Recent posts, comments, etc
Submitted by Keith McAllister, former SFDOG representative on SFRPD's Dog Advisory Committee-
San Francisco has released the Draft Environmental Impact Review (DEIR) for the Natural Areas Program (NAP). The NAP management plan approved in 2006 called for closing and reducing some existing Dog Play Areas (DPA’s), and the DEIR has escalated with further closures in its “Maximum Restoration Alternative,” which it identifies as the “Environmentally Superior Alternative.”
According to the original plan, the Lake Merced DPA will be closed completely. The off-leash area on Bernal Hill will be reduced from 21 to 15 acres. The Shelley Drive DPA in McLaren will be reduced. Now the “Environmentally Superior Alternative” proposes further closures. Closing all DPA’s in Management Areas 1 and 2 would virtually eliminate DPA’s at Bernal Hill, Buena Vista, Golden Gate Park Southeast, and McLaren-Shelley Drive. If closing some DPA’s leads to increased usage in remaining DPA’s, “any observed impacts of dog use on sensitive natural communities” will be addressed by closure or reduction of those DPA’s.
In addition to the “environmentally superior” Maximum Restoration Alternative, the DEIR offers three other alternatives: No Project Alternative, Maximum Recreation Alternative, and Maintenance Alternative.
We have just been through the GGNRA DEIR public comment exercise, and this will be similar.
A public hearing on this Draft EIR and other matters has been scheduled by the City Planning Commission for October 6, 2011, in Room 400, City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, beginning at 1:30 p.m. or later. (Call 558‐6422 the week of the hearing for a recorded message giving a more specific time.)
Public comments will be accepted from August 31, 2011 to 5:00 p.m. on October 17, 2011. Written comments should be addressed to Bill Wycko, Environmental Review Officer, San Francisco Planning Department, 1650 Mission Street, Suite 400, San Francisco, CA 94103. Comments received at the public hearing and in writing will be responded to in a Summary of Comments and Responses document.
If you have an opinion about the impact this expansion of the Natural Areas Program will have on dog guardians you would be wise to speak/write now. Closures and restrictions of DPA’s don’t go through an approval process since RPD’s Dog Advisory Committee no longer exists.
Further: This would be a good issue to discuss with mayoral candidates at the DogPAC mayoral forum on October 1st. The mayor has direct responsibility (if he/she chooses to exercise it) over what goes on at the Recreation and Park Department. NAP is under Phil Ginsburg who works for the mayor.
A coyote has been spotted mid-day in the area just above the bank swallow nests (in the fenced dune area, west of the trail, north of the mid-beach access trail). The timing of the sighting leads us to believe that the coyotes are living at the Fort. What should you do? Remember NOT to treat a coyote as a big dog; you do a terrible disservice to the coyote by lessening their fear of humans. If you encounter a coyote, the San Francisco Animal Care and Control recommends:
Check out the SF Animal Care and Control site for other tips on coexisting with coyotes.
Our July cleanup is tomorrow (Saturday, July 9th). Meet at the regular place (northeast corner of the upper parking lot) at 9:30am. We’ll provide all the supplies you need – buckets, gloves, trowels. Look for our sign and cart at the start of the trail in the north-east corner of the upper parking lot. We’ll meet afterward at the Battery-Davis picnic tables for coffee & doughnuts . . . . and a chance to meet 3 people who kindly stepped forward to help out with the Fort Funston organization (Arnita Bowman, Andrea Buffa and Dave Emanuel). If you attended any of the marches or rallies in the last few months, you probably met them already – and if you walked anywhere at Fort Funston during the recent comment period, I can guarantee you that Arnita tried to sell you a t-shirt or get you to sign a petition.
We’re planning on doing a mailing soon to catch members who aren’t on the email list, then organize a meeting to give everyone “next steps” (to the extent we know) on the Dog Management Plan. If any of you have access to a meeting room on the Fort Funston side of town, please let me know.
If you didn’t participate in the June 30th call to congress, it is not too late. Check the Fort Funston website blog for contact information and suggestions on what to ask for.
Enjoy your walks!
Your efforts are making a difference. Listen to Rep. Jackie Speier express her disappointment with GGNRA in response to a Town Hall question. http://tinyurl.com/SpeierGGNRA
A quick summary for impatient readers: cleanup & important meeting on Saturday, RALLY on MONDAY!!, DEIS information, please DONATE! Details below.
Cleanup: March cleanup this Saturday (March 5th). Meet at the regular place (northeast corner of the upper parking lot) at 9:30am and we’ll provide all the supplies you need – buckets, gloves, trowels. Look for our sign and cart at the start of the trail.
Important meetings: GGNRA open house (information meeting) at SF State this Saturday from 11am to 4pm. Another open house at lower Fort Mason, Building D on Monday.
