After a 14-year planning process, the National Park Service (NPS) has announced that it won't be implementing new restrictions on dogs visiting the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
The saga began in 2002, when the GGNRA began enforcing nationwide National Park Service regulations for pets, but a federal court found that the park did not follow the correct rule-making protocols. Since then, the NPS has been working on the Dog Management Plan environmental review.
The doggy debate raged as the NPS came closer to a decision. The NPS argued that the GGNRA was already the most dog-friendly of the national parks, but opponents of the new regulations argued that the park itself was meant to be urban, and therefore not governed under the same rules as other parks.
The GGNRA's proposal would have required dogs to be leashed in areas where they once ran free and would ban them entirely from other areas. One of the NPS arguments for the regulations was the protection of the snowy plover, a threatened bird species found in the park.