This is the official transcript of the entire Jan. 23, 2001 Advisory Commission meeting.
Corrections, comments, questions? Write Editor, GGNRA WatchDog


Meeting of the
for the

Golden Gate Club
135 Fisher Loop
The Presidio of San Francisco
San Francisco, California

Tuesday, January 23, 2001


The meeting was convened, pursuant to Notice, at 7:30 p.m., Chairman Richard Bartke presiding.


AMY MEYER, Vice Chair

For the Golden Gate National Recreation Area:
BRIAN O'NEILL, General Superintendent
RICH WEIDEMAN, Chief, Office of Public Affairs



Call to Order

Approval of Minutes of 11/28/00 Meeting

Rescind 1979 Commission Pet Policy as Illegal and
Unenforceable (per 36 Code of Federal Regulations 2.15
requiring all pets to be on restrain in National Parks)

Chairman Bartke

Public Comment:

Statement of:

Gavin Newsom, Supervisor
Board of Supervisors,
City and County of San Francisco

William Saunders

Tony Hall, Supervisor
Board of Supervisors
City and County of San Francisco

Barbara Nanney, representing
Senator Jackie Speier
California State Senate

Susan Walsh, representing
Assemblyman Kevin Shelley
California State Assembly

Jake McGoldrick, Supervisor
Board of Supervisors
City and County of San Francisco

Tom Ammiano, President
Board of Supervisors
City and County of San Francisco

Aaron Peskin, Supervisor
Board of Supervisors
City and County of San Francisco

Ed Sayers, President  [ correction: should be "Sayres" - Editor, GGNRA WatchDog ]
San Francisco SPCA

Arthur Feinstein, Executive Director
Golden Gate Audubon Society

Leland Yee, Supervisor
Board of Supervisors
City and County of San Francisco

Joan Booth
Crissy Field Dog Group

Martha Walters
Crissy Field Dog Group

Mark Leno, Supervisor
Board of Supervisors
City and County of San Francisco

Jennifer Schwinn

Chris Griffin, Esq.
Crissy Field Dog Owners Group

Anne Farrow, Co-Chair
San Francisco Dog Owners Group

Karin Hu, Ph. D.

Wendy McClure, Co-Chair
San Francisco Dog Owners Group

Linda McKay, Chair
Fort Funston Dog Walkers

Gerardo Sandoval, Supervisor
Board of Supervisors
City and County of San Francisco

Laura Cavaluzzo

Kathy Roth, M. D.

Lydia Boesch, Esq.
representing Fort Funston Dog Walkers

Margory Cohen

Greg Hurline    [ correction: should be "Herlein" - Editor, GGNRA WatchDog ]

Richard Schulke, Chairman
Animal Control and Welfare Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Misha Weidman, Esq.

Linda Horning

Mildred Bollin

Christy Cameron, Esq.

Francine Podenski

Gary S. Fergus, Esq.
Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison

Louis Gwerder, III

Brian Irian, Esq.

Sheila Mahoney

Cindy Del Corto

Pamela Baldwin

Chairman Bartke's Motion

Lynne Newhouse Segal, J. D.,
Recreation and Park Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Charles Bonny

Jamie Hoff

Lisa Vittori

Andre Armand

Carol Arnold

Norman Buten

Jack Keating, Esq.

Christine L. Garcia, Esq.

Commission Discussion

Revised Motion


Commissioner Wayburn's Motion

Commissioner Alexander's Motion to Postpone

Commissioner Bennett's Motion to Postpone


Committee Reports

Presidio Committee Report

Election of Officers

Election of Chairman


Election of Vice Chair




7:30 P.M.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: I call to order the Advisory

Commission for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area

and the Point Reyes National Seashore.

We're really glad that all of you can come out

tonight, even if it's raining. Many of our meetings are

very popular, but this may be one of the most popular.

The agenda is on the desk out there. If you haven't got

one, you might want to pick one up because we have several

things on the agenda.

I'm told that there are still some people

outside who can't get in. Unfortunately, this is the

biggest building that we have, so I don't know what we

could do about it. But we want to continue with the

public process because this is the meeting that was

announced, and everybody is here, so we're going to go


The first item on the agenda is the approval of

minutes, and that was our meeting of November 28. Are

there any corrections or comments from members of the

Commission regarding the minutes?


COMMISSIONER WAYBURN: Mr. Chairman, just a

couple of them. The word "indicator" has been used

indiscriminately, I feel, and I can't move to do anything

about it at the present time. But I would urge that,

whoever puts these minutes together, not indicate so many


With regard to these particular minutes, on

page 4 there is a note in line 10 that I asked if a motion

had been made. I also asked that any such motion be

postponed to a later meeting because it hadn't been

scheduled, and you said that you would table any motion

that was made. I would like to have that clarified, what

I was asking about.

On page 12, line 7, the words

"...Superintendent indicated that the congressional

delegation has a full understanding of the issue," then

the word, "since," should be "...and they have the option

of influencing what deliberations occur on the fiscal year

2001 budget."

I ask that those be changed.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Okay. That correction can be

made. Any other corrections or comments on the minutes?







9, the item in which I am quoted as saying I also

discussed the soundwall. I would like to clarify that

because I realize that I used the term that mislead

people. This is in regards to the Mountain Lake Project.

What I had intended to say, what was in my mind, was that

I was requesting a look --

[Loud remarks from audience.]



look at a, at a berm, a planted berm, that would to absorb

sound and keep it from people who were using Mountain

Lake. I realized, afterwards, that what came across was

the idea of a concrete wall that would wall off 19th

Avenue. That is not what I intended. I would like that


Further down on page 9, I think we should alter

the language on the south towers of the Bridge. There was

some confusion in referring to the south tower. I think a

lot of people thought that what was going to rebuilt was

the tower, the south tower, that everybody thinks of. In

fact, what they were talking about, when they referred to

the south towers, were the piers of the approach bridges.




COMMISSIONER ALEXANDER: I think that should be



CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Change "towers" to




approach bridges.




COMMISSIONER ALEXANDER: Finally, on page 12,

in regards to the new business plan for national parks, it

wasn't that I only was trying to clarify that Point Reyes

was part of the pilot program, but asked, but I -- my goal

was to ask that GGNRA be part of that new plan.

I have a couple of other inconsequential

corrections that I'll submit to staff.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Anything further on the



(No response.)


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: They will be accepted with

those corrections.

I might point out, for those of you who haven't

been to one of our Commission Meetings before, that the

Commission Members are nominated by various groups in the

Bay Area, and appointed to conduct public hearings and to

give advice to the Secretary of the Interior regarding the

national parks in the West Bay Area. We're not park

employees. We do not get paid for this job. We are

citizens, as you are, with an interest in the parks.

Having said that, there's one other change I'd

like to make in the agenda, and that is down under item 4,

Marin Committee Tamalpais Transportation Report. There

are people here from CalTrans, from Marin County, and

other places, wanting to know if we have any comments on

their process. We have received a report from the Marin

Committee. Does any Commission Member have anything

further to say other than what the Marin Committee has


(No response.)

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: All right. Then it's the

sense of the Commission that the comments in the Marin

Committee Report can go forward, and the gentlemen who are

here waiting for that item can go home.


The next item on the agenda is the 1979

Commission Pet Policy. I'm going to try to put this into

something of context, or how it looks to me. I have a

friend who is a fighter pilot, who refers to OBE, which

means "overtaken by events." And I think that's probably

where we are.

The Pet Policy was adopted actually by the

Commission in 1978, but it's called the 1979 Policy

because, for some, that's when it was printed. It was our

effort to try to accommodate off-leash dogs in our park.

And we've continued that effort now for 22 years, but we

got caught, because that's not the law. Anyway, that's

why we're here today.

In late 1999, Golden Gate proposed a 12-acre

closure at Fort Funston to protect several plant and

animal species, and birds, and the dog owners protested.

There were negotiations, the Park Service offered a

compromise. That didn't work. And, so, two groups, the

Fort Funston Dog Walkers and the SF Dog filed suit. The

matter is not gone to trial, but there was a preliminary

order from the federal judge that the Park Service should

hold public hearings. The Park Service did hold those

public hearings.

[Loud voices from the exterior of the building.]

The last I have heard, which was as of

yesterday, the Park Service has made a motion to dismiss

the case because it's now moot. That motion is scheduled

to be heard on February 22, but there is a case management

conference scheduled for February 1, which could bring it

to a head even earlier.

During the past 12 months, this Commission has

heard from the dog walkers on four separate occasions. In

each case, we've heard from dog owners, how important

their dogs are to them. We've heard that the city has not

provided space for off-leash dogs, that the state and

county parks have also not provided space for off-leash

dogs. We've heard, at great length, and we're convinced.

The senior staff, in the mean time, from our

park, has met with the other land-owning agencies, such as

the city, San Mateo County, State Parks, to see if there

could be some place where this use could be accommodated.

First of all, you have to understand that our

Commission is only advisory. Whatever we do, we only give

advice. We don't run the parks; we don't manage the

parks. Nothing we do could change or abrogate federal


I think there's been some misunderstanding

about. People have thought that maybe this Commission

makes the rules; and, unfortunately, we do not.

[Continued loud voices from the exterior of the




unable to hear what you were saying, and I would like to

hear what you are saying.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Okay. I'll try to speak a

little louder.


COMMISSIONER ALEXANDER: I'm not asking you to

speak louder. I'm asking for a certain level of respect

for this Commission's work so that the Commissioners, at

least, can hear what you are saying because we are going

to be asked to act on what you are saying.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Okay. I'll go ahead with the

context that I'm trying to put the issue into.

At the end of our November meeting -- and many

of you may have been there -- a suggestion was made that

we delete the so-called 1979 Policy because we'd been

informed by the U. S. Attorney that it was illegal and

unenforceable. A couple of members of the audience asked

that it he rescheduled because they wanted to speak on

that point. And, so, tonight is the night when we have

scheduled it for people to speak on that point.

In the meantime, we've received lots of

letters. Thank you, those of you who wrote. Written

communications are always much easier for us to handle

because we can do it at our own pace. You can take as

long as you want to write. You can put all kinds of views

in there. We can keep them, we can copy them, we can mark

them, and we can share them. I went through the last 46

of them this weekend, and there are five points that

continually came up that I think ought to be clarified.

First of all, there seems to be a belief that,

because this was called a "recreation area" by Congress,

instead of national park, there is a different law

applying to it; and there is not. Congress has said that

all parks must to be administered by the same national

standards. And you must remember that Golden Gate was

brought into the Park Service not because it was in an

urban area, necessarily; but because of it's very rich

biodiversity and the number of listed species.

[Loud chanting from the audience outside the


In fact, in that regard, Golden Gate even

exceeds Yosemite. There also was a belief that this is an

urban park. It is not. An urban park is a city park or a

county park, and that's -- this is a national park that

happens to be in places abutting an urban area. There is

a great deal of difference.

The second point that was made several times

was that off-leash dogs are allowed in some other national

parks. And, as I understand it, the allowance is for

those weeks of the hunting season when the dogs are

actually being used for hunting and for which they have

purchased a permit in advance. So I don't think that that

is what you really want. Besides, Golden Gate is one of

the 335 parks that Congress has not allowed hunting in.

So it just doesn't apply.

The third is having to do with the transfer

from the city and the MOU has been mentioned.

[Loud booing from the audience.]

I'll tell you what we have from the time when

the transfer was made from the city to the National Park

Service, for those of you that may have missed it at our

last meeting.

From October 1973, we have the Voter Pamphlet.

We have the ballot arguments. We have Proposition F. We

have the endorsement of Willie Brown. From November 6,

1973, we have the vote results, which were 75 percent in

favor. We have the spending on the propositions, in which

Proposition F was the least supported, under $700 in

support; and, yet, it received 75 percent of the vote. We

have an April 29, 1975 document entitled, "Agreement." We

have a May 22, 1975 and a September 17, 1975 Deeds, two

deeds. We have a June 21, 1977 San Francisco comments on

the Golden Gate General Management Plan, and we have the

San Francisco Master Plan. In none of those documents are

pets mentioned, or dog walking mentioned.

The letters that we have seen referred to an

MOU, and what is it and where is it? We haven't seen it,

either. And I think what people are thinking is that the

MOU is actually the document which we have, which is

entitled "Agreement." We do have a copy of the Agreement

in front of us.

The fourth point is that Congress intended dog

walking in Golden Gate. Now, I'm not one of the

commissioners that went back and reviewed the records of

what Congress said on that point. But I'm told by those

who did that there's nothing in the record on that point.

The fifth is: The Code of Federal Regulations

can be changed for individual parks. I checked with the

U. S. Attorney yesterday and I was told that, yes, they

can, and that's found in 36 CFR 1.2 (e); but it cannot be

changed by the park for itself. The park, by itself, must

make a a proposal. It goes up the chain of command, which

takes quite awhile because it requires an Environmental

Impact Statement. This park did that a couple of years

ago on your behalf and it was denied.

So the question before us tonight -- we don't

need to hear from you again about how important dogs to

you or to us, because we know that. We don't need to hear

again about how off-leash dogs ought to be allowed in that

park because we've heard that. What we want you to do is

to join with us in formulating a public policy about what

we can do about it. What we want to hear from you is what

we can do, given the strictures within which we are


I'm going to begin the public hearing. I've

already received enough people signed up to last for a

number of hours. If everybody reduces their comments to

three minutes, it will still take a number of hours to get

through the ones that have signed up just with the ones

which I have in front of me, and there are still people

signing up outside. I will call more than one name at a

time so that those who are outside, or somehow not close

to the podium, can begin to work their way up. When you

get to the podium, speak from the podium because we are

recording this. Give us your name and, if you represent a

group, please tell us what group you're representing; and,

then, reduce your comments to three minutes.

Now the purpose of public hearings always is to

steer public policy. And, so, if you want to help us to

steer public policy, please focus on what this hearing is

about, which is: What can we do together to solve this

problem? We don't need a public hearing about the 1979

Dog Policy. That thing, we're told, has been a dead

doornail for 20 years. Well, we tried. But the question

now in front of us is: What can we do about it? What is

there that we can do? And, at the end of the discussion

from the public, the Commission will try to formulate

something, a plan of action, on what we can do to both

protect the park resources and to give you what you need.

Some people have asked to speak in advance of

others, and I'm going to call on those now. Supervisor

Gavin Newsom is here.





