Hoodline Highlights: Off-Leash Dogs At Ocean Beach Could Be Deadly For Endangered Birds

To close out 2016, we've asked our local neighborhood writers to choose their favorite stories from the past year, and to explain why they loved them so.

Today, we hear from Outer Sunset neighborhood editor Fiona Lee:

One of the great privileges of living near Ocean Beach is being able to experience nature in all its glory. While taking leisurely walks on the beach, I've seen gray whales feeding, called in stranded seals, and poked at jellyfish.  

Birds too are an important part of this ecosystem, especially the endangered snowy plovers that make their homes here. I'd long thought about writing about snowy plovers, and the attention on the GGNRA regulations offered the perfect opportunity to dive deep into how we as city dwellers can balance between our love of dogs and the needs of wildlife.

Below is an excerpt from the original story, published on March 7th, 2016. (To read the latest on the issue, check out our story from Dec. 12th: What New Dog Restrictions On SF Beaches Mean For You & Your Dog Walker.)

Signs along Ocean Beach may proclaim that the beach is protected land for the threatened Western snowy plover, but many San Franciscan residents are unaware of the small brown-and-white shorebird, which makes its home there and at Crissy Field in the winter months.

Protecting the federally endangered bird is one of the reasons that the National Park Service (NPS) is aiming to restrict off-leash dogs along the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), which includes Ocean Beach, Crissy Field, Fort Funston and Baker Beach in San Francisco.

Surrounded by a major city, the GGNRA has 35 endangered and threatened species on its lands, more than any other national park in the continental United States. That's “more than Yosemite, Yellowstone, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks combined,” the Parks Conservancy website states.

Click to continue reading Fiona's favorite story of 2016, "Off-Leash Dogs At Ocean Beach Could Be Deadly For Endangered Birds, Experts Warn."

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Hoodline highlights off leash dogs at ocean beach could be deadly for endangered birds