RALLY!: Remember January 2001 when 1,500 people overwhelmed the GGNRA Advisory Committee meeting? It’s time again to be seen & heard. MAKE SURE that people understand how much you care about preserving our recreation of choice – walking our off-leash dogs! Please join us for a rally outside of the GGNRA open house meeting at Ft. Mason—where the GGNRA ...will NOT have a microphone available for the public to comment on its extreme proposal—and make sure your voice is heard!
Speak Out For Off-Leash Dog Walking!
Monday, March 7, 5:30 PM
Ft. Mason Center, Building D
Marina Blvd and Buchanan Street
DEIS - Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Dog Management Plan): Public comment on the DEIS closes on April 14th. One of the Eco-Dog coalition members (Crissy Field Dog Group) has contracted with Tetra Tech, an environmental consulting firm, as well as with a lawyer who specializes in environmental, natural resource and land use issues. They are currently reviewing the DEIS and we will share their findings as soon as possible (we’re targeting mid-March) so that you can make more substantive comments on the DEIS.
On February 8th Eco_Dog hosted an information meeting for over 300 people at the SF/SPCA with presentations from SF/SPCA co-president, Dr. Jennifer Scarlett; Tetra Tech Senior Environmental Scientist John Bock; and Eco-Dog coalition member Gary Fergus. The purpose of the meeting was to explain the DEIS process, and how to make comments that cannot be ignored by the GGNRA. The presentations can be found in the Eco-Dog Docs section of the resource library.
The GGNRA project site which includes all of their documents, meeting notices, newsletters and other material related to this project is located at www.parkplanning.nps.gov. Select Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Dog Management Draft Plan/DEIS. From the project site, you can review the DEIS by selecting “Open for Comment” and clicking on the document name.
What can you do now?
· Read the DEIS Executive Summary on the GGNRA project site (only 24 pages!)
· Participate in public meetings
o GGNRA - March 5th 11am to 4pm: San Francisco - SF State, Seven Hills Conference Center
o GGNRA - March 7th 4pm to 8pm: San Francisco - Fort Mason, Building D
o (**Public rally, 5:30pm at the March 7 meeting)
o GGNRA - March 9th 4pm to 8pm: Pacifica - Cabrillo School, 601 Crespi Drive
· Submit written comment (via the GGNRA project site). There is no limit on the number of comments you can submit.
· Copy your elected officials
· Donate! We need funds to pay for the environmental and legal consultants (make a tax-deductible donation at www.crissyfielddog.org)
"Here's the latest news we have. At this point, the investigation into the 8/21 assualt on a canine at Fort Funston is ongoing. The suspect has retained the services of an attorney, as is his right. The United States Park Police is working with the Assistant United States Attorney's office on the case. Both the USPP and AUSA are continuing to gather evidence. We encourage eyewitnesses--and only eyewitnesses--to call USPP Detective Robert Reidy at 415-561-5148. We appreciate that there is strong interest in this case, and will issue media alerts there is new news."
Park Ranger, GGNRA: Ocean District
201 Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA 94123
For Immediate Release
George Durgerian 415-601-1620
United States Park Police have identified the dogwalker suspected of stabbing a fellow visitor’s dog Thursday afternoon at Fort Funston. Two people, responding to the USPP flyer describing the incident, positively identified the person, described as a 33 year-old white male. Pending further investigation, police are not releasing his name. At this point, the suspect is not under arrest.
The stabbing occurred at Fort Funston, a unit of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Thursday at 1430 hours. The suspect’s dog, an unneutered, white-faced brindle Pit Bull, encountered the victim’s dog on the Sunset Trail. The man is accused of stabbing the victim’s dog several times with a knife.
The Bank Swallows have arrived at Fort Funston! The best place to see these birds is from the beach – look for activity in the burrows in the cliff face, primarily in the northern section of beach.
Bank swallows actively defend nest burrows and the immediate vicinity, especially early in the nesting period. The Park Service has requested that we stay 50’ away from the base of the cliffs while the birds are here (they start leaving in July and all are gone by September). These birds are not endangered, but are a threatened species in California, mostly due to loss of river bank habitat in the state, and it’s important to protect all the breeding areas. Besides, they are great fun to watch – especially when the eggs have hatched and the feeding begins.
If you find an injured bird, you can report it to WildCare (a rehabilitation hospital) at 415-456-SAVE (day or night).
Fun Bank Swallow facts:
· At about 5 inches it is our smallest swallow. It weighs about as much as two quarters (coins) or 10-19 grams.
· Male, female and young appear almost identical.
· The swallow eats insects caught in mid air.
· A Bank Swallow colony may range from 10 nests to nearly 2,000.
· The female lays and incubates a clutch of one to nine eggs on a nest of grass, straw and stalks within these burrows.
· 3/4 inch eggs will hatch in about two weeks.
· Juveniles learn to fly at three weeks of age and are out of the nest by four weeks.
· It is difficult to categorize their lifespan, but there are two records of Bank Swallows living for at least nine years.
The information above was obtained or checked with “Birds of North America" (and provided to us by a local birdwatcher).