SUPERVISOR NEWSOM: Mr. Chair, Commissioners,

thank you very much for this opportunity to speak

tonight. It goes without saying that the depth and

breadth of concern is extraordinary. There are literally

hundreds and hundreds of people streaming in from the

parking lot as we speak. This has to have exceeded, I

imagine, Mr. Chair, all of our expectations in terms of

concern. It goes without saying I believe very strongly

that any decision you'll make tonight, short of making a

decision not to make a decision to reverse the 1979

policy, would be an extraordinary mistake.


In an unprecedented move, an unprecedented move,

the City and County of San Francisco did not pass one, did

not pass two, did not pass three, but four emergency

measures, yesterday at the Board of Supervisors, telling

you to delay tonight's vote.


I don't think that's ever happened in the

history of the City and County of San Francisco's Board of

Supervisors. That's a pretty extraordinary statement.

I have three resolutions in front of me. I

won't read them. But suffice it to say, one goes so far

as to suggest -- it's not a threat, but it is unanimous

consent at the Board -- that, if a decision is made to

remove the privilege, the right, of off-leash dog runs at

GGNRA, the City and County of San Francisco will take

action, looking back towards the 1972, '73, '75, et

cetera, to look at reversionary policy, the prospect of

taking back some subtle form of jurisdiction so that we

can maintain the right in the City and County.


Not only was that passed unanimously, those are

the words of the resolution, not mine. But I'm told that

the Mayor was desirous of signing these resolutions before

the Friday deadline because he, indeed, is supportive of

the spirit behind those resolutions, the words behind

those resolutions. So you have unanimous consent. That's

pretty extraordinary.


And I hope that, I hope that speaks loudly.

Look! I have only a few moments, and I appreciate

literally a thousand-plus people here that wish to speak

more passionately than I. But you've really got to take a

hard look at this. Don't make a mistake. Don't wedge

your relationship with the city by doing something that I

believe, very strongly, is unnecessary. That the City and

County of San Francisco feels is unnecessary.

Conservation? Yes. You've done an extraordinary job in a

lot of respects, but at what cost conservation? We've got

to balance the needs of the community. We've got to

balance the needs of dog walkers.


Without getting into too much detail, I do want

to make you aware, and I'm sure many of you are aware, in

a very small, dense, urban environment as San Francisco,

with 220 parks and recreational facilities, only 17, now

18, parks in our community allow off-leash dog runs. The

effect your decision would have tonight on the

neighborhoods of San Francisco is short of extraordinary.

It will have a prolific, a profound effect on the quality

of lives for thousands of San Franciscans. Not just the

150-plus thousand people with dogs in San Francisco, but

the thousands and thousands of residents that use our

neighborhood parks. Do not make a shortsighted decision.

Work with the City and County of San Francisco.

Collaboratively, we can do much more than by dividing the

community and by dividing the so many voices that are left

out of tonight's proceeding. I highly urge you to delay action. On behalf of

the City and County of San Francisco, we'll repeat the

mantra: This is unnecessary, and do not wake this

sleeping dog.

Thank you all very, very much.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Will the Supervisor accept a

question, please?

MR. SAUNDERS: I have a few comments here.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Excuse me, sir, you're out of

order. The Supervisor still has the floor.

MR. SAUNDERS: I have a suggestion here.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: You're out of order, sir.

Mr. Supervisor, did the Board yesterday

understand that it doesn't mean hardly anything whether we

vote for or against the motion? Because, first of all,

we're advisory; and, second of all, the U. S. Attorney has

told us that our policy had been dead for more than 20

years. Did the Board understand that?

SUPERVISOR NEWSOM: The Board understands that,

in our capacity of legislatures --


SUPERVISOR NEWSOM: -- in the City and County of

San Francisco, but your voice matters. By definition, it


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Let me ask another question.


SUPERVISOR NEWSOM: Tonight's decision sends --

you can send the right message or the wrong message. So I

want to hear --

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Let me ask about the message

that you send.

SUPERVISOR NEWSOM: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Our staff has been meeting

with your staff, and the other land-owning agencies. What

I would like to know is: What did the Board decide to do

to increase the number of areas that people can walk

off-leash dogs in this city, as most cities do?

SUPERVISOR NEWSOM: Yeah. We've had a task

force meeting for the last 24 months, and I honestly could

say, to the extent that we have failed, we have failed to

address this issue proactively. But to the extent that

you can exacerbate that failing tonight, it would have a

profound effect on the quality of lives of San Francisco

residents. You cannot, Mr. Chair -- and I'm sure you can

appreciate this -- redress the problems of the past. But

you have an obligation, I think, and an opportunity, to

fix the course for the future by making this advisory

measure tonight, loud and clear, that you will not tinker

with those failures of the past and set this appropriate

course. I would highly urge you to do so.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Well, sir, we will commit

ourselves to continuing to meet with you to resolve those

questions if you will commit your staff to meet us


SUPERVISOR NEWSOM: I'd rather meet you -- I

will meet on this issue. I will absolutely commit not

just interest, I will commit myself, my staff, and I'm

sure I can speak for every member of the Board, a very

newly elected body, that we all will commit to working

together collaboratively with you if you do the right

thing tonight. And that's the one condition. Please do

the right thing and we will work with you. That's an


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: We're now making some



CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Supervisor Tony Hall is here.

He is speaking next.

Sir, you're out of order. Would you please sit

down and take your turn.


MR. SAUNDERS: I have a suggestion. I have a

suggestion, for what it's worth. I believe that one thing

that concerns the Board is that someone will bring in a

dog, who is off the leash, and will bite somebody, and

there will be a suit against the Board, or rather against

the people who run the parks. And I have a suggestion to

avoid that, and that is to ask of everyone, who wishes to

walk a dog off the leash, to put in a card that states

that under no condition will they hold the Fort Funston,

or any other government groups, responsible for the

problems with a vicious dog. And under those conditions,

I believe that it would be much easier for people to walk

their dogs if they would put in such a letter.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: May we have your name, sir?


Supervisor Hall.




SUPERVISOR HALL: Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm

Supervisor Tony Hall.


Thank you.

I represent the 7th District in San Francisco,

which encompasses Fort Funston. Moreover, District 7 is

home to a number of dog owners who are outraged at the

possibility that this Commission might rescind the 1979

Pet Policy.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: You understand --

SUPERVISOR HALL: I urge this Commission to

refrain from eliminating the pet policy. At the very

least, you should delay your decision and consider

seriously the tremendous effect that such an action would

have on the surrounding neighborhood parks in San

Francisco. Dog owners currently have the ability to use

the GGNRA lands as an area to exercise their dogs and let

their dogs run free. If the Commission eliminates this

ability, these dog owners will be forced to utilize

neighborhood parks which, in turn, could create a problem

between children, who use the neighborhood parks, and dog

owners. The impact on the local parks will be


I would also like to remind the Commission that

the rescission of the pet policy would be a violation of

the National Park's obligations to the City and County of

San Francisco. As such, if the Commission does rescind

the pet policy, the City would have the right to exercise

its reversionary interest in the deed transferring Fort

Funston, Rodeo Beach, Crissy Field, and all the other

properties included in the 1975 transfer to the National

Park Service.

Please be cautious in your decision tonight, I

urge you, on your rescission of the pet policy.

Thank you.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Is the representative from

Senator Jackie Speier's office here? Yes. Would you come

up, please. She will be followed by a representative of

Assemblyman Kevin Shelley.






MS. NANNEY: Good evening, Commissioners. Thank

you very much for allowing me to speak tonight.

My name is Barbara Nanney. I am the Assistant

District Coordinator for State Senator Jackie Speier.

Senator Speier represents Western San Francisco

and also Northern San Mateo County. Fort Funston and

Ocean Beach are included in the Senator's district. She

very much wanted to be here tonight. I actually thought

she was going to be here, but there's an energy crisis and

she was unfortunately unable to come. She asked me to

read a letter this evening on her behalf.

"Dear Advisory Commission members:

"On behalf of concerned constituents, many of

whom are here in this room tonight, I

respectfully urge you to reject the resolution

before rescinding the 1979 Pet Policy allowing

off-leash dogs on GGNRA properties.

"As you will no doubt hear tonight this evening,

the potential closure of GGNRA areas to

off-leash dogs is a highly charged and

emotional issue. Thousands of dog owners have

come to depend on places like Fort Funston to

exercise their dogs on a regular basis. They

take their responsibility for their canine

companions seriously and cherish the experience

of playing with their dogs off-leash at

recreational areas such as Fort Funston.

"Members of dog groups such as SF Dog and Fort

Funston Dog Walkers take their responsibility

to care for GGNRA properties seriously as well.

Fort Funston Dog Walkers host a monthly cleanup

of Fort Funston and provide bags for dog owners

to pick up after their pets. I believe dog

owners have amply demonstrated their commitment

to maintain the cleanliness of Fort Funston and

other GGNRA area.

"As you know, the National Park Service

currently allows off-leash dogs in many

national parks across the country when those

animals are used for hunting purposes. In

addition, special regulations allow for

hang-gliding and off-trail bicycle riding. The

people before you this evening are asking for a

similar special regulation for their animals.


"Of the 1,500 comments received by the GGNRA

late last year regarding the permanent closure

of 12 acres of Fort Funston, approximately

1,100 were opposed to the closure. It is clear

that the majority of San Franciscans favor

retention of the pet policy allowing dogs to

run off-leash. I strongly urge you to listen

compassionately to their pleas and reject the

proposal before you this evening.


"Jackie Speier."


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Would you accept a question,



As I announced at the top, we're here to solve

the problem. And what we get from the letters from the

many people who are here, and who are not here, is that

one of the reasons for the pressure on the national parks

is that the state park does not allow off-leash dogs.

Would you please convey the question and suggestion to the

Senator that we would like her cooperation. If she is

asking for us for something, she has to meet us halfway.

MS. NANNEY: I can speak on Senator Speier's

behalf and say that she is committed to finding a solution

to this. I would just have to voice the comments of

Supervisor Newsom that she hopes that you will do the

right thing tonight by not rescinding your pet policy, and

she is more than willing to come to the table to help find

a solution to more off-leash dog areas for San Francisco.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Did she understand that the

pet policy has been illegal for more than 20 years?

[Loud booing from the audience.]

MS. NANNEY: Senator Speier has been briefed on

this issue by the National Park Service, and has been told

that. However, we also understand that there are special

regulations that can be created for individual parks, and

that is what the Senator is looking for.

Thank you.



CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Is the representative from

Assemblyman Kevin Shelley's office here?





MS. WALSH: Good evening, Commissioners,

Superintendent. My name is Susan Walsh. I'm here to

represent Mr. Kevin Shelley, the Majority Leader of the

California State Assembly. He represents the western half

of San Francisco, Assembly District 12.

I am here to urge you to take his written

statement submitted to you this evening very seriously.

And I'm going to read a short statement from him.

"I regret not being able to join you in person

tonight because of legislative work in

Sacramento. But I am pleased to express my

strong support for retaining the existing pet

policy for the GGNRA. I pledge that I, and my

offices, will do everything possible to

preserve off-leash dog walking for the health

and happiness of thousands of dog owners and

their pets throughout the Bay Area."


Thank you.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Now we're getting somewhere.

I have two more Supervisors who wish to speak. I have

Jake McGoldrick, and then Tom Ammiano.






Commissioners, my name is Jake McGoldrick. I'm a member

of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

I don't want to be repetitive here tonight.

Being myself in a position to hear a lot of comments on

various issues, I know that redundancy is something that

we'd all like to avoid. However, there is no redundancy

in the ability of people to their dogs and have them go

someplace to be able to run. Notwithstanding the fact

that you have something that you feel is a legal

obligation, I think that you have a social obligation

standing here before you, with all these people, and I

think it's very important that you take that first and

foremost into consideration.

As you know, and as my esteemed colleagues on

the Board of Supervisors have already stated here a few

minutes ago, we are considering, amongst other measures,

the possibility of excercising our right to be able to

take this land back, and I don't think we want to get

involved in that. So I hope you'll make a decision here

that will be very reasonable on behalf of the people here,

as you can see, who have a need that is far more important

than a provision you yourselves have to admit may no

longer be operative -- is obviously no longer operative

and should not be put into operation in this city.


So please do whatever you have to do to change

your rules and regulations, and please abide by what is an

overwhelming sentiment in this city -- I'm sure you will

all agree -- that there is very strong evidence here.

Thank you very much.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Do you commit yourself to

helping us find some place to have off-leash dogs?

VOICE: Repeat the question.

SUPERVISOR MC GOLDRICK: Excuse me, could you

repeat the question, please?

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Yes. You spoke about the

social obligation, as your other board members have done.

Do you accept that as an obligation of your own?

SUPERVISOR MC GOLDRICK: An obligation to try to

find someplace for people to be able to run their dogs?



think the first place for them to be allowed to run their

dogs is on the lands where they've been running the dogs

for nearly four decades. And I think you ought to deal

with that.

[Loud cheering and applause from the audience.]

I think what's very important is that there be

some opportunity for us to develop a cooperative

relationship, rather than a relationship here, which

obviously is not in the best interest of the people who

live around here, irregardless of what level of government

we're dealing with. We would be very happy, we would be

very happy to enter into a dialogue with you about how we

can accomplish what is a need for the people of the city

of San Francisco. We hope that you will, in good faith --

obviously, we will -- enter into that dialogue with you.

Absolutely. Absolutely.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: All right. Thank you.




CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Tom Ammiano is next.




SUPERVISOR AMMIANO: Esteemed members, I've been

on the Board of Supervisors for six years. In dog years,

that's 25.


I know that this is a particularly difficult

time for you, and I do appreciate your patience and

forbearance, but I think it's really time to listen to the

people. In New Jersey, we say dawg; and, in San

Francisco, we say off-leash.


We, on the Board of Supervisors, are under some

state and local mandates called Sunshine and the Brown

Act, which means that many things are discussed openly and

in public. And I think that had that applied to this

esteemed board perhaps we wouldn't be at this moment where

there's a line drawn in the sand.


I would advocate, I would advocate more public

discussion of issues, such as this, because now it's

coming across as very autocratic and draconian. As

Supervisor McGoldrick stated so well, it seems like the

dialogue has stopped and there's silence on one side, and

there's a lot of anger on the other side. And, if there

is anything the Board of Supervisors can do -- I know that

my colleagues are here, Supervisor Hall, Supervisor Yee,

Supervisor Newsom -- we are open to that. But it seems to

me that people have spoken.

