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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact his staff, Gillian Gillett (email@example.com) and Adam Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org).