October 18, 2013
The Park Service's Plans To Limit Off-Leash Areas For Dogs
A hearing on the National Park Service’s draft dog management plan for the Golden Gate National Recreation Areas which would greatly limit the off-leash activity areas for dogs at Fort Funston, Crissy Field, and Ocean Beach amongst other areas is the first item on the agenda for San Francisco’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee this coming Monday, October 21.
Fearing that "restricting dog access on these federal lands could lead to dog over-crowding in our already crowded parks," Supervisors Wiener, Tang and Breed are sponsoring a resolution to oppose the proposed dog management plan and urging the Park Service to adopt a different approach.
The official 90-day public comment period for the Dog Management Plan expires on December 4, 2013. Following the public comment period, the plan will be revised, a final version of the plan will be released, and a 30-day no-action period will follow after which the revised plan will be signed by the Pacific West Regional Director and the new rules will be adopted.
The Park Service's preferred plan for Crissy Field is above (click plan to enlarge), their preferred plans for Ocean Beach and Fort Funston are below:
Draft Dog Management Plan [nps.gov]
First Published: October 18, 2013 8:30 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
I don't mind sharing open space with dogs as long as the off leash areas are contained and well signed.
Posted by: wc1 at October 18, 2013 8:50 AM
I take my dogs to Crissy Field and Fort Funston regularly, and it appears that the changes to the latter are pretty minor at best. It will make going down that sand ladder entertaining with an dog who's excited to get to the beach, but this is reasonable.
East Beach at Crissy Field gets the majority of dog traffic there, so the Central Beach will get much more crowded. Also, for those of us who have dogs who like to swim, the tides and currents off Central are rougher than East. But at the end of the day, I could live with this if I had to.
Posted by: 4h clubber at October 18, 2013 9:38 AM
There has always been this strong "back to" (whatever one's manic disorder relates back to as -- a place, purity, youth) strain in the Bay Area. We had the People's Temple return to the promised land; various cults like the old EST and its newly christened "Forum" and associated vegan cult restaurants. The Black Muslim Bakery's that kind of blended HBO's "The Wire" and "Big Love."
But none of them are as dangerous as the radicals who have infiltrated the government intent on enforcing their puritanism on a city of 800,000+ people, 130,000+ dogs, 400,000+ cars, and 600,000+ trees.
They follow a cult of restoration to the pre-1800's. Much of it is tied up in racial or "environmental justice" lingo and native plant jargon. But what it really is is a form of tyranny at the hands of a very small number of one-issue obsessed wealthy white people teetering on the edge of phobic disorder.
People really need to step up and push back.
Posted by: $AN FRANCI$CO at October 18, 2013 9:47 AM
No, actually dog owners need to start being responsible for their pets behavior.
They basically allow their dogs to roam free at Dolores Park, leaving dog shit wherever they want.
And why don't they start picking up their dog shit on the sidewalk?
Pretty simple things to do.
Posted by: Futurist at October 18, 2013 9:57 AM
I like the decrease in off-leash areas not because I want to go "back to" anything, but because I don't like dogs. There's nothing worse than Rover coming bounding up to me and putting his paws on me, then the owner coming over and saying "Oh, don't worry, he's really friendly." I'm not scared of dogs, I just don't like them. Keep them on a leash in public or buy a place with a yard. Is that so hard?
Posted by: anon at October 18, 2013 9:57 AM
There is a history that caused this change. At Crissy Field a horse and officer were severely attacked by an off leash dog with the horse being chased all the way back to the stables, as well as joggers and tourists at other times. I myself witnessed a jogger get chased by a dog that probably wanted to "play", but the jogger panicked and the dog ended up biting her.
Posted by: 94123 at October 18, 2013 10:03 AM
I'm with anon on this one. Keep your dog under control when in public. I don't care if its "friendly", I don't want it assaulting me.
Posted by: Rillion at October 18, 2013 10:06 AM
Chrissy Field I could care less about. It's very crowded and quite difficult to bring a dog there so leash laws there make sense (unless it's during the day/weekday)
...but Fort Funston is for dogs - literally 99% of people who go there bring their dogs. @anon if you don't like dogs I probably would go to another park ;)
Posted by: S at October 18, 2013 10:11 AM
You had me $an, up until you attacked "wealthy white people" which is both classist and racist. It is quite sufficient to criticize an agenda because it is too narrowly-focused in a city that must accomodate a wide diversity of needs without bringing the economic class or race of the persons advancing that agenda.
Posted by: Patrick at October 18, 2013 10:13 AM
“The dog then paid its attention to the police horse and lunged at the horse, biting the stomach and then locking on to the rear leg. The horse fell and the U.S. Park Police officer was thrown to the ground at that point,” he said.
