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Bay Area Dog Owners Fight Impending Off-Leash Laws for U.S. Parks

Bay Area dog owners are concerned about an impending rule prohibiting off-leash activity in U.S. parklands.

In the coming months, the National Park Service is set to issue a draft rule that will not allow dogs to be off-leash on all but seven areas of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area land. A local group called Save Our Recreation traveled to the nation's capitol to speak up for dog owners who find it unfair.

“It’s not Yellowstone. It’s not Yosemite. It is an urban area," Representative Jackie Speier, who met with Save Our Recreation in Washington, told SFGate. "We superimposed a national recreation area on it and then started to slowly but surely exclude areas for people to recreate in it. That’s just un-American.” 

Save Our Recreation encouraged supporters to call in to KQED Forum on March 27, when National Parks Service director Jonathan Jarvis was a guest.

According to KQED News, Jarvis said the agency is considering how to "recognize and honor" the pattern of use in GGNRA land while keeping an eye out for protection and conservation concerns. 

"There are other people here that want to come visit, whether they are local or from Europe or Japan or China, that don’t necessarily want to have that experience with a dog off leash," he reasoned. "So what the park is doing is going through a dog management plan and a draft rule to establish specific areas within Golden Gate National Recreation Area where some off-leash dog use will be allowed."

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