PG&E talks about power and rolling blackouts.

There's another kind of power here and it's people power,

and it must be listened to. I implore you to listen to

it, and I assure you that I will help facilitate any

dialogue that is necessary so that there can be balance,

because balance is what it's all about.

Thank you very much.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: I have received a request that

Supervisor Aaron Peskin be allowed to speak.




SUPERVISOR PESKIN: Superintendent,

Commissioners, my name is Aaron Peskin.

I want to start by acknowledging and thanking

the Mother and Father of the GGNRA, Ms. Meyer and Mr.

Wayburn, for giving us this park, that we can have this

debate about tonight.


And Superintendent O'Neill, I've known you for

many years in my old capacity at the Trust for Public

Land, where, indeed, I helped you acquire lands that are

now part of the GGNRA.

In my 15 years in public land use, not in my 14

days in public policy, I've been involved in acquiring

lands throughout the Western United States. And I have

seen instance after instance where, under the enabling

legislation that created, say, Great Basin National Park,

where historic livestock grazing was continued to be

allowed under the enabling legislation. That human beings

and legislatures could make legal constructs that would

allow the kind of historic activities there to continue to

flourish. I know we can do the same thing here.

Let me add my voice to the chorus of voices that

you've heard from the Board of Supervisors. If, indeed,

we need to change certain laws in order to make urban

parks than the Yosemites and Yellowstones of the world, we

can do that, and this Board of Supervisors --


-- is committed to trying to bring the various

user groups together and make the legal constructs that we

need to make in order for us to continue to accommodate

what we all want to see at Crissy Field and Fort Funston.

So thank you very much. I look forward to a

constructive dialogue. I hope that you will not rescind

the pet policy tonight. I think, in the next three or

four months, we can bring the parties together and achieve

what we all want.

Thank you.


COMMISSIONER MEYER: Mr. Peskin, you seem

familiar with some aspects of the national parks. And I

want to, by way of question and just dialogue with you,

you may or may not be personally familiar with the section

of the law that we have been confronted with, as a board,

telling us that what we passed, as a recommendation, in

1979 did not, was not legal, was not either -- it was

illegl and unenforceable. And that section 36 of the Code

of Federal Regulations, 2.15 Pets, which says that a -- to

simplify it -- a dog has to be on a leash in a national

park. Now you have spoken of one way of getting at this,

which is to look into the future possibility of seeing how

this, you know, how this law, were it comes from and why.

But one of the things we are faced with is that we have,

at this time, lands in this park under the jurisdiction of

the National Park Service to which we are, as a

commission, only advisory. We have lands that are very

large for their habitat, for their ability to support in

this park the largest collection of rare and endangered

species of any park in the country.

[Interrupted by loud booing from the audience.]

So that, we have an unusual set of obligations.

VOICE: How many dogs are on the endangered


COMMISSIONER MEYER: The need to have dialogue,

I appreciate what you have said. But what we've heard so

far is city people, state people. I didn't hear the state

-- the state people sent aids, and no one wants to ask an

aid, well, what would you do in the state park system?

[Interrupted by loud booing from the audience.]

What would you do? Because it's not the

responsibility of an aid to answer. But the fact is that

the state has a system which does not allow dogs off leash

at all on the lands that are far more numerous than ours.

So if you are willing to participate in a dialogue, are

you willing to participate in a dialogue that crosses over

many levels of government, and also many different types

of users? Certainly, from the audience, we have a large

number of off-leash dog, or dog owners who would like

their dogs off leash. And we also have people who, for

other reasons, want to use the parks in other ways, or

have had some conflict about it.

We are under obligation to follow the direction,

as my chairman has said, of our attorney, who has told us

that what we have had as a recommendation that was used

for 22 years by the National Park Service is, in fact,

illegal and unenforcable. That's where we are.

SUPERVISOR PESKIN: Commissioner Meyer, let me

respond to that. And let me respond to that in the

following way, and let's see what everybody thinks.

I am the president of a nonprofit called Great

Basin Land and Water, which spun off from the Trust for

Public Land. For the last 80 years, the Pyramid Lake

Paiute Tribe of Indians, the cities of Reno, Sparks, the

counties of Washau, the state of California and the state

of Nevada have been fighting and litigating over the water

rights in the Truckee River. In 1990, under the

leadership of Senator Bradley and Senator Reed, all of

those various constituents came together and they put

something together that the United States Congress passed,

Public Law 101618 because there was agreement. And I

suspect that we can do the same thing.

Are there going to be some compromises? You bet

there will be. Will we continue the historic use that so

many people enjoy and that is so vital to so many people

in San Francisco, and throughout the Bay Area? Yes. Will

we protect some things that need protection? Sure. We

have to have that conversation and once everybody agrees

to it, we have to make it law. And, so --


-- Commissioners and ladies and gentlemen, I

have no doubt that your solicitor is giving you correct

legal advice. I have not doubt that the 1979 Pet Policy

was, you know, conflicted with, you know, other laws.

That's not the point. The 1979 Pet Policy really isn't

the issue. The issue is: We made the 1979 Pet Policy

because we wanted to legitimate what had gone on. And,

indeed, since that point, everybody from the Western

Regional Director, on down the line, has continued to nod

and wink, including the Superintendent; and, now, it's

coming home to roost and we've got to do something about

it. But it's a human construct and we can do it. I know

we can do it, and we want to do it. So let's do it.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Thank you, Supervisor. I

think now we're making some progress.



COMMISSIONER ALEXANDER: I have a questions, Mr.


Supervisor Peskin, you're my Supervisor, and I'm

very glad that you are. I think you understand the issues

here because you've been on both sides of this issue. I


[An alarm began to sound in the room.]

I'm going to pause while we find out if we have

a problem or not.

SUPERVISOR PESKIN: Mr. Alexander, you might

have to call me with that question tomorrow.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: I'm told that that is a false

alarm and there's not a need to evacuate, but you can make

your own decision on that.


SUPERVISOR PESKIN: Commissioner, go ahead. I

can try to answer.


[The alarm continued to sound.]

We are told, as you have said correctly, we are

told by legal counsel, who advises us, that the policy,

which was passed in 1979, long before I ever came on this

Commission, is illegal. I feel like I am caught between a

rock and a hard place on this. I am hearing from

Supervisors don't rescind. And I think what you and I

will agree is an illegal recommendation. I see that as

simply a procedural step. I am most interested in having

a dialogue on this issue. I think there are solutions,

but why is the procedural step, which simply, I think,

clears, clears some confusion out of here? The reason

this is all come up is that it was cited in a lawsuit

against the Park Service as a justification for keeping

the policy. We -- and, when it came to our attention,

that it was an illegal justification, we became obligated

to rescind it. Can we -- why can we not rescind this

policy tonight, and then move forward into a discussion

about the appropriate solution?

[Loud negative comments from audience.]

Aside from the symbolic feeling that people have

about it, as a substantive matter, would that help, would

that help us to start talking and working towards a


[Loud negative comments from audience.]

SUPERVISOR PESKIN: I think the answer is: No.

but let me tell you why the answer is no. The answer is

no because it's a bad way to start a conversation.


Don't misunderstand me. I'm not posturing. I'm

not being political. What I am saying is this: Look!

I'm sure that this piece of paper that has existed for 22

years may technically not be legal under 36 CFR 2.11.

That's not the issue; that's not the point. The point is:

How do we get Superintendent O'Neill out of a tight legal

fix by changing the law? That's the issue. And before we

change the law, how do we reach some agreement that

accommodates a variety of interests and preserves the

historical use of the beaches and all, and so many areas

that have been used by off-leash dogs.

So what I would say is this: Why don't we start

the conversation and propose how we might make things

different, rather than start the conversation by saying

we're rescinding this policy? So what? It's been there

for 22 years. Why not keep it for another year, or two,

while we figure it out?


Thank you, Commissioners, and good luck.



I'd like to move on now with out public hearing.

And, as I do that, I will do as I said before: I will

call two or three names in advance, and then --

VOICE: Supervisor Yee is here.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Yes, I know. I know, I know,

I know, but we have hundreds of people who have signed up

to speak, and we've got to get some order to this or we're

never going to finish. I think we've got enough sign-ups

to keep us here for seven hours. There are still some

people who have signed up for preference on the calendar,

and the next one is Ed Sayers.




SAN FRANCISCO SPCA  [ correction: should be "Sayres" - Editor, GGNRA WatchDog ]

MR. SAYERS: Thank you very much. I'm Ed

Sayers, President of the San Francisco SPCA, representing

95,573 members.


I just want to also reiterate our appreciation

for having a hearing, because hearing would imply

listening. And despite what we've read in the media, we

believe that, upon listening and giving due diligence to

what you have heard, you will allow user groups to work

with you, and contribute to the process of an equitable

plan for recreational activities in the park.

Our commonality with you is the love of these

spectacular natural areas and our shared concern for the

responsible stewardship. Through dialogue, we will have

solutions. But if the doors remain closed, we will have

only reactions, emotions, likely litigation, and no real


Off-leash recreation for dogs is a positive,

responsible, quality-of-life experience that, as you can

see from this turnout, from the media coverage, is an

experience that is deeply cherished. You, as committee

members, are representative of the life balancing that we

are all engaged in: Work and professional commitments,

family and school commitments, community and volunteer

commitments. So in the course of our 80-hour weeks, we

have this one hour of off-leash recreation with our pets

at Fort Funston or Crissy Field and it's cherished

exhilaration that resonates to the quality of life in the

Bay Area.


Many of us who bring our dogs to Fort Funston

literally have to spell Funston in front of our dogs

because they become so excited when the hear the magic

words, "Want to go to Funston?" The fact that we tell

them, the fact that we receive their joyous answer, is all

part of the passionate reaction to the prospect that this

exquisite sliver of our busy, overcommitted lives is going

to be prohibted if the pet policy is rescinded.


The Citizens Advisory Commission worked

diligently on that policy 22 years ago, and it has served

the community well for over two decades. We are fortunate

that we do have some of the policy's authors still serving

on the Commission. Today, the challenge we face is how to

modify that policy to address the user-group issues and

the responsible protection of the resources. Yes, there

are national implications and there are national

complexities to be faced in that challenge. But there is

significant relevance to all parks to learn from our


Off-leash recreation for dogs is not going to be

unique to San Francisco. It is going to be an issue for

hundreds of communities over the next five years. And we

not only get to address the complexities of our issues but

set the example for the rest of the country.


We are not fully informed on what the GGNRA

faces by its lack of compliance with the National Park

Service Guidelines, or the liabilities that arise from

that. But we can become informed through an inclusive

process, and I guarantee you will be amazed at the

creativity and the commitment of the representatives of

the dog advocates, as well as advocates of other

constituents that share the love of these park lands.

Inclusion with the community has been the

foundation of the success of the San Francisco SPCA.

Today, we are the only city in the world that guarantees

to save the life of every homeless dog or cat in San



It is a national model that is now being modeled

in dozens of communities around the country. When it

comes to animals, San Francisco will never be in alignment

with national policies. We will always be leaders in

shaping new policies based on empathy for what our animals

contribute to our lives.


Yes, the city of St. Francis, the city where

people leave their hearts, the only no-kill city in

America, is very special in its regard for animals, and we

should all be extremely proud of our compassionate


This is a hearing. Please listen carefully.

Please postpone your decision this evening. And please

accept our invitation to participate in a process with you

to create equity for all constituencies in the use of

GGNRA. We can be a team. We have a shared vision:

responsible enjoyment of these spectacular lands.

Thank you very much.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Thank you, Mr. Sayers. We

accept that invitation. Sounds like we're all on the same


I would like to caution people in the audience.

I understand your enthusiasm, but it's taking up a lot of

time. I was given a list of literally scores of people,

who are outside in the weather, who would like to speak.

So I'd like to move this along as fast as possible.

The next speaker is Arthur Feinstein. And after

that, Supervisor Yee.




MR. FEINSTEIN: Commissioners, I am Arthur

Feinstein. I'm the executive director of the Golden Gate

Audubon Society.


Thanks. I appreciate that, not the boos. Thank


Obviously, there is a lot of passion here, and

we've been involved in this issue for many years, as have

all of you. And it's not one that's going to have an easy

answer. But I am here to remind people that are more

things in this world than us and our dogs, and our

children. There are other living things that have been

here before we were here, and they deserve a little bit of

recognition, and a little bit of appreciation, and a

little bit of understanding that they, too, need to share

the same world that we do. And on these beaches --

[Interrupted by remarks made by audience.]

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: May I ask for your courtesy,

please. We're going to try to be courteous to everyone.

These are our neighbors and let's hear everybody out.

MR. FEINSTEIN: And on these beaches that we're

fighting over, there are critters that depend on them for

their existence. There are endangered species. There was

laughter before, but there really is. There are species

that have existed for thousands of years that are down to

the last hundred or two hundred that may just go extinct.

I think that, if this was not an issue that

you're passionately, individually concerned about, you

would say: Oh, wait a minute! I'm very sympathetic to

endangered species, but is it time to let that go? I

don't think so. I'm not here to say no dogs on the beach.

In the past, we've taken that position. I think looking

at this crowd and what we're hearing now, and the

pressures that are on San Francisco, there needs to be

discussion about how to work this all out. I think the

Supervisors --


I think the Supervisors have recognized that

they have an obligation to find some city parks where this

can happen so that the precisous resource that we have --

VOICE: Har-har. Har-har.

MR. FEINSTEIN: -- that the city parks take

their share of the burden of having off-leash dogs so that

there is less pressure put on places that have very

important, special natural resource values for species

like the snowy plover, and others, the bank swallows that

we're also concerned about, that have no place else to go.

There's only two bank swallow colonies in the entire --

[Interrupted by remarks made by the audience.]

MR. FEINSTEIN: Come on, Folks. I'm not making

things up. I'm just telling you the facts.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Excuse me. May we have your

courtesy, please.

MR. FEINSTEIN: So I'm suggesting that we do all

work together, but one of the goals -- and I'm glad to see

that a lot of the speakers previous to this have been

saying that, which is: We are all interested in being

stewards of our resources here at the National Park

System. And that stewardship includes saving some of

these lands, and I hope the majority of them, for the

critters that have no place else to go. And if the dogs

need, if there needs to be a compromise and some of the

lands on the national park lands be open to dogs, let's

work that out. But let's remember that there are the

critters that need their own part of the shore, and let's

not be greedy -- huh? -- because they don't have a choice,

we do.