The horse was eventually able to escape and run to the police stable but the dog gave chase. The attack ended when the horse kicked the canine and sent it running only to be captured by another officer at the scene."
Posted by: 94123 at October 18, 2013 10:16 AM
I love dogs. I have a dog. I'm one of those nuts who thinks their dog is a small child. But I can't stand idiot, entitled dog owners who walk their dogs off leash especially in the city proper. I've had several run-ins with people who can't control their animals. And the "Don't worry! He's friendly!" line right before the dog starts snarling and snapping at me is the worst.
Posted by: Denis at October 18, 2013 10:46 AM
Chrissy Field rule makes sense, but agree that FOrt Funston is basically all dogs all the time.
I prefer to just put a on leash requirement on pitbulls and other dangerous breeds. I also think dog training classes should be required of dog owners in SF. My dog has never jumped on anyone or chased even a squirrel. I leave him off leash all the time and plan to keep on doing it. He's is better behaved than 90% of the people in this city.
Posted by: Spencer at October 18, 2013 11:08 AM
"I also think dog training classes should be required of dog owners in SF"
Really Spencer, you would want this level of government intrusion into the 100k plus dog owners in SF? Sounds like a recipe for ridiculous waste.
I have a dog and leash laws make perfect sense in the City. Keep you dog on leash unless in a designated off leash area in a park.
Posted by: Skirunman at October 18, 2013 11:43 AM
"Really Spencer, you would want this level of government intrusion into the 100k plus dog owners in SF? Sounds like a recipe for ridiculous waste."
Yes, and I also want driver's license/ training requirements for cyclists.
intrusion , yes? but i think its worth it. It would also created a nice new revenue stream
Posted by: Spencer at October 18, 2013 11:50 AM
Spencer, the problem is you say your dog is well behaved, but how is anyone to know when walking toward your animal? I have a golden retriever, perhaps one of the gentlest breeds, but I have actually encountered very a aggressive Golden one time to my complete astonishment. . Though the breed may be gentle, the owners can create behavior problems in their pets. The leash law should apply to EVERYONE.
Posted by: Anonanon at October 18, 2013 11:51 AM
I'm a dog owner and lover, but certainly understand those who do not feel the same. The reality is that 99% of bad dogs are caused by bad owners. I despise people who leave their dog's poop anywhere, it's trivial to bring a bag and pick it up.
I think the best approach is not to punish all owners, but severely punish bad owners. If a dog attacks a person it should be taken and the owner required to complete expensive and time consuming training on how to properly care for a dog. If a person is caught failing to pick up dog poop they should be fined and required to community service cleaning up the streets and parks.
Off leash areas are necessary for many owners as dogs need lots of exercise. The areas should be clearly labeled, but please don't punish good dogs and good owners.
Posted by: lyqwyd at October 18, 2013 12:05 PM
im with lyqwd. and i know its the rules, but my dog will be off leash throughout the presidio and for funston always. I wouldn't do it in one of the small city parks or golden gate park, but not going to change in presidio and funston . I also hate when owner dont pick up poop and I usually call them out on it. In fact, i took a picture of a lady whose bulldogs frequently leaves poop on the sidewalk and posted her pick and a note that she is the one leaving big poops on the sidewalk. I posted 25 flyers over an 8 block perimeter in June. The poop stopped. But of course we cant fix everyone, but this is something people in the community can help with. Especially other dog owners should be trying to curb this behavior in their own neighborhood.
I also stand by my claim that 90% of city residents need a leash more than my dog. would maybe put cyclists in the mission near the top
Posted by: Spencer at October 18, 2013 12:16 PM
Thank you for the most sane comment I've ever read on here. Acknowledging that your affinities are not necessarily shared by others is such a sane, delightful thing.
Posted by: Frog at October 18, 2013 12:38 PM
Love the idea of leashing (controlling) all of the out of control cyclists here in SF.
You know the ones who fly thru stop signs and stop lights, while giving the finger to anyone who dares call them out.
Some dogs behave better than they do.
Posted by: Futurist at October 18, 2013 1:05 PM
Unleashed dogs have a major impact on wildlife, including rare birds. I have read that is a motivating factor for some of these changes.
I prefer tickets for dog owners who allow their dogs to run unleashed where leashes are required. It's fine to say that you should just punish the dog owners after their dogs have attacked but I detect a problem there: the attack has already occurred.
