Weigh in on Monday on off-leash dog access at Fort Funston and Chrissy Field

Re: SF Residents: Call-In Day is TOMORROW Tues 2/15

From Sup. Wiener’s office:

February 15, 2011—In response to a recent draft proposal by the Golden Gate
National Recreation Area to restrict off-leash dog access in certain federal
properties like Fort Funston and Crissy Field, Supervisor Scott Wiener is
calling for a hearing to explore the impact of these restrictions, including how
they may increase the number of off-leash dogs in City-owned parks.

At today’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Wiener will ask the San
Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, Animal Care and Control, and other
departments to examine whether GGNRA’s proposed restrictions will lead to an
increase in off-leash dogs in City-owned parks, and how this increase could
affect park use and cause operating challenges. Supervisor Wiener will also ask
for the departments to discuss the City’s overall response to GGNRA’s proposal.

“We need to look at how these proposed federal restrictions impact both dog
owners and people who don’t own dogs. I’m concerned that GGNRA’s proposal could
cause a ripple effect throughout the city’s park system,” said Wiener.

If dogs are no longer allowed to be off-leash on federal properties like Fort
Funston and Crissy Field, dog owners are likely to take their dogs to City-owned
neighborhood parks and open spaces. An increase in dog activity in these spaces
could affect people used to fewer dogs, and could also cause a strain on the
City’s parks budget. The Recreation and Parks Department, already working with
a stressed budget, may not have sufficient enforcement and maintenance resources
to handle this influx of activity.

“In this time of difficult budget choices, it’s vital that we understand how
these proposed federal restrictions may affect our ability to operate our
parks,” said Wiener.

Supervisor Wiener is also requesting information on the feasibility of requiring
commercial dog walkers who walk more than a certain number of dogs at one time
to obtain a permit to conduct their businesses in City-owned parks. Regulation
of commercial dog-walking could improve dog behavior in parks, to the benefit of
other dog owners and non-dog-owners.

“Adopting practical solutions, like requiring commercial dog walkers to have
permits, could provide a balanced approach to addressing concerns about
off-leash dogs, while avoiding potential stress on our neighborhood parks,” said
Wiener.

For more information, please contact Supervisor Wiener at 554-6968 or
scott.wiener@…. You can also contact his staff, Gillian Gillett
(gillian.gillett@…) and Adam Taylor (adam.taylor@…).

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