Supervisor Leland Yee.





SUPERVISOR YEE: Honorable Commissioners, I

guess this is a rather heated issue, and so on. You know,

the test of leadership is how you bring people together.

And I think that what you have before you is an issue that

basically is dividing and tearing San Francisco apart. I

hope that, somehow in some way, that you will allow the

city to work with you to try to bring people together.

I think that one of the difficulties about San

Francisco is that we don't have a whole lot of real estate

to accommodate everybody's needs. I think that one of the

beauties of San Francisco is that some way and somehow all

of us have found a way in which can allow the different

interests of San Francisco to still have their say in this


The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed

unanimously a resolution that did several things: No. 1,

it asks the representatives on this body, from the Board

of Supervisors, to plead with your colleagues, and to ask

you to put this issue off, so that there can be further

discussion about the dog policy.

Secondly, it asks that the San Francisco City

Attorney look at ways in which we can somehow accommodate

the different needs so that we can, in fact, have a more

balanced approach to dealing with those individuals who

want their dogs off-leash, and those individuals who want

the dogs on-leash.

I think that one of the things that I have tried

to do in my capacity on the Board of Education and the

Board of Supervisors is, in fact, to find ways in which we

can, in fact, bring people together.

My heart goes out to you because it is an

extremely difficult task. But my heart goes out to all

those individuals who are behind me, and other individuals

that are outside, because they are asking you for some

compassion and for understanding. Somehow we've got to

find a way so that all of us can live together. It is

absolutely unacceptable, it is absolutely inappropriate

that somehow we will divide our community over this

particular issue.

A city that somehow knows how, got to somehow

figure out a way in which we can accommodate those

particular needs. Don't, tonight, close that door to that

possibility that all of us can walk out of this room with

hands together. You cannot somehow shut out these

individuals who absolutely need their place in the sun.

And, so, the Board of Supervisors want to work

with you. We are not in a mode of somehow fighting

against you whatsoever. You are part of that solution,

but we are also part of that solution. Help us somehow

come together for a final solution that all of us can live


Thank you very, very much.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: I'm going to ask again that

you hold your applause because it just takes up time. I

know that you're enthused, but the boos and the applause

-- this is not a melodrama, even though it seems like it.

I'm going to call the names of three people, and

please come up and speak. The first would be Joan Booth.

And, by the way, I'm reading your handwriting so I'll do

the best I can. Then Martha Walters and Jennifer Schwinn.

After that, then, I'll call some more.



MS. BOOTH: Thank you. I'm Joan Booth, and I'm

with the Crissy Field Dog Group, a very recently formed

group, which has come together remarkably rapidly.

I have something that I would like to leave, for

the record, which is an on-line petition, which currently

has 3,400 signatures on it, printed out as of this

afternoon, gathered in three days.


I'd like to make a very important point. Two

years ago, Mr. Bartke, you said that an appeal was made to

the federal government to grant a special legislation for

the GGNRA. I cannot believe that, if a similar appeal

were made today, it would not be looked on much more

favorably from several points of view. Firstly, you would

have behind you, if you would allow us to support you and

help you, all of the people in this room. You obviously

would have the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Two

years ago, I suspect you did not have the people of San

Francisco with you because you were -- we were not called

upon to join you. We would be now, and we would be

prepared to support you.

I speak for, I think, the people in our group.

We certainly would be prepared to support you and give you

all the help we can. We have 3,400 names here all of whom,

I'm sure, would be prepared to sign on to that. That's

not very many people, but the fact that they were gathered

in three days I think is very indicative of the level of

support that you would receive from the people of San


Secondly, and I speak personally against my own

political inclinations here, because I did not vote for

the current administration, however, I think that, guite

frankly, you would receive a more favorable hearing in

Washington today than you did two years ago from the

secretary of the Interior. The new administration, I

suspect, is more likely to look favorably on such an


Finally, I think the point is very important to

make, with regard to San Francisco and the special

qualities of this city. San Francisco is an exceedingly,

densely populated city. And to say to the dog owners of

San Francisco and the Board of Supervisors that we need to

open more off-leash areas in city parks is absolutely

true. If that's possible, we need to do that. However,

the thing that makes San Francisco as a densely populated

city, livable for many of us, is not the city parks; it is

the GGNRA lands, which are much more extensive and are

very special.


Those are lands, for me, as a dog owner -- I

have a Labrador Retriever. This is a breed that needs to

run, and a dog that needs to swim. These are not things

that can be done in the city parks. The GGNRA lands are

absolutely crucial to the happiness of my dog and to many

other dogs.

And, finally, I would speak to questions that

Ms. Meyer made with regard to state parks. Absolutely, we

would love to see off-leash areas in state parks. But

quite frankly, that is not a solution to the problem here.

Because those of us who take our dogs for a walk everyday

are not going to go to the state parks. We're looking for

places within the city, and that is why we need the GGNRA


Thank you very much.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: I'm going to ask, yet again,

that you hold your applause. I'm also going to ask the

speakers be careful to keep within three minutes.

Because, at the present rate, we're going to be here well

after midnight. I think all of us begin to lose focus

before that.Martha Walters, and then Jennifer Schwinn,

followed by Chris Grothe.

MS. WALTERS: I think her name is Griffith.


MS. WALTERS: Griffith. Also, Supervisor Leno

is here. He wanted to speak after I did, if that's okay

with the commissioners.



MS. WALTERS: Good evening, Commissioners. My

name is Martha Walters, and I'm speaking on behalf of the

Crissy Field Dog Group and of my dogs, Buddy and Jimbo.

I've had the great privilege of walking several

generations of dogs off-leash on Crissy Field for over 23


Tonight, I would like to address the issue of

banning dogs off-leash in the GGNRA, and, in particular,

Crissy Field. Specifically, I will maintain that it has

been the intent of the Park Service to incorporate

off-leash dog activities in the planning process for

Crissy Field, and that the Park Service and the Golden

Gate National Park Association have worked together to

implement these plans. Recently, I have carefully

reviewed the following Park Service documents that are

relevant to the Crissy Field issue: The 1994 Presidio

General Management Plan Amendment, the 1996 Crissy Field

Environmental Assessment, and the 1996 Finding of No

Significant Impact Report, or FONSI. There are numerous

citations in these documents that address off-leash

activities. Due to time constraints, I will give a brief

overview of these documents.

The Crissy Field Environmental Assessment

considered all of the environmental impacts for off-leash

dog walking at Crissy Field. Page 4 of the Crissy Field

FONSI states, quote:

"The Park Service will work with the SPCA and

dog-walker representatives to begin an active

education program as soon as possible. The

Park Service will enforce voice control and

clean-up requirements and will monitor the

results of these efforts."

According to Park Service personnel, the Park

Service has played a very active role in discussing

off-leash-dog-related issues at Crissy Field with a number

of city dog organizations, for the past several years. In

addition, Crissy Field restoration activities have

included barrier fencing around the dune fields and the

2-acre marsh to prevent dogs and other animals from going

into these areas. Clearly, the Park Service has favored

off-leash dog activities in feasible areas at Crissy Field

for many years.

I truly hope that we all can reach viable

solution soon and keeping the dogs off leash in

appropriate areas of the GGNRA.

Thank you.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: And you yield to Supervisor

Mark Leno?







SUPERVISOR LENO: First of all, let me thank you

very much for having these few moments to speak. I

appreciate very much your task tonight because I'm so

often in your hot seat. I just want to say, clearly --

and I'll try not to repeat anything that others likely

have said -- this is a very important issue. A very, very

important issue to my constituents and to all of San

Franciscans. We deal on a micro level what you're dealing

with on a macro tonight.

I've had ongoing meetings in my office with

those folks who are using, among the many parks in San

Francisco, Duboce Park, excuse me, Dolores Park and Duboce

Park, for a variety of purposes. Sometimes these purposes

cross each other and we're trying to work out some

reasonable solution to that. And I think that's what

we're trying to do here tonight: Work out some reasonable


When the voters of San Francisco voted for the

charter amendment in 1973 to approve the transfer of the

lands, they required that the deed include the restriction

that the property be reserved by the Park Service, quote,

"... in perpetuity for recreation and park purposes, with

a right of reversion upon breach of said restriction."

The deed itself contains the following

reversionary wording, quote: "... to hold for so long as

said real property is reserved and used for recreation and

park purposes."

"Recreation" is the recurring theme throughout

the enabling legislation. Throughout all of the enabling

legislation it's about recreation. And that was done for

a purpose, and I think that purpose was to include that

wording so we wouldn't have to be in a gathering like we

are tonight. When the first ever urban recreational areas

were created in the National Park System, it was the

Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the Gateway

National Recreation Area. The difference in the wording

of the statutes is telling. Whereas in the Gateway

National Recreation Area it speaks merely to preserve and

protect for the use and enjoyment of present and future

generations. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area

envisioned an open space that would be forever reserved

for recreation. Additionally, the land would be planned

and managed pursuant to public review and public process.

That is what was clearly intended, though this is what has


The closures at Fort Funston commenced in 1991

when 7 acres of recreational space were fenced off. This

was supposedly for the protection of bank swallows. In

1993, three additional acres were closed. Again, the

understanding was that bank swallows needed protection.

In 1995, 25 additional acres were closed and the same

reasoning was given. However, in each of these cases,

there was no public review and no public input and no

notice to the city, along with no Environmental Impact

Analysis. Now, in March 2000, the Park Service closed 10

additional acres.

A resolution that I introduced at the Board of

Supervisors yesterday, and approved by unanimous vote --

and I know that many of my colleagues have spoken before

me tonight -- states that should you -- and we really

truly hope that, for all of the reasons you will have

heard tonight, you will not rescind the 1979 Pet Policy --

we will have no choice but to begin taking the necessary

steps to exercise our reversionary interests in the deed

transferring Fort Funston, Crissy Field, and all

properties of the 1975 transfer to the National Park

Service, or to seek specific performance of the deed

provisions, specifically recreation and park purposes.

So I hope that you will please understand the

serious impact this will have on life in San Francisco,

within our neighborhood parks, because dogs are meant and

born to run. If they can't run in a park, they're

certainly not going to run in the streets. So we have to

make sure that they run in the parks.

Thank you very much.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Supervisor, will you accept a

question? Perhaps you missed the question that was posed

to your fellow Supervisors. During the past 22 years,

this park has bent the law as far as it could to

accommodate off-leash dog walking. During that period of

time, the city and the state have begun banning off-leash

dog walking. What we want from you is a commitment that

you will work with us to change that around and to make it


SUPERVISOR LENO: Without a doubt. That's why

we're here, to work together.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Thank you very much.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Now we're getting some place.

SUPERVISOR LENO: Okay. Thank you.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: This is Jennifer Schwinn, then

Chris Griffith, and then Steve Courlang.




MS. SCHWINN: Hi! My name is Jennifer Schwinn,

and I'm a member of the Crissy Field Dog Group.

We ask you to consider the large number or

people and dogs who lives will be negatively impacted

today if you rescind the pet policy. There are an

estimated 150,000 dogs in San Francisco, which correlated

to approximately one dog for every five people, and one

dog for every two households. Rescinding the pet policy

and forcing them to rely only on the remaining city parks

will cause tremendous overcrowding and create a

degradation in their quality of life.

I had a much longer speech prepared, but you

asked for suggestions. I think first and foremost you

need to delay the decision and cooperate with the city and

citizens of San Francisco, and the state of California, in

seeking a Part 7 Exemption under a new administration in

Washington, which is expected to be more amenable to such

an exemption than the past administration has been.

Secondly, I'd create a citizen task force to

work with you and support the exemption, and use the

petition we submitted tonight, which shows an overwhelming

support for off-leash dogs walking in GGNRA.

And, lastly, we ask you to change the

regulations to fit people's lives, rather than asking

people to change their lives to fit the regulations.







MS. GRIFFITH: Hi! My name is Chris Griffith,

and I'm an attorney. I'm representing the Crissy Field

Dog Owners Group.

What I wanted to talk to you about briefly was

this issue of the legality of the pet policy. I

understand that the U. S. Attorneys have informed all of

you that this policy is illegal and unenforceable. First,

I would ask you this: If it is unenforceable then why

rescind it? Why not wait until you have a complete

planning process and have talked to all these people here

today that want to help plan for these parks?

What I'm asking is that you maintain off-leash

dogs walking during the time period that you negotiate

with the city, and with other agencies, to develop a plan

that is workable for all. That you do not rescind the

policy tonight and put up signs tomorrow and start giving

out tickets.

The other thing that I would like to address is

this legality. And I want to say that the U. S. Attorneys

are just people like the rest of us, and they are

fallible. They do not make the laws, nor are they

ordained with the power to interpret them. And I beg to

differ with their opinion, as do many other attorneys in

the room tonight. The enabling statute for the GGNRA, as

I'm sure you have all read, says that this Board and the

management of the park is to preserve the public use and

enjoyment of certain areas, and provide for the

maintenance of needed recreational open space.

In addition, the federal law, the United States

Code that governs the National Park Service says that each

area within the National Park Service shall be

administered in accordance with the provisions of any

statute made specifically to that area. And this is not a

policy that it is against the law. It also says that the

Organic Act, which you might know is the act that governs

all the Park Service, all the park system, says that, to

the extent -- says that there are general provisions that

apply to the whole park system, and to the extent that

those general provisions are in conflict with another

specific provision applicable to a specific park, they are

not enforceable. And that is exactly what we are dealing

with here: a general regulation in the CFR that is

applied broadly to all of the parks and is in conflict

with the enabling statute for the Golden Gate National

Recreation Area.

As you all know, Part 7 in 36 CFR allows to take

care of that. I won't talk about that further, since I

think we've already talked about it. But I do want to

point out that the committee, out of this group that put

together the pet policy in the late '70s, recognized the

special needs of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area,

and they said:

"Ordinary guidelines outlined in the Code of

Federal Regulations do not really apply in an

urban area. People and their animals have been

visiting the park for too long to apply an

all-inclusive arbitrary policy."

And those are your words, this Commission's

words, not mine. So I ask you to delay rescinding the

policy until there is time for a careful and inclusive

planning process.



