Quantcast

Rep. Speier Passes Amendment To Protect Off-Leash Activity In Beaches, Parks

Pooches in hot pursuit at Fort Funston. | Photo: Fido Factor/Flickr
By Will Callan - Published on September 15, 2017.

Yesterday, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco, San Mateo) passed an amendment through the House that would restrict the National Park Service’s (NPS) ability to restrict off-leash dog walking in Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) areas like Ocean Beach and Crissy Field.

“This is a 40-year tradition in the Bay Area,” the congresswoman said in a press release, “and the NPS’ attempts to ban it have been fraught with corruption and opaque decision making.”

Congresswoman Jackie Speier in 2013. | PHOTO: THE SKYLINE VIEW/FLICKR

The amendment, which received bipartisan support, was attached to HR-3354, a 2018 budget appropriations bill for the Department of the Interior and related agencies. 

The amendment stipulates that “none of the funds made available by [HR-3354] may be used to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce” the GGNRA’s Dog Management Plan, which would shrink the dog walking areas on the beaches and trails at Fort Funston, Crissy Field, Ocean Beach, Baker Beach, and Lands End.

The bill will now go to the Senate, but a legislative staffer in Speier’s DC office told Hoodline that “the Senate is not expected to consider the House’s version of the bill.”

What’s more likely, she explained, is that the Senate drafts its own bill. In that case, there’s a chance it takes material from the House bill, including Speier’s canine-conscious amendment. 

GGNRA visitors at Ocean Beach. | Photo: Max Braun/Flickr

Sally Stephens, chair of the dog owner group SFDOG, sees the amendment as an important step, even if it doesn’t yet spell legislative victory.  

“We’re extremely grateful for [Rep. Speier’s] support,” she said. “She’s been consistently supportive throughout decades of this struggle.”

In the event that the Senate appropriations bill does not include Speier’s amendment, Stephens said SFDOG will continue its fight to keep GGNRA territory open to hikers and dog-walkers. That could mean mean filing lawsuits, appealing to representatives, or promoting their cause across the media. 

“This isn’t over by any means,” she said, “and if [the GGNRA] thinks that just by implementing the rule we’re gonna roll over and lay down, they’ve got another thing coming.” 

Shore break at Fort Funston. | Photo: Fido Factor/Flickr

In January, after the GGNRA had proposed its final rule, WoofieLeaks.com published documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that allegedly revealed an NPS bias against dog owners during the rule-making process. 

In addition to pressure from congressional representatives Pelosi, Huffman, and Speier, the exposure compelled NPS to postpone the implementation of new dog walking rules.

Meanwhile, NPS has launched an internal investigation into the alleged misconduct uncovered by the FOIA request. 

NPS could not be reached for comment before press time, but we’ll keep you posted as this situation develops. 

Jun 11, 2021
San Francisco Excelsior

OG dispensary ReLeaf will be reborn in Crocker-Amazon

One of San Francisco’s original cannabis dispensaries will be back at a new location, as ReLeaf gets Planning Commission approval right at the SF-Daly City border. Read More

Jun 10, 2021
San Francisco SoMa

Widely pre-panned YOLO Nightclub, in the former Slim’s, set to open June 18

The ladies will be scantily clad, but men must adhere to a highly non-sexual dress code, when the old Slim’s reopens as YOLO Nightclub next Friday, June 18. Read More

Jun 10, 2021
San Francisco Tenderloin

See the Tenderloin's pothole artist's first museum show and live resin installation this weekend

Artist Rik Lee Leipold is celebrating their first museum show, and will host an artist talk and live resin casting of a pothole outside of the Tenderloin Museum on Saturday, June 12, 2021. Read More

Jun 09, 2021
San Francisco Divisadero SoMa

Namu Stonepot closes its Divisadero location; team set to open unnamed food hall — with pizza! — in SoMa

Namu Stonepot (553 Divisadero) is no longer serving its loco moco bowls and stonepot rice from the Divisadero space where it's lived since 2017, but the menu is still being served at Dolores and 18th, and will be appearing at a new food-hall concept the team is opening soon on 9th Street. Read More