After a decade and a half of contentious debate, the issue of where dogs can and cannot be in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area is about to be put to rest. But that doesn't mean that everyone is happy about it.
The GGNRA released its Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on Thursday, which outlined its preferred solution to the dog question.
That solution designates around one-third of trails under GGNRA management in San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties as dog-friendly and sets aside off-leash dog areas at Rodeo Beach, Crissy Field, Ocean Beach, Fort Funston and Rancho Corral de Tierra.
"Our plan responsibly ensures that we are a park for everybody," said GGNRA spokesman Nathan Sargent at a news conference Thursday morning. "Dog walking will continue at GGNRA, off-leash recreation will continue and dog-free areas will be defined as well in the park."
This plan is an updated version of the proposed rules the GGNRA put out in February of this year. That proposal was not popular among groups looking to expand park and trail access to dogs, and the GGNRA received more than 4,100 public comments in the three months following the announcement.
Sargent says these comments informed multiple changes to the February proposal, including the new off-leash area at Rancho Corral de Tierra and expansion of both off-leash and dog-free zones at San Francisco's Crissy Field. He says the goal was to create a plan that strikes a balance between visitors who want to unleash their dogs and those who want a dog-free park experience.