Steve Courlang is next, and then Anne Farrow,

and then Lindsey Kefauver. Are any of those three people


(No response.)

I've asked you to not applaud, please, because

it delays things. Steve Courlang, Anne Farrow and Lindsey





MS. FARROW: Good Evening. My name is Anne

Farrow. I walk at Fort Funston, and I'm the co-chair of

San Francisco Dog Owners Group. But I want to let you

folks know we did not bring all these people here; this

item on the agenda did.

I'm not going to repeat some of the things that

have already been said. The people who have already

spoken have spoken clearly what I wanted to say. I think

I'll just ask you a couple of questions.

Why, if the Advisory Commission was aware that

the pet policy was not the way to assure our rights, did

this Commission not go through the necessary legal steps

to be sure that an exception to the Park Service General

Regulations was granted? This, I think, is what the

solution is, is to go through the steps for a special

exception to the General Regulations.

Thank you.



I don't see Steve, so Lindsey Kefauver, Wendy

McClure, then Linda McKay. You're going to be Lindsey

tonight? Okay, tell us who you are.



DR. HU: I'm Dr. Hu. Many of you saw my last

study about the recreational use at Fort Funston. Today,

I'm going to talk about the recreational use of non-dog

places, like Lobos Creek Valley. Or maybe I should call

them doggone places. Because there used to be dogs there,

but now they're gone.

I'm a native San Franciscan, and I grew up with

Lobos Creek Valley literally in my backyard. After

school, friends and I, or just me and my dog, would go

there, out to the woods, out to the meadow.

How many of you visited Lobos Creek, anybody?

It's a pretty rare place, but it's beautiful.

There's gentle, rolling mounds of native plants. At the

entrance, there's a sign, with pictures of two rare

plants. Good photographs, clear photo. And it's

fortunate to have the photos because you might not be able

to actually see the plants unless you have sharp eyes.

You see, visitors are required to stay on the

constructed walkway to gaze out at the plants. It's

somewhat like a Disneyland exhibit. Actually, it's more

like Martha Stewart does native plants. I say that

because it's a habitat. It's not a restoration. It's not

at all like the original. The original is sand dunes, it

was sparse vegetation. The habitat is a plot of land,

fenced off, densely planted, a romanticized native plant

habitat that requires lots of busy hands to build and

maintain. Let's be honest. This is not habitat

restoration. This is recreational gardening.


Do I begrudge the green team this garden? No.

Even while I'm not allowed to bring my dog there anymore,

there should be a place for recreational gardening. There

should be a place for threatened and endangered species.

There is room enough for all of us.

It was also like Disneyland because it wasn't

like this when I -- it wasn't crowded. In fact, I was the

only person there. No one else in sight. This is amazing

in a city that has 15,000, over 15,000 people per square

mile. I was puzzled. Where are those folks who don't go

to Fort Funston because of all the dogs? I would expect

at least one of them to be at the Lobos Creek Valley. It

was a Sunday afternoon, the sun was out, the birds were

singing. The birding is excellent there. So, here are

the native plants, here are the birds, where are the


Subsequent visits have the same findings. No

one, with the exception of two boys skating on the

walkway, was seen.

I continued my search for these hypothetical

dog-fearing park visitors at Lands End. I went on a sunny

weekday afternoon. I saw fewer than 30 people. There was

one child. The majority of visitors were solitary men

enjoying nature.


Now, if you went to Fort Funston and you only

saw 30 people, you would wonder: Where is everybody? Are

they all at a GGNRA Meeting? Conclusion: Please stop

talking about those hypothetical thousands of other

visitors, the ones who are not counted because the dogs

have chased them away. They exist, but they already have

95 percent of the park.


You've squeezed us into smaller and smaller

places and now you want us to go. Please, don't kick

people out of the park.

Thank you.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Next speaker is Wendy McClure,

followed by Linda McKay, and then we have Supervisor

Sandoval following that.




MS. MC CLURE: Hi! I'm Wendy McClure. I'm

co-chair of San Francisco Dog Owners Group. My focus,

with the San Francisco Dog Owners Group, is advocating for

city off-leash recreation. I, personally, and all of us

in the executive committee, have worked very closely with

officials over the last 4 years advocating for more

off-leash use.

And, before I begin, I'd like to thank

everybody here that's a pro-dog supporter for being here.

The executive board of SF Dog has worked really hard to

get all of you here tonight, and we thank you. It's

overwhelming to all of us. But I'll cut to the chase


It's obvious this is an important issue. And

it's not just important for the citizens and for the Board

of Supervisors, but it's important to SPCA, Animal Care

and Control, the Police Department, for all San

Franciscans, Rec & Park. It's because it does impact our


Think about it. There's 750,000 people logged

in at Fort Funston alone; 87 percent of those folks are

accompanied by dogs. That's something like 652,000 people

that would impact the city parks if you close just Fort

Funston alone. And you can say to me: Big deal! It's

not your concern. But it is your concern because you have

been invited into our city numbers of years ago to take

care of this land that is our land, for our citizens here

at San Francisco. We trusted you, and you've betrayed us.


I ask you, I plead with you, to do the right the

thing. Do the right thing and uphold your agreement with

the citizens of San Francisco.

Thank you.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: We have Linda McKay and then

Supervisor Sandoval.




MS. MC KAY: I'm Linda McKay, chair of the Fort

Funston Dog Walkers.

I had a whole speech planned on what a Section 7

is; but, clearly, you understand it because it's been

discussed this evening. What I'd like to offer, you're

asking for solutions, there's several.

We turned out 1,100 letters just on 12 acres on

Fort Funston. I can guarantee you many people in this

room don't care about those 12 acres. I can't imagine the

volume of mail that you're getting on this particular

issue. So I'm a little surprised that a Section 7 Rule

was requested and that we weren't informed because we are

such a resource in that area. Can you imagine the volume

of mail that we can turn out to Washington for that kind

of ruling, and the cooperation you find with people when

they understand that you're working on our behalf to bring

something to us that's really, really important?

I have to tell you I'm bothered by the feeling

that you're the enemy. I'm not comfortable at all with

that, and I would really like to move past that with you.

So I think that you can definitely look to our support for


The other thing is that we have an organization

at Fort Funston. There's one formed at Crissy Field.

These are organizations that can do outreach education,

cleaning, whatever is required to make those parks more

usable for other people who are willing to do, and have

always been willing to do. We've been in existence since

1992, have monthly cleanups, and try to tell people what's

going on and educate new people. Unfortunately, we're the

only people doing that. Many people who come to the park

don't understand where the safe and dangerous areas are

because it's not well marked. So those are rules that

we're willing to play and will continue to play.

Thank you for your time.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Supervisor Sandoval has asked

to speak. He will be followed by Laura Cavaluzzo, Kathy

Roth, and then Lydia Boesch.




SUPERVISOR SANDOVAL: Good evening. Thank you

for the chance to say a few words. I'm a person of few

words, actually, so I will get straight to the point.

I urge you to not rescind the current policy.

In particular, I urge the members of the San Francisco

delegation not to rescind, not to vote to rescind the

current off-leash policy.

I think it's pretty obvious that you've got a

political problem on your hands. You could run for mayor

on this issue, and somebody will.


No, but seriously. It's bad public policy, and

you know that, and you can tell that by the amount of

people who are here tonight. It no way gives you an idea

of the amount of people who have e-mailed and have called

and have written and have come by the office. And, so,

it's a small fraction, especially since it's raining. You

know you've got a problem here. You got so many people.

So, again, I would just ask you to not rescind

the current policy. I think we all need to work better.

We need to work together, and we need to look for another

solution that meets everybody's needs.

Thank you very, very much.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Supervisor, just as an aside,

more than one of us on this Commission has been a mayor,

and we don't want it again.


I asked your other Supervisors, who were here

earlier, and I'll ask you: During the last 22 years,

we've bent the law as far as we could to accommodate

off-leash dog walking. During that same period of time,

the city and the state restricted off-leash dog walking.

Will you do what you can to reverse that?

SUPERVISOR SANDOVAL: You're asking me if I'll

make a tough choice to rescind the city's policy, and yes;

I will.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: I think the name is Kathy

Roth, and then Lydia Boesch. Oh, no, Laura Cavaluzzo.

Laura? She's coming up. Then Kathy, I think it's Roth,

and Lydia Boesch.



MS. CAVALUZZO: Commissioners, Superintendent,

my name is Laura Cavaluzzo, and this is my third time

standing before you to express my thoughts on this issue.

I've spoken about the physical, mental and

societal benefits of off-leash recreation and how very

much the Golden Gate National Recreation Area means to my

quality of life. I've skewered the National Park

Service's Fort Funston bank swallow protection plan using

research and words of the government's own scientists.

And my statements, and those of thousands of my fellow San

Franciscans, have apparently made no impact on you at all.

So this time, rather than try to tell you anything, I'm

going to ask you some questions, instead, and I'll be very

interested to hear any answers you might have.

How can you call our off-leash dogs an

environmental threat after what the Park Service itself

has done to our beach at Crissy Field?


How can you recommend our banishment from Fort

Funston under the guise of eco-preservation while

sanctioning the bulldozing of habitat at Fort Baker to

build a hotel?


How can you call yourselves a citizens Advisory

Commission when some of you are former employees of, and

most of you are appointed by, the very department you're

supposed to be monitoring?


How can you claim to be a liaison between the

citizens and the Park Service when you blithely dismiss

the needs and concerns of thousands of citizens without so

much as word of explanation?


How can you say that off-leash recreation is

illegal in national parks when 45 national parks allow

dogs off leash for the purpose of hunting?

How can you say that the 1979 Pet Policy was

never enforced when letters from Park Service Regional

Director Stanley Albright to Senators Cranston and Seymour

confirms that it was the guiding policy on these lands as

recently as 1992?

And finally, why, when this policy has been in

force for more than 20 years, are you suddenly in such a

rush to rescind it?


When we gave the National Park Service our

beaches and bluffs, the citizens of San Francisco were

promised that our recreational access to these lands would

be protected. Instead, the Park Service has taken the

recreation out of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area

and replaces it with artificial native habitats we must

look at from behind fences; hotels in which we have no

need nor desire, nor the wherewithal to stay; and trails

and beaches we can not enjoy with our dogs. Your job was

supposed to be to insure that this kind of abuse never

happened. If you can't or won't do that, we, the citizens

of San Francisco, request that you step down.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: The next speaker is Kathy

Roth, then Lydia Boesch.



DR. ROTH I was going to stand here and talk, as

a medical doctor, about the mental and physical health

benefits of walking your dog, the exercise you get from

it, the social interaction, and the health benefits of

owning a pet. It doesn't sound like that's really the

thrust of what's going on tonight. So, instead, I'm going

to stand here as an environmentalist.

I've been an environmentalist for many years. I

care passionately about native plants and birds, and I'm

usually on the other side from the user groups. I think

that this user group is a little different. We don't have

any concessionaires. It's not like the jet skis in Lake

Tahoe, or in the national parks. There's nobody making

money off what we do. There's nobody selling gasoline

over it. We don't have a manufacturing group with a

lobby, or any of that.

There's a lot of people who took time out from

their busy lives to stand here tonight, and it just seems

to me there's a lot of land, all of San Mateo County, all

the Golden Gate lands in Marin, and all of Point Reyes,

where dogs are not allowed off leash. It seems that

somewhere in that stretch of coastline there must be a

place where dogs can run off leash in a significant amount

of space that's not right where the endangered species




CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Lydia Boesch will be followed

by Margory, looks like Cohen; and, then, Greg Hurline.





MS. BOESCH: Hi! My name is Lydia Boesch, and

I've had the extraordinary pleasure and privilege this

past year of representing the dog walkers at Fort Funston

in all of this controversy. It has, indeed, been the most

fun case I've ever worked on in my life.

I've wrote a speech, too. I'm not going to say

it. But one thing I do want to give you, first, is when

Leland Yee left here, he was accosted by the hundreds of

people outside, and they gave him these tablets, these

posters, that they signed because they couldn't get in.

We've gone through and done a rough count, and there's 600

signatures on here.


They need to be a part of the record, but I want

to make good and sure that, to whomever you ask me to give

them to, you know, we make an accounting of them and that

they're safe.

You know, the one thing I want to say is that,

as an attorney for these people, I have studied the

statute. I have studied the regulations. I have studied,

I have studied your internal policies. I have studied

what the Department of Interior said. I have studied the

documents with the transfer from the city. I know this

stuff inside out, and I respectfully disagree with any

opinion you're getting that says that off-leash dog

walking is illegal at Fort Funston. It absolutely is

legal. Every authority I can find says that it is a

legal, accepted activity at Fort Funston, and we've got to

deal with that. And we are here -- you know, you are here

as our citizens Advisory Commission, and you're here to

work with us. And, so, you know, please don't just listen

to what the U. S. Attorney or Solicitor tells you because

there is more than ample authority to support this as

being a legal activity.

Like Linda McKay, we don't want to view you as

the enemy. You know, the last year, when this lawsuit

started, I went to Amy's house to deliver a letter. We

really were trying to work this out with you guys. Amy

told us that if we went to court, if we went to the media,

then you guys would rescind our off-leash dog walking

privileges. And, Amy, I don't know if you realize it, but

that's -- Amy, I confirmed it in writing. And, to me,

that's a violation of our fundamental, constitutional



You know, I'm not saying that for the truth of

the matter asserted. I'm saying it because we have seen

that. We feel like you guys are against us, and we don't

want you to be against us. We want to work with you. And

I think you can see, from this, from this, there is ample

support, there's ample enthusiasm for this issue.

Thank you for listening and please be willing to

work with us, as we get through this.


COMMISSIONER MEYER: I think there's a matter of

truth here. What I told you was: If this case of the

Fort Funston, what has become the case of the Fort Funston

Dog Walkers, came to a level of attention which brought in

the U. S. Attorney and the media, and it came up to that

level, you would probably lose the whole thing. This is,

in fact, what has happened: That the U. S. Attorney said

that what we had passed as a recommendation in 1978 is

illegal and unenforceable.

What we started this meeting with, but it could

hardly be heard in the noise here, was that the policy

recommendation we made is not here. It's gone.