Posted by: lark at October 18, 2013 3:34 PM
Dog owners are screwing up Precita Park these days. It has always been an on-leash park. It's a dog friendly neighborhood, Bernal Hill is dog paradise for example, there weren't that many dogs, so nobody really cared too much about the off leash scofflaws ...dog owners came to love it. The word got out. And the "look the other way on leash park" in turn, created an environment where all sorts of dog owners came from all over the Mission and elsewhere. Now it kinda sucks. Too many off leash dogs running around.
Posted by: Anon at October 18, 2013 7:08 PM
Good comments anon:
The classic "look the other way" attitude is what's really destroying the quality of life in our city.
Whether it's dog off leash wherever the owners want, whether it's all the trash left in Dolores Park (by those who know better), whether it's all the cyclists who run stop signs and lights by their own choosing, whether it's the homeless/druggies hanging out where they choose:
More and more, we (not all of us) seem to NOT CARE about civility and respecting others.
And it seems to be getting worse.
Posted by: Futurist at October 18, 2013 9:01 PM
I lived in Europe for years. US dogs are very poorly trained. In Germany it was normal to have off-leash dogs on the subway. These rules are only necessary because Americans don't train their dogs.
Posted by: ringus at October 18, 2013 10:18 PM
Most of the dogs at Precita Park are there in the morning before work and in the evening after work-- not times when the park is being used for other activities. And the kids have their separate fenced area. Precita Park is only busy on warm weekend days-- granted we've had lots of those lately.
Posted by: Dan at October 18, 2013 10:35 PM
Ft. Funston is for dogs. F*CK THE BIRDS, which there are billions of and they cr8p on trillions of more acreage than any dog does. Hateful unloved people called anon simply need to get another hobby instead of b*tching about how a dog supposedly jumped on them. Once. BS.
Posted by: grrr at October 19, 2013 11:29 PM
^Yeah, I was assaulted by a dog once in this town, lol. Nope, try at least once a week. Dogs have taken over this city.
Last week I was in a coffee shop when a lady put her little poodle down ON THE COUNTER while she fished through her purse for some change. What the !@#!$? It's a freaking dirty animal! I don't want it next to my pastry.
Posted by: anon at October 20, 2013 7:55 AM
I am usually a defender of dogs as they need space to run and get exercise (eg chasing a ball etc), but putting your dog on th counter at a cafe is way, way beyond acceptable behavior. There is a lunatic in my neighborhood who walks her terrier in a baby stroller. People like that should probably undergo psychiatric examination.
Posted by: Jimmy at October 20, 2013 9:41 AM
This morning there were only about a dozen or so offleash dogs in Precita Park. And I only saw one, "don't worry (chuckle) hr's very friendly" encounter between a young child, his mother, and a dog/dog owner. Typical, I suppose.
Posted by: Anon at October 20, 2013 10:04 AM
What is it about acceptable behavior that so many San Franciscans seem to have trouble with? Pets on food service counters! Naked elderly men walking and standing around to exhibit themselves. Bike riders refusing to obey traffic rules. Dog owners who refuse to put their pets on leashes. I have lived in much larger cities and seen people follow pet ownership rules much better than here.
Both in New York and Chicago, I never experienced an off leash dog run towards me while the owner yells "don't worry, he won't bite" like I have here in San Francisco. In Chicago there are small fenced parks set aside especially for pets and SOMEHOW Chicago pet owners seem to have no trouble allowing public parks to be for PEOPLE and Dog Parks to be for DOGS.
Why must the Presidio, probably one of the most spectacular natural settings anywhere, be turned into a dog beach? Why is it that when we have rented a vacation home in Laguna Beach everyone in that area followed the "no dogs on beach" rule without protest at the beach we stayed on?
As was posted earlier, there have been attacks by dogs to officers, horses, joggers, bike riders and tourists in the Presidio, especially Crissy Field. I say, ban ALL dogs from the Presidio since San Francisco pet owners do not seem to be able to exhibit civilized behavior. As a frequent jogger in the Presidio I have been chased by unleashed dogs but fortunately not attacked. The recent attack by a dog chasing and biting a German tourist riding a rental bike in Crissy Field shows that the problem continues.
Posted by: CrissyJogger at October 20, 2013 10:12 AM
I would avoid offleash areas with or without a dog. I've seen dog owners with zero recall ability allow their dogs roam off leash. It's ridiculously irresponsible. If your dog chases people, cars, bikes, other dogs and doesn't instantly break chase when you tell it to, don't let your dog offleash. I don't care if you think your dog is friendly. You have no control of your animal.
Posted by: anun at October 21, 2013 10:31 AM
"whether it's the homeless/druggies hanging out where they choose"
Yeah, can we get leashes for them and make it so they don't have access to the same public areas as we do? We need non-druggie/homeless areas in parks. Maybe even sections of the city where we can just ban them outright. How dare people think they can hang out in public areas!
