine, as well as Supervisors Adrienne Tissier, Don Horsley and Warren Slocum, and so many others have joined our cause to preserve recreation.
But your voice matters the most.