MS. BOESCH: But, Amy, it's been -- you know,

all of that was premised, and I'm sure you recall that,

when you had the hearings back then, you said it's because

walking dogs here, I mean, that works in an urban setting,

but the general regulations didn't apply in an urban

setting. And we agree with that and we're just trying to

go from there to where we need to go. We think a Section

7 special reg is exactly what we need to do. But let's

talk about it and let's work on it. Let's just don't let

this be a one-sided thing.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Okay. Let's move on with the

public hearing. Thank you very much. We'd like to

receive those legal authorities because we have not

received them yet.

I think the name is Margo --

MS. COHEN: Margory Cohen.



CHAIRMAN BARTKE: And then Greg, and I can't

read this one, Hewlitt, Hurline, and then Janet Harrison.

I can read that one. Okay, go ahead.


MS. COHEN: My name is Margory Cohen. My

residence is in San Francisco with two Scottish Deer

hounds. My dogs have appeared in the opera, on stage with

ACT. I have professional dogs. I'm a writer, a trainer,

a handler.

The fallout from the lack of off-lead, safe

recreation is huge. Walking off-lead with a dog is

American as apple pie and motherhood. The idea that we

would spend as much time as we do driving cross town to go

to this land to walk with the dogs off lead, safely, and

then not take care of it, is a misunderstanding. I'm

touch with trainers and other dog writers, vets, and

people in the business throughout the country.

In New Jersey, there are towns where it's not

legal to walk with your dog in the town square. It

horrifies me to think that, if a the leash law is imposed

in San Francisco, that will happen here. Because, really,

what the no-dog signs are saying is no people. The person

who walks alone on the beach is safe with a dog. A woman

alone isn't safe on the beach. A man is open to assault.

Anyone who has a service dog will also be denied access to

the beach.

I extend my card to you. I'm available to you,

to the Supervisors. I'm ever available to meet with you

as a private individual, as someone whose life is

completely involved with dogs professionally and


So come with me and my dogs as we look at the

land, and -- you know, God has -- you know, there's an

Indian tribe where they talk about the Great Traveler

coming to the earth and walking along, and he made the

rivers and the trees, and all of this that you want to

protect. And when he came, he came with a dog. God had a


If you put that sign on the beach, even the

Great Traveler couldn't walk there. So, here's my phone

number. I'm up for you.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Thank you very much.

Greg Hurline, Janet Harrison and Misha Weidman.


GREG HURLINE  [ correction: should be "Herlein" - Editor, GGNRA WatchDog ]

MR. HURLINE: My name is Greg Hurline, and I'm a

computer consultant form Cow Hallow.

My wife and I have a dog named Sophia. The

nature of my job and the fact that I work from home

restricts my social life quite a bit. Instead of going

out for a drink or dinner with my coworkers, my wife and I

take our dog out for extended walks. We use Crissy Field

in the Presidio four or five times a week. This gives my

dog a chance to exercise and socialize with other dogs,

and my wife and I get to talk with other people out

walking and enjoying our wonderful scenery. Being able to

enjoy the GGNRA, with out dog off leash, is a major

quality-of-life issue for us.

I was planning to tell you more about the

socializing aspect of our dog walks, for both humans and

dogs, and about how important that is. But as evidenced

by recent quotes from both the GGNRA and some members of

this Commission, you've evidently already decided to

ice-pick the 1979 Pet Policy. Presumably, you've taken

this position because the GGNRA lawyers have told you that

it's illegal. Presumably, this sudden reversal of policy

has nothing to do with the fact that local dog friends

held the GGNRA accountable for its Fort Funston closures

without appropriate public notice. Presumably, this

closure is a result of the increased number of dogs and

people using GGNRA lands, as evidenced by a quote of the

National Park Service ranger on television last night.

I hope we've dispelled some of these

presumptions tonight. Hopefully, you've listened, as our

lawyers described the legal basis for retaining the pet

policy. Hopefully, you've listened as we've described the

specific procedure for how federal law and the pet policy

can happily coexist.

Hopefully, you've listened to the City Board of

Supervisors, who unanimously passed a resolution

yesterday, asking you all to delay a recommendation until

there is sufficient time for the city to participate in

the policy evaluation.

Hopefully, you now understand that a Memorandum

of Understanding, which has not been found despite

references to it and despite multiple Freedom of

Information requests, still is out there and we don't know

the specific details of the binding legislation that

regards the transfer of land to the GGNRA.

Hopefully, you've listened to the other dog

friends here tonight, and the dog friends yet to speak,

who have asked you to work with us to preserve a policy

that has worked for over 20 years.

However, if you haven't listened and you do vote

to rescind the pet policy, then let me make you familiar

with a saying that's made its way into common use. Dog

friends know all to well what it means to hound something.

My dog, Sophia, hounds me everyday when she thinks it's

time for her to go out for her walk. Ladies and gentlemen

of this Commission, members of the National Park Service

who are here tonight, we will hound this issue. We will

hound this issue through the legislative process. We will

hound this issue through the political process. We will

not go away; we will not lie down. We will not go on


Thank you.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Janet Harrison, then Misha

Weidman, followed by Patricia La Cava.

Listen! We have literally hundreds of people

who have signed up. So please stop the applause and let's

get on with the public hearing. These are your neighbors

and they want to speak as much as you do. So let's get

with Janet Harrison, Misha Weidman, and then Patricia


MR. SCHULKE: Pardon me, for jumping in. I'm

Richard Schulke, and I'm the City Animal Commissioner for

San Francisco. And I'm also an insulin-dependent

diabetic, and I don't know how much longer I signed up on

the list I would be able to hang in here. I was hoping

folks wouldn't mind if I jumped in. I would be very







MR. SCHULKE: Thank you.

Very quickly, Commission Chair, Superintendent

O'Neill, Commissioners, Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is

Richard Schulke, and I am currently the chairperson of the

San Francisco Animal Control and Welfare Commission. I'll

keep my remarks brief.

I'm here to speak to you today about the

incredibly outraged community of San Francisco

constituents who are concerned with the impending changes

at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. I have

never, in 8 years, heard so many absolutely both livid and

extremely concerned folks, seniors, children, people who

have AIDS and other chronic diseases, and just regular

folks, who have literally begged me to try and convince

you to hold off on the decision to rescind the '79 Pet

Policy, which will result in making the GGNRA lands, which

were donated by San Francisco citizens, not available to

any off-leash dogs, even in areas such as Fort Funston, in

which generation after generation after generation of

folks have let their dogs run and romp in the joy and

exuberance that all dogs need to experience. Not to

mention the devastating and crushing effect this will have

on our city parks and designated off-lease areas of all

the dogs that use the GGNRA off-leash area are suddenly

forced to use the municipal areas instead.

The current pet policy is not, perhaps, the best

or legal policy available, but it has allowed the

coexistence of urban animals and wild animals in the

recreation area. And, believe me, I know how incredibly

difficult it is to serve on a citizen volunteer Advisory

Commission, with many different groups demanding your

attention and your conscience. But I fervently hope that

you will delay this decision tonight until, at the very

least, continuing to confer with the San Francisco city

officials, members of its Board of Supervisors, and user

groups who represent the San Francisco citizenry. Either

way, I respect the difficult job you have before you, and

I will respect whatever conclusion you come to. Even

though I will probably have to work with all my heart to

overturn it by any legal means necessary.

I would hope that the GGNRA would be willing to

work with San Francisco in finding a policy that protects

the animals that use the GGNRA, as their habitats, and

still allow access to its urban neighbor animals. San

Francisco is the city that knows how. Please work with us

to find a way how that allows for all animals to enjoy

this recreation area.

I thank you for your time.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Janet Harrison? I've called

that name about three times. I don't see her.

Misha Weidman, Patricia LaCava.



MR. WEIDMAN: Hi! Actually, I'm Misha Weidman.

I speak on behalf of my wife and my two 13-month-old

children, and my dog, Kit, which I rescued from the SPCA

about five years ago, and that is very important to our


Like many people tonight, I had a speech, which

was going to talk about the importance of dogs and

balancing all the interests that I know you folks have to

do, and I'm prepared to throw it out. One of the reasons

why I'm prepared to throw it out was because, Mr. Bartke,

when you started this meeting, I thought you gave a very

considered and dispassionate discussion about what the

issues were. And it also seemed to me that you were

asking genuinely for help. And the impression that I got

from that was that you, in fact, supported the position

that the other people here are taking.

I should add one other thing, too; and that is:

This is the first time I've spoken or really being

involved in any public issue. That's how important it is

to me. I don't profess to know all of the ins and outs of

the political or legal machinations, but I thought your

summary was very useful, and I took it as stated.

So I'm a little bit confused. Because, on the

one hand, as I said, I got the impression that essentially

all of you understood the problem. You understood the

importance of dogs and you were looking for a way to

essentially implement what obviously all of us want. At

the same time, over the course of the hearing, I detected

what seemed to me to be some hostility on the part of the

board members to other political functionaries who came up

and talked, specifically, the Supervisors from San

Francisco. And the hostility -- and perhaps that's an

unfair word, revolved around the fact that there weren't

other off-leash parks that were available in San

Francisco. But, surely, you can't be suggesting that the

fact that that is also a problem somehow legitimates a

policy of off-leash -- of only on-leash dogs or banning

dogs at Fort Funston.

So that's the reason for my confusion. I would

also like to ask, respectfully ask, the board a question;

and that is: Forget the law, for a moment. Do you

support off-leash dogs at Fort Funston? And it's not a

rhetorical question. I'm asking it earnestly.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: I'm afraid we don't have the

authority to make that kind of decision.

MR. WEIDMAN: Okay. So fair enough. I

understand. I understand, in that case, but I'm

disappointed by the lack of an answer. But I do

understand that you're an advisory board. You've asked

for help in what you can do. I have some suggestions in

that case.

The first thing is do nothing. No one has a gun

to your head. It seems to me that that is the first thing

that you could do. The other thing is that you are not

subject to fines or imprisonment. I don't think that the

U. S. Government is telling any of you that they're going

to lock you up, or fine you, if you simply fail to change

the law and you choose not to enforce any legal law.

The third thing is that, if you really do

understand what people have been telling you tonight, then

what you should do is try to actively support something

that I believe you all know is right and reasonable. I

certainly support reasonable restrictions on dog use at

Fort Funston, if there needs to be. And I may be

unpopular for saying this, but if there needs to be

seasonal closures to protect the bank swallow, I would

certainly respect that. But I don't need to repeat what

everyone else has said here about the importance of this

facility to many, many people in San Francisco.

Finally, what you could do is, frankly, resign

in protest, rather than enforcing, rather than enforcing a

law that is really totally unfair.

Thank you very much.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: The question was asked whether

we understand what you're saying, and I think that we do.

But I think, perhaps, something that I said at the top did

not get understood; and that is: This Commission, we're

citizens, we're volunteers. We don't get paid. We're not

park employees. We have no employees. We don't enforce

the regulation.

The only thing that was on our agenda is that,

22 years ago, we attempted to help you by creating a

policy that was a recommendation to the staff. We've been

told, since, under the gun to our head of a federal judge,

who said that policy is illegal; and, therefore, we said:

Okay, we shouldn't have it on the books if it's not legal.

I've been given only one brief from, or on behalf of

off-leash dog walkers. I checked out all those

authorities. I'd be happy to receive the ones mentioned

by Lydia Boesch because I'm not familiar with those.

But you should understand that we are advisory.

We don't run the parks. And whatever we do tonight is

simply going to be advice to the park staff. Now, have we

got that?

[Audience responds.]

COMMISSIONER SPRING: Patricia LaCava is next,

and then Hiedi Zombroni, followed by Mildred Bollin. Are

any of those three people here? If you are here, would

you make your way up to the podium. Meanwhile, I'll call

some more names and see if more people are here. Christy

Cameron, Linda Horning. Any of those here? Siabhan Ruck?

Judy Walsh? Are any of those people here?

Who are you?



MS. HORNING: My name is Linda Horning. And

actually, everybody has been so eloquent I was thinking

about forfeiting my time, but I did sort of want to say


You guys have sort of been portraying yourselves

as these really ardent environmentalists. And, in a way,

I really, I really respect you for it. I want someone who

is sort of working on the branch of the government to be

like you, to be sort of tough and do what you think is

right. But I think that you have, you have gone about

this whole thing in a sort of sneaky way, and there's been

this polarization thing that has not been helpful. And

I'm, in a way, kind of happy to see, tonight, that we've

sort of turned this into a love fest.

But I want to say something, since you are all

on this committee, and you're all going to be having a

voice about this. And I think that you've received some

misinformation, and I hate to put too fine a point on it.

But about those bank swallows, they've been referred to as

an endangered species. You've heard many times how the

dogs or the dog walkers are ruining the habitat. But do

you remember the storms of the last few years?

I don't know if any of you have actually been

down to the base of those cliffs. Around 300 yards away

from where the bank swallows have their little nesting

places, there was a parking lot that got washed away in

the storm. The cliffs that the bank swallows live in are

falling down. The surf is causing them to collapse. It's

not the people; it's the water. It's the storms. You can

go there on any day and every week a new portion of that

has collapsed. And I feel, you know, I mean, if I was

living in a house and my house started collapsing around

me, I would move. I would think: Hey! Maybe this isn't

such a great place.

In all seriousness, I think this is part of the

picture, and I just want to make sure that that gets put

into your minds. You know, when you think about these

endangered birds, this is part of why they're endangered.

Not by dogs that bite. The natural environment.

Thank you.



MS. BOLLIN: Bollin. Am I next?

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: I lost my place. Mildred






MS. BOLLIN: Good evening, Commissioners. My

name is Mildred Bollin, and I'm a resident of San

Francisco, and a recreational user of Fort Funston and

Crissy Field.

I have a large rescue dog that is both companion

and a source of security, for me, as a senior citizen, who

lives alone. My dog, Sadie, requires exercise. As a

large Dobie, she needs to run. I also need exercise. At

my age, I cannot run beside her with a leash; however, I

can walk and she runs out, and back and forth to me. She

chases a ball and brings it back. I walk along and she

gets her run in. We both get the exercise we need.

In addition to the physical health benefits,

which exercise provides for both of us, which everyone

knows by now is so important, it also provides great

emotional, mental health benefits for us both. People and

animals need exercise for emotional and mental health. In

addition, we both get an opportunity to socialize with our

own species. Many seniors get out each day, walking their

dogs, and it is their opportunity to talk and know other

people. I cannot stress enough importance on many senior

citizens' lives to have this interaction with others.

