Recent posts, comments, etc

SF Park and Recreation Natural Areas Program Draft Environmental Impact Review

posted Sep 25, 2011, 7:07 PM by Linda McKay   [ updated Sep 25, 2011, 7:12 PM ]

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.


Coyotes at Fort Funston!

posted Jul 9, 2011, 5:04 PM by Linda McKay

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: 
  • Do not let your dog interact with a coyote.
  • Never turn your back on a coyote or run from a coyote.
  • If you encounter a coyote, shout, wave your arms, throw small rocks. The goal is to appear threatening to frighten the coyote away, not to injure it.
  • Carry a cane/stick, an air horn or a whistle with you on walks to frighten a coyote away.
  • Never let a coyote come between you and your child or pet.
Check out the SF Animal Care and Control site for other tips on coexisting with coyotes.

Friday July 8th - member update email

posted Jul 8, 2011, 7:49 AM by Linda McKay

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!


Thursday, June 30: Tell Congress We Need Their Help to Keep the GGNRA Dog Friendly

posted Jun 29, 2011, 8:56 AM by Linda McKay   [ updated Jun 29, 2011, 8:58 AM ]

Vacation’s Over!
Thursday, June 30: Tell Congress We Need Their Help to Keep the GGNRA Dog Friendly
On June 30, one month will have passed since thousands of dog lovers submitted our public comments to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in response to its plan to severely restrict off-leash dog walking and dogs from many areas in San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties. Let’s mark the one-month anniversary of the end of the public comment period by urging our federal officials to get involved on behalf of the thousands of Bay Area residents who want to preserve recreation for people—and dogs!—in the GGNRA.
TAKE ACTION: On Thursday, June 30, Phone, Email or Fax Your Members of Congress!
Please don’t let our members of Congress think our efforts to keep the Bay Area dog friendly are over! Phone, fax or email your Senators and Representative on June 30 to tell them we need them to get more involved in stopping the GGNRA from pushing through its anti-dog,anti-dog-owner agenda. Urge them to:

  • Demand an independent analysis by the National Academy of Sciences or another respected scientific organization of the GGNRA’s draft environmental impact statement/dog management plan. Environmental impact statements are supposed to be based on rigorous scientific analyses, not assumptions and anecdotal evidence.
  • Push the GGNRA to have an independent entity analyze the 5000 public comments submitted in response to the draft dog management plan. We cannot trust that GGNRA officials, who have dedicated the last few years of their lives to figuring out how to rid our recreation areas of dogs and dog lovers, will be objective in their analysis of the public comments submitted by the people who vehemently disagree with them. We need an independent analysis with full transparency!
  • Speak out publicly against the National ParkService/GGNRA’s bias against responsible dog walking as a viable form of recreation. 

Your efforts are making a difference. Listen to Rep. Jackie Speier express her disappointment with GGNRA in response to a Town Hall question.
P. S. If you didn’t have time to send the public comments you submitted to the GGNRA to your Senators and Representative, please send them now, as it is NEVER too late to be heard!
Endorsed by: Crissy Field Dog Group, DogPAC, Fort Funston Dog Walkers, Keep Muir Beach Dog Friendly, Ocean Beach DOG, San Francisco ProDog, Save Off-Leash Dog Walking, SFDOG
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Email: go to, scroll to the bottom of the page, click the “email me” button
Fax: (202) 228-3954
Phone: (415) 393-0707
Senator Barbara Boxer
Email: Go to, scroll to the bottom of the page, click the “contact me” button, then click the email the Senator link on the left side of the page
Fax: (202) 224-0454
Phone: (202) 224-3553
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
Email: Go to, hover over contact, then click on “email me”
Phone: (202) 225-4965
Congresswoman Anna Eshoo
Email: Go to, hover over contact Anna, then click on “By Email”
Fax: (202) 225-8890
Phone: (202)225-8104
Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey
Fax: 202)225-5163
Phone: (202)225-5161
Congresswoman Jackie Speier
(note: Jackie Speier spoke out against the dog management plan at her telephone town hall meeting this month. Go Jackie!)
Email: Go to, hover over contact Jackie, then click on “email Jackie”
Fax: (202)226-4183
Phone: (202)225-3531
Not sure who your Congressperson is? Go to and enter your zip code.
About the Authors: This e-mail is authored by Andrea Buffa and Arnita Bowman. We are people who enjoy the GGNRA with our dogs and are member of several Bay Area organizations that are working to preserve open-spaces for both on-leash and off-leash dog recreation. Please send an e-mail to with any suggestions for improving the "Call to Action" emails.
Cancellation: To be removed from this email distribution,please respond to with "Cancel" in the subject line. Thank you for your support in keeping the Bay Area dog-friendly.

March 5 2011 update

posted Mar 4, 2011, 10:23 AM by Linda McKay

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!
Rally Outside the GGNRA Open House Meeting


Monday, March 7, 5:30 PM


Ft. Mason Center, Building D

Marina Blvd and Buchanan Street

Bring: A photo of your dog, a sign expressing your message to the GGNRA (or just bring yourself)!

Sponsored by: Crissy Field Dog Group, DogPAC of SF, Ft. Funston Dog Walkers, Ocean Beach DOG, SF ProDog, Save Off-Leash Dog Walking in the SF Bay Area, SFDOG, and others

Directions: MUNI #43 or #28. Driving directions/map:
(free parking available at Fort Mason lot -- across from Safeway -- and Marina Green lot) Open House Meeting is in Fleet Room. Rally will be in front of the building.

Contact: Andrea Buffa, 510-325-3653
, 510-325-3653,




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 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 8pmSan 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

·           Keep coming back to the and websites. We’ll be posting weekly updates.

·           Donate! We need funds to pay for the environmental and legal consultants (make a tax-deductible donation at

Dog Stabbing update 8/28 (from the Park Service)

posted Aug 28, 2010, 1:09 PM by Linda McKay   [ updated Aug 28, 2010, 1:10 PM ]

"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."

George Durgerian

Park Ranger, GGNRA: Ocean District

201 Fort Mason

San Francisco, CA 94123

415-601-1620 (cell)

Dog stabbing suspect identified

posted Aug 22, 2010, 12:29 AM by Linda McKay   [ updated Aug 22, 2010, 12:30 AM ]


For Immediate Release

George Durgerian 415-601-1620



Suspect in Dog Stabbing Positively Identified by USPP


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.

New trail head signs posted by the Park Service

posted Aug 20, 2010, 12:12 PM by Linda McKay

Check out the new signs posted by the National Park Service (with cooperation from Fort Funston Dog Walkers, equestrians, and hang gliders) near the
hang glider launch area and the north-east "chipped" trail head.

Weeders working - watch out

posted Apr 23, 2010, 8:30 PM by Linda McKay   [ updated Apr 23, 2010, 8:34 PM ]

Volunteers may be weeding at Fort Funston on Thursdays in the fenced-off areas. Our dogs are very curious about these creatures who are sitting in the sand, so move your dogs along if you see this sign (actual sign will be green).

Bank Swallows have arrived!

posted Apr 11, 2010, 12:17 PM by Linda McKay

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).

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