Posted by: Rillion at October 21, 2013 12:34 PM
my dog will remain faithfully running next to me all throughout the presidio. its the perfect place for people with dogs. i general, no one has their dog on leash and its quite rare for an event to occur.
there are other parks such as dolores park or alta plaza, etc, where dogs should not be allowed off leash at all because the concentration of people is too high and theres not enough room for dogs anyway. and of course, the experience of some idiot putting her dog on the counter is ridiculous. but having a well behaved dog on a beach or running trail seems OK to me. I know other people dont like dogs. but there are plenty of things we could all complain about. people could also be more tolerant
Posted by: spencer at October 21, 2013 4:42 PM
Your dog may be extraordinarily well-behaved with perfect recall, but plenty of owners are under the delusion they have control over their animal, or have some Avatar-esque bond with their pet when they do not. At least once a week, an unleashed dog runs across the street through oncoming traffic to say "hello" to my leashed dog. The owner then is obligated to also run across the street to "catch" their dog. As any dog owner knows, there's a different dynamic that occurs between a leashed dog and an unleashed dog. Similarly, if your dog is running a few feet ahead of you and encounters another unleashed dog (or leashed dog for that matter) that's fearful and attacks, you're not really able to protect your pet. Today, I'm walking my dog and when I start to round a blind corner, I hear a woman give me a warning. Sure enough, it's one of my neighbors who is walking her dogs which I know aren't particularly friendly (the breed is well known for its feisty temperament). We go in opposite directions, no problem. If my dog was off leash he'd have been shredded. I'm 100% responsible for my dog's well-being. Likewise, my neighbor is walking her dogs responsibly with the expectation that others do the same.
Posted by: Denis at October 21, 2013 5:24 PM
"I'm 100% responsible for my dog's well-being. Likewise, my neighbor is walking her dogs responsibly with the expectation that others do the same."
Perfectly stated, Denis. I want to be your neighbor!
Posted by: jack at October 21, 2013 5:36 PM
I do find it amusing that some owners have dogs that are so "feisty" (or let's just say "dangerous" or "untrained") that they pull their owners across the street in order to attack my dog that's lying out on my grass in the sunshine.
Nice. Those attack dogs should be euthanized.
Yes, I have perfect recall of my dog, to the point where we walk off leash and I do not even have to give her any commands at all (verbal or gestures). She sits next to me at the curb and heels when crossing the street without my even saying a word. She will wait patiently on one side of the road if I tell her to sit and then cross.
Never, ever, runs into the street.
Many leashed dogs have no training at all, are aggressive towards other dogs and are so powerful that their owners cannot control them or hold them back even on leash. Those dogs do not belong in a city setting.
So in conclusion, leashes are not enough for some dogs. Other dogs, like mine, do not need leashes at all because they are perfectly, and consistently, trained to behave themselves.
Posted by: Jimmy (No Longer Bitter) at October 21, 2013 5:49 PM
"Other dogs, like mine, do not need leashes at all because they are perfectly, and consistently, trained to behave themselves."
All dogs outside of "Off Leash" areas should be on a leash.
Posted by: Debtpocalypse at October 23, 2013 12:01 PM
Yeah, right and no one should drive over 65 mph on the freeway.
Posted by: Jimmy (No Longer Bitter) at October 23, 2013 2:55 PM
Dogs = bad
Posted by: anon at October 23, 2013 4:18 PM
It's very easy to tell that Jimmy's dog is a menace. Isn't it?
Posted by: Anon at October 23, 2013 4:47 PM
Jimmy, my dogs not going on leash either
Posted by: Moto mayhem at October 23, 2013 6:00 PM
Jimmy, as I'm sure you know, most of us prefer to get dogs from animal shelters and unfortunately, a lot of shelter dogs have traumatic histories and thus personality problems. Sometimes these can be healed with through training and positive reenforcement, sometimes it's a bit harder. Same with people. I don't think problem dogs, especially dogs that have been abused, should just automatically be put-down because they're "untrainable." As you point out, their owners simply need to be responsible and ensure through whatever means that they do not injure people or other dogs. People who can't control their dogs need to find someone else to walk them never mind the leash. Also, killing the dog seems a bit harsh and buying a place in the country isn't exactly practical. Also, what happens when/if you leave town and, say, your partner or whoever decides to take the dog for a walk and even though he/she is "perfectly trained" and responds 100% of the time to your commands, he may not do so for someone else.
Posted by: Denis at October 23, 2013 6:10 PM