Sadie also gets a chance to meet and play with

other dogs. You cannot miss the interest and happiness in

a dog's eyes as they romp and play with their own species.

This also lessens aggression and frustration in dogs.

This does not seem to me so much to give back to the

animals that give so much to us, that give us

companionship and security, and love and devotion, for

some of their closest friends.

I ask you, tonight, for the sake of all San

Francisco senior citizens, to please, please, please

reject this resolution.

Thank you.





MS. CAMERON: Commissioners, Superintendent

O'Neill, my name is Christy Cameron. I frequent both Fort

Funston and Crissy Field, sometimes with my dog, sometimes

without. I am also a resident of San Francisco and an


As an attorney, I won't go into in detail, but I

agree with many of the lawyers who have concluded that the

pet policy is not illegal and unenforceable. In

particular, the erroneous statement that it's illegal and

unenforceable improperly relies on a statutory

misinterpretation that the general mandate of the Organic

Act controls over the specific recreational open-space

mandate of the enabling statute.

One of the things that concerns me is the timing

of this revocation of a policy that is over 20 years.

It's very unusual, the timing. And I want to tell you

that some of the anger that you're perceiving from this

group of people is that it is being perceived as

retaliation for certain dog owner groups exercising their

legal right to petition the court. This retaliation is in

itself a civil rights violation. And, honestly, I wonder

if you even realize that?


It's not necessary to repeal it at this time.

It's been around for 20 years; and, if, as you say, you

want to work out a solution, it doesn't need to be

repealed. And I want to point out that the Park Service

has repeatedly promised that it would allow off-leash dogs

recreation in various parts of the GGNRA, and you now

propose to break that promise. I appreciate that your

lawyers may believe that you can get away with breaking a

promise, but I ask you to consider, in addition to the

legality -- which is questionable -- what is the morality

of breaking that promise.

Thank you.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: The next three names are Mike

Singer, Francine Podenski, and Karin Hu. Any of those

three people here?

(No response.)

After that comes --



MS. PODENSKI: My name is Francine Podenski.

I've enjoyed what is now known as the Golden Gate National

Recreation Area with several generations of my dogs during

the 30 years that I've lived in the area. I had prepared

a speech tonight, and, for awhile, I wasn't going to read

it; but I decided that I am. I'm just warning you.

The National Park Service has, for some time,

been pursuing policies that appear to me to be designed to

eliminate traditional recreational activities within the

boundaries of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area

through a sort of divide-and-conquer approach. Previous

assaults upon our liberty and the pursuit of our happiness

include eviction of the long-established Muir Beach Horse

Stables and the horseback riding community that had been

there for generations; building a very large conference

center at Fort Baker in spite of significant protests from

that local community; and ruining the Crissy Field Beach.

Culturally and historically in the United

States, there are certain traditions which are sacred.

Among those are motherhood, apple pie and the family dog.

More often than not, dogs have resided at 1600

Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D. C. -- most recently

"Buddy" resided there; currently "Spot" is in residence

there. This is a time-honored American tradition, and

it's a cherished way of life in our country.

At the most basic level, the issue that we face

this evening is a human quality-of-life issue. Generally,

dogs don't take themselves to the park. This is a

family-centered recreational activity, the lack of which

negatively impacts not only our dogs, but entire families

and our entire community.

This evening, we are here to discuss the

National Park Service's kicking the family dog. And for

that matter, kicking the American family. The government

itself has appropriated space within the GGNRA -- at least

that's my understanding -- for off-leash training

activities of their own dogs; but wishes to include, or

exclude, local families from these similar uses and

traditional uses. The do as I say and not as I do, did

not sell in kindergarten, it didn't sell in high school,

and it has not sold well since.

The name, "Golden Gate National Recreation Area"

from the point of view of all of my family and friends and

neighbors signifies a recreational area. This is an urban

recreational area. It's not a wilderness area, and it's

not a nature preserve, and it's even a national park -- at

least not the way I see it.

Have we been misled by the phrase over these

years, the phrase "recreational area"? Does the enabling

legislation mean nothing? Are you, some of you, now

trying to change the intention of the GGNRA years after

its formation? Are we soon going to be hearing Golden

Gate National Park as a title of this place? And do

really any of you here, or in other parts of the country,

really believe that you can totally ignore the original

agreements under which we originally transferred this land

to your care?

If the National Park Service is, for some

reason, unable to find a way to honor the original

conditions under which we donated our lands to your care,

I would really ask you respectfully to inform us of that.

Because, if you're incapable of doing this, or for some

reason prevented from doing, because of higher authority,

of fulfilling your responsibilities in this regard, we

have included in the original land transfer documents a

remedy for this eventuality. Now I truly hope it's not

necessary for us to enter into a polarity where we are,

the city and we citizens are, fighting to take back our

land. I don't think that's a good way to go.

I, too, offer my time and my energy to finding a

solution. But I think we have to get past the perception

-- maybe you don't mean this -- but it is the perception

that you're doing backroom deals and sneaking around, and

you're not victims. I keep hearing from you: Oh, we have

to pass, we have to pass this resolution. It's out of our

hands. Well, I would like to -- I'd just like to

emphasize that you're not victims. You're our

representatives. You can take a stand. You don't have to

do what an attorney from the government says you have to

do. You're there to represent us and to have that

dialogue, and we will help you. We will support you in

doing that.

Thank you.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Did Michael Singer or Karin Hu

show up?

(No response.)

Okay, moving on, Gary Fergus; Louie Gwerder,

III; Brian Irwin.




MR. FERGUS: Thank you very much.

My name is Gary Fergus. I'm a lawyer with

Brobeck, Phelger & Harrison. I'm here on my own behalf.

We started out with I think it was the OTE,

overtaken by events, and there were a couple of points

that I think are very important to make.

First of all, going to the legality, I guess I

have, as a lawyer, address that issue, and I cite you

specifically to Section 1(c) of USC Section 16:

"Each area within the National Park System shall

be administered in accordance with the

provisions of any statute made specifically

applicable to that area."

Early on, you mentioned that, I believe,

Chairman, that there is no reference, with respect to the

legislative history, that could be found with respect to

this is an urban park. Did I mishear you?

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Yes. What I said was that we

found nothing in the record that refer to pets or dogs. I

did say that, properly, an urban park is a city or a

county park. This is a national park, which happens to,

in some places, abut an urban area.

MR. FERGUS: Well, I cite you to -- it is the

92nd Congressional Second Session, 1972. It is the House

Report that was adopted when the legislation was passed,

and it says:

"Section 1. The purposes for creation of a

recreation area and established the Golden Gate

National Urban Recreation Area."

That's at page 4859.


On page 4857:

"As a national urban recreation area, this new

component of the National Park System will be

confronted with problems which do not

frequently occur at other national park and

recreation areas."

This is the enabling, this is the report from

the House. It goes on to say, on page 4852:

"It is expected that the predominant use of the

recreation opportunities offered by the Golden

Gate National Urban Recreation Area will be the

people residing in the nine county San

Francisco Bay Region."

There is a quote on the bottom of page 4852

discussing the uses of this area:

"On a nice day, it will satisfy the interest of

those who choose to fly kites, sunbathe, work

their dogs, or just idly watch the action on

the Bay."

Finally, it says on page 4851:

"It is an ideal location for a national urban

recreation area for many reasons, but foremost

among them must be that the Golden Gate

National Urban Recreation Area is located in

the heart of one of the nation's major urban


So there is ample legislative history in support

for the fact that this is unique, and it's enabling

statute for this particular park supersedes the

regulations 2.15. And I beg to differ with the opinion

that you received from the Solicitor. I think there is a

very strong legal question that this policy is legal as

issued right now. That there cannot be a regulation that

was issued under the Code of Federal Regulations that is

inconsistent with the enabling statute. And obviously,

looking at legislative history, as to what was the intent

of the legislature at the time they passed it, is very

critical in understanding what is the enabling statute.

Finally, I would say there are many of us who

believe that there are alternatives, seasonal use, perhaps

time of use. And there are a lot of people here who are

willing to work.

I realize my time is up. I think you, but I

believe that -- I urge you to question the premise that

there is, in fact, no question that this is an illegal

policy. I believe it is legal. I believe that, at a

minimum, there is enough doubt that you should take that

under very close consideration.

Thank you for your time.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: What's your name?

MR. GWERDER: Louis Gwerder. Do you want to

talk to that man some more?




MR. GWERDER: My name is Louis Gwerder, III.

I've lived in San Francisco for 46 years. I grew up on

the Great Highway, across the street from Ocean Beach. I

love animals. I feel that animals with the first dubs to

the seashore are the ones who live there Ann feed there.

Four years ago, I personally was walking on

Ocean Beach when I saw a sea lion pup attacked by an

unleashed dog.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Next is Brian, I think it's

Irwin or Irvin, and then Cindy Del Corto, and Sheila




MR. IRIAN: It's Irian, Mr. Commissioner.

I'd like to take just a couple of moments.

Everybody seems pretty tired, and I'd to admit that I also

am a lawyer, but I'm not from San Francisco. About three

times a week, my wife and I make the trek from Redwood

City because there is no where in San Mateo County where

we can go with our dogs off leash.


We used to own three Vizslas. We know own two.

But except for the lady with the Wolfhound, they can run

with the fastest of them. And I've never seen them run up

the cliff and bother a swallow.

I'd like to start out with something that I

think is somewhat self-evident. You said at the beginning

that your counsel has advised you that you must do

something about this because it's an illegal policy. As

my brothers and sisters in the law have so eloquently

stated tonight in different words, a town that's too small

for one lawyer does just fine with many. And there are

many here. I'm not trying to do that as a matter of

posturing, but I'd like to get beyond where we've all


You're not helpless. You're an advisory

committee. You're not being paid. These aren't your

jobs. They can't fire you if you just decide to do

nothing. And I can tell you, going up Highway 280, rarely

do I go 55, and I'm not stopped. But I do have just a

couple of quick points, because I'm, you know, I'm tired

of this.

You know, I've been doing this for 16 years.

Other attorneys have been doing this for just as along.

It really comes down to this: You can do nothing and

nobody is really going to say anything about it. Or you

can do something, polarize the situation. In the law,

there is something called a temporary injunction. The

nature of it is to preserve the status quo. For each of

the Supervisors that came up here, you questioned them.

You asked them: Are you willing to meet us halfway? I'm

asking that question in return. Because, if you're

willing to meet us halfway and do nothing just for

tonight, you have the entire City and County of San

Francisco, you have representatives from the state, you

have the innumerable people here, who are willing to meet

you halfway and say, if you won't do anything tonight, we

can move on to item No. 3 and most of us can go home.

Is there anybody here who wants something done


[Audience responds in the negative.]

Anybody outside, anybody in the other rooms?

Because if anybody wants this taken out tonight --

Okay. I've just taken a little empirical

evidence. Please, ladies and gentlemen, let's just shake

hands on it. Let's do nothing for tonight and work on it.

Nobody is going to arrest you; nobody is going to fire


Thank you.



Cindy Del Corto, then Sheila Mahoney, and

somebody named Barbara.



MS. MAHONEY: My name is Sheila Mahoney, and I'm

a homeowner and a long-term resident of San Francisco, an

animal physical therapy volunteer at the SPCA, a member of

Fort Funston Dog Walkers and SF Dog.

Normally, I'm a very rational person, but I came

here really angry today. I addressed the Commission in

November, or whenever it was, on the Fort Funston Closure,

and I read the transcript of your last meeting. You

didn't listen to us. You totally ignored the enabling

legislation issue and the legislative background. You

didn't even try to counter the arguments refuting the four

justifications given for the enclosures. You just made it

an anti-dog thing. You told us that it was a done deal.

So I am a bit surprised today by some pockets of openness

that I see. I hope it's real.

I know that you just want this all to go away.

The public outcry and the turnout tonight should convince

you that rescinding the dog policy will not make it go

away. The easiest and best way to keep the promises made

over the years, and to resolve this once and for all, is

to recommend that the GGNRA formalize that pet policy as a

special rule under those famous regulations. Just add it

to the rules that permit dogs to run off leash while

hunting in 45 other national parks and recreational areas.

Show us tonight your good faith by not rescinding the

policy and let's work together getting that special

exemption. Everybody here will write a letter to whatever

federal officials we're supposed to write.

Thank you.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Did Cindy Del Corto show up?

Barbara, Pamela Baldwin, Laurissa Jensen.



MS. DEL CORTO: I'm Cindy Del Corto.

I guess most everybody here represents San

Francisco; I'm here to represent San Mateo County. Not

only are you affecting the city of San Francisco, but this

decision is going to affect San Mateo County. And for

those Commissioners that represent San Mateo County, I

hope that you have spoken to the officials down there and

let them know, you know, this is coming down their way,


I also came here to listen to the voices of

reason and hoped that they would prevail, and I hope that

you are listening to people in this hearing. As our

appointed representatives, you should table this, take it

to the U. S. Attorneys, and say: Look! We've got a

problem. We need to collaborate with the cities and the

counties to get this issue resolved. Rescinding this pet

policy tonight is going to have a drastic effect on

hundreds of thousands of people in this area. I truly

hope that you take this to heart, not lose the vision that

you had in 1979 when you enacted this pet policy --

although it's illegal -- and remember those times when you

brought this in under the enabling act of the GGNRA, that

it was done in that period. Tonight, maybe you can regain

that spirit and bring this to the powers that be so that

we can all collaborate to keep our dogs to enjoy the

off-leash lands of the GGNRA.

Thank you.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Barbara or Pamela Baldwin.



MS. BALDWIN: Good evening, ladies and

gentlemen. I'm Pamela Baldwin, and I've been asked to

read a letter. But before I do that, I'd like to share

just 30 seconds of who I am.

I'm a wildlife artist and I specialize in

painting endangered species, and give a portion of

everything I make to those people and groups that are

trying to help those species. And in order to start my

day properly, I take my two 21-month-old Labrador

Retrievers out to that thing called water and let them

swim. And one is ball-centric, so all she does is go back

and forth with a tennis ball. But I'm willing to make a

deal with you, if we can add a little levity to this,

Superintendent? If you keep your raccoons and skunks that

come into my yard on leash, I'll keep my dogs on leash.


This is a letter that is signed by William

Herndon, of the San Francisco Police Department:


"I am the hearing officer for the City and

County of San Francisco on all matters of

vicious and dangerous dogs that are addressed

under the Health Code. The Health Code

addresses not only biting dogs, but also

menacing behavior. I have held this position

for about 7 years and have heard hundreds of

cases. We've received national and worldwide

attention from television, radio and the

printed media.

"Dog Court, as the media likes to call it, has

addressed many problems that have been ignored

by other communities. I was also involved as a

member of the City and County of San

Francisco's Off-leash Dog Task Force.

"The City and County of San Francisco has

experienced a huge reduction of all biting

incidents [which we would love to have your

spokesmen reflect when they're talking on

television about how many people are being

bitten]. Last year, I believe, we were down

over 30 percent and are on track for a larger

reduction this year. These reductions, I

believe, are a result of the combined effort of

the dog community working with the city

officials to promote responsible dog ownership.

"Off-leash dog areas are a key ingredient to

proper animal management. Dogs need to run,

play, jump and exercise. These needs cannot be

properly met at the end of a leash. It is

imperative that off-leash dogs areas be made

available to the public. Without them, we will

see a rise in bites and numerous other problems

that result from dogs not being properly


"It is a very important thing to remember that

to every dog is attached a person, and that

person is the one who needs to be responsible

for that dog. Off-leash dog walking areas need

to be increased, not eliminated.

"I am available to any member of the Commission

or member of the public if I can be of any

assistance with this issue, or any dog-related


"Sergeant William M. Herndon

"Hearing Officer, Park Station

"San Francisco Police Department"


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: I'm going to call two more

names, and, after that, I'm going to ask what your

pleasure is for the rest of the evening. Laurissa Jensen

and Claire -- might also be Jensen, something like that.

What I propose is this: That the Commission

take no action having to do with the policy tonight, but

that we all recognize it for what it is. It was a

recommendation, which didn't have the force of law. It's

been brought to our attention that it's illegal and

unenforceable, but I propose that we do nothing, at least

until after the following steps are taken:

Dr. Wayburn has recommended that we refer this

matter to the National Park's Advisory Board in order to

raise it to a national level, because we're well-informed,

but we're not the only park that has the same concerns

going on.

Secondly, that we ask the staff to continue to

meet with the other land-owning agencies, as they have

been for the last couple of months, to find out if they

can't loosen up their restrictions the way we have so that

there is more area because there are more dogs.

Third, that we make the application that's been

referred to several times tonight -- excuse me -- not that

we make it, but that we discuss with you how it's made,

when it's made, if it's made, which comes under 36 CFR


And, finally, that the Superintendent be asked

by this Commission to meet with the interested parties,

including the elected officials and the congressional

offices who are also aware of this, and to do so within

the next 120 days.

Now this is a little bit unusual because, when

we have a public hearing, we like to hear from the public

that came and signed up to speak. But we're only on page

10, and we literally have dozens of pages left to go. And

if this is something that the Commission would be

interested in and that you would be interested in, then I

will ask this: Is there anyone that wants to speak like

in opposition to this, or some such thing?

[Unidentified voice spoke from the audience, but

not recorded.]

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Yes. My proposal is this:

That the Commission take no action tonight having to do

with the policy.

Secondly, that we -- actually, first, that we

refer this matter to the National Park's Advisory Board,

as Dr. Wayburn has suggested.

Secondly, that we ask the Park Service staff to

continue to meet with the other land-owning agencies, such

as the city, San Mateo County, State Parks, to see if they

won't loosen up their regulations to help relieve some of

the areas that are under our jurisdiction.

Third, that we discuss with the interested

groups the possibility of submitting an application under

36 CFR 1.2(c), which is that which has been spoken to

tonight, which would permit one park to do things

differently than other parks do, based on local


Fourth, that we ask the Superintendent to meet

with the groups that have volunteered to meet, and with

others who have a stake in this, including the elected

officials and the congressional offices, and to do so

within 120 days.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Now please understand that

that's a proposal from one individual, and I don't have

the consent of the rest of the Commission Members to do

that. But I'd like to make this meeting productive,

rather than divisive.


COMMISSIONER BOOTH: Commissioner Bartke, I'd

like to support you before I have to leave. I think

that's an excellent proposal. We have heard you, I have.

And I just want to say that we really are supposed to be

here to hear the citizens, and I'm really sad to see that

it's seems that a lot of people feel that it's us against

you, and you against us, but I've been listening to you.

I support that, Rich. I think that's an

excellent step.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Is that a motion?

COMMISSIONER BOOTH: That's a motion.



CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Moved by Anna-Marie Booth,

seconded by Dr. Edgar Wayburn. Before the Commission

takes a vote, though, are there people who want to speak

about this proposal. I saw this gentleman in the front,


Do you want to come up to the microphone and

tell us who you are?

MR. BUTEN: I appreciate it, and I commend you

on what you just said. You referred to some interest

groups. Could you be more specific about who those

interest groups are? Because we want to make sure that

they deal with basically the people involved, and whether

the people involved have access to you and can express

their opinions?

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: I was thinking that certainly

the groups who have been identified tonight would all be

included. But what I'm concerned about is that there

appears to me to be a number of people who use our lands,

with their dogs, who don't belong to a group and we've got

to find a way to talk to them, too. And I'm not sure how

that would do, but the staff, I think, could work on that.






MS. SEGAL: And there is one group that you

didn't mention, and I'm very pleased with your decision

for tonight. I'm Lynne Newhouse Segal. I'm a San

Francisco Recreation and Park Commissioner. Commissioner

Meyer formerly served in my position.

This is a great decision. I'm a little upset

that, when you said that you wanted to talk to all the

groups and anybody who felt that they were not represented

in your comments should come forward. That's when I

decided to come forward.


MS. SEGAL: Because we are -- I want all of you

here to know that the San Francisco Recreation and Park

Commission has been here since before 7 o'clock. I'm not

speaking for the Commission because we could not take a

vote on this. We can only vote on things that are

noticed. We have very specific rules. But the Department

knows that I'm here.

I'm the chair of the Parks and Planning

Committee of the Commission where all the decisions on

parks go first. I want to tell you all, and remind you

all, as I'm sure that Commissioner Meyer knows, and as I

told Commissioner Alexander and Anna-Marie Booth, that,

for all of the dogs that are not allowed to run off leash

in the GGNRA, that will come at the expense of soccer

fields and playgrounds in our parks in San Francisco.

And please help us out. We know it's a problem.

We know there are more dogs now than there were 29 [sic]

years ago when you made this other policy. Please help us

out. Be good neighbors and thank you very much. I

appreciate your decision tonight.



MR. SINDELL: Commissioners, I'm the father of

two and we're owned by a Boxer. Any Boxer owners?

What you say, it sounds great and it probably is

great; but I think it's real important to the public --

maybe I'm slower than everyone -- really understands what

we're agreeing to by acclimation before we go home


Point 2 of the proposal was to refer this to the

National -- what was the organization?

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: That was actually point 1,

that we refer this matter to the National Park's Advisory

Board, which is a Commission similar to this on the local

level, except it's national, and because we know that

there are other national parks that are dealing with the

same problem.

MR. SINDELL: My only question is, then: Would

that be giving it to their authority, or would you still

retain authority?

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: No. Well, we don't have much

authority, but it doesn't give anything to their

authority. It's raising their concern that this is a

problem here, and it's probably a concern elsewhere and it

ought to be dealt with on a national level.

MR. SINDELL: So that would not take it out of

local hands?

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: It would not. I would not

expect an answer back from them within the 120 days that

we expect a local answer.

MR. SINDELL: Then a hardy congratulations.

Thank you.




MR. BONNY: I'm Charles Bonny. I live here in

San Francisco. I want to say that I believe I've heard an

awful lot of nonsense this evening. I'd like to point out

that we are never going to have a world in which there are

only humans and dogs. We've got a lot of critters that

have to be considered besides dogs, and I very much

dislike this having people come here, pushing dogs, as

though dogs were the only thing that had any kind of


I want to point out to you people that you have

a compromise already. It's not a band of dogs, it's dogs

on leashes, to protect the creatures that live in the

national recreation area.

Thank you.


Speaking on the proposal --

[Loud remarks from the audience.]

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: You know, there is an adage

that, if you cannot be polite to others, it reflects a

weakness in your position. And please don't get into that


Are you up here to address the policy which I

have just suggested?

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: I just want to take one

moment of time. I've been on Crissy Airfield for 21

years, from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., and I've never seen a

dog attack anything. Fort Funston, the same way. I've

been involved with dogs for 55 years.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Is that speaking about the

proposal we have in front of us.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Look! We're the stupid

ones on the earth. The animal kingdom obeys the natural

laws, and it works. Sorry, I think we're barking up the

wrong tree.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: You don't think we should do

this policy, then?

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: I think we're misusing

time. Time is for life and dogs and people and animals,

and everything that's alive, belongs in fresh air and

sunshine. People look forward to it. We'd have a

healthier population, a happier, well-adjusted taxpayer

base, economic base.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Okay. I got it.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: A dog has never attacked

anything. They're out there and they're happy and they're

exercised. I use to lead Sierra Club Dog Hikes on Ocean

Beach. We'd have 20 owners, 20 dogs. They all palled.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Yes, ma'am. Next speaker.



MS. HOFF: I have something to say about that.

I ride a horse, I have a dog. I ride a horse in the Fort

Funston area, on the beach. I've been attacked by dogs

several times. Fortunately, for me, the dogs haven't bit

the horse. Fortunately, for me, our horse isn't afraid of

dogs, yet. I've had other riders who have actually had

dog attacks on their horse and have been severely bitten.

I've seen a horse who has been attacked by a dog and its

muzzle was ripped open and had to get several stitches.

I've seen and, you know, it wasn't myself. And another

rider, we've been attacked by dogs. And a friend of mine

was attacked by five dogs, all off leash.

I'm not against off-leash as long as the dogs

are under control. I want to make it clear that I like

dogs. I like to bring my own dog riding, but it's under

control. If it's not under control, then, if you see

horses coming, would you please put it on a leash. Don't

trust the dog to go and behave itself because it's too

many times I've had dog owners yelling to no avail at

their dogs to come back, and they don't.

So I have no other recourse but to buy a bull

whip to snap at the dogs. Not to hurt the dogs, but to

scare them.

My friend, who has had five dogs attack her,

they had the owner yell at her and say it was her fault.

She was just walking on the beach, the dogs came at her.

Her horse is under control, the dogs are not. And he

tried to grab her horse by the halter. I don't know what

he was trying to do, but I've had several instances where

dogs have come after me. In some cases, the owners try to

get the dogs back; and, in some cases, they don't.

And the biggest problem, I feel, are the dog

walking services, who have an excess of 10-plus dogs.

It's way too many dogs for one person to handle.

Sometimes, they are good about controlling them;

sometimes, they are not. Sometimes, they let the dogs come

at the horses. In one incident, I was trying to stay in

the surf, the dog kept, you know, or the owner, or the dog

walker service guy, did not do anything to retrieve the


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Why don't we suggest that the

equestrian community have its input into this process

during the next 120 days.


MS. HOFF: I wrote a letter and I have asked

others to write a letter, too. But, you know --

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Anybody who wishes to speak to

the Commission -- oh, your name, please.

MS. HOFF: Jamie Hoff, H-o-f-f.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Gotcha. About the proposal --

MS. VITTORI: Two refinements. Just two

refinements. I want to find out two things.

No. 1, this is a recommendation to Brian

O'Neill. How is Brian O'Neill going to respond to it?

And the second thing is, is this going to go out

to Park Service employees?


MS. VITTORI: Is this going to go out to Park

Service employees so that, in the field, it's understood

that dogs can be walked freely and responsibly?

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Well, you know, that's the

problem that brought us here tonight.

MS. VITTORI: No. I'm asking about park staff.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: I know. But whereas the

Commission doesn't have to obey the rules, the park staff

does. We will ask that the -- maybe this is implicit in

the suggestion I made, not to be explicit, is that we ask

that the staff not take any precipitous action to do

anything until it's done these things within the next 120


MS. VITTORI: So you're going to ask the staff

to hold off to do anything --

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Hold off signs, citations, and

so forth, until they come back with a plan.

MS. VITTORI: Thank you very much.




MR. ARMAND: Ladies and Gentlemen and

Superintendent O'Neill, I've stayed long to express an

idea because I don't -- I have not heard anything about it

mentioned here. And it is in the area of remedies.

We are all here tonight fighting for our

privilege to walk our dogs off a leash because of the

irresponsible attitudes of a very small percentage of dog

owners. You have stated in your, in the review of the

agreements here, that dogs were allowed under control, off

leashes, and I stress the term, "under control." Yet

nowhere have I seen any kind of an effort by the Trust or

the Commission to educate the public on what control is.

Nor have I seen any kind of rules and regulations in place

which would help be a leadership statement on what is

allowable and what is not.

To my understanding, Seattle had a very bad dog

dropping problem, and they classified a dog's dropping as

litter. And those in control of the dogs who did not pick

up that litter were cited for littering. Now that

littering bill is a thousand dollars. I want to tell you,

if you had that kind of a rule here, all of a sudden there

wouldn't be any dog poop anywhere.


And I would strongly suggest that you do

something besides waiting for 120 days for some more to

come out. The reason we're here now is because no action

had been taken all these years to either help these people

create peer pressure that would bring those owners into

line, or you people instituting some fines for them

digging holes in environmentally sensitive areas, or

fining them for not picking up their dog litter. If you

had done that 20 years ago, we wouldn't be here tonight.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Thank you. May we have your

name, please.

MR. ARMAND: My name is Andre Armand.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Thank you. Each of the

speakers needs to tell us who you are so we have a record

of it.



MS. ARNOLD: I'll be very brief. My name is

Carol Arnold. I work as an environmental professional. I

have a Masters Degree in Environmental Studies. I've

worked in the conservation field for many, many years.

I want to emphasize -- well, first, let me tell

you I have many passions in my life; but two of the most

important to me are probably first and foremost the

environment, and the second is my dog. And I want -- I'm

probably the person who agrees the most with Mr. Arthur

Feinstein in this room on many, many issues. Some of you,

I even know professionally.

However, I see very strongly, as Mr. Bonny said

-- I think it was Mr. Bonny -- we all live in an urban

area. There's a lot more here than just dogs, and that's

very true. However, because we do live in an urban area,

we can't just run -- and dogs are as important to us as

our right arms, and you have to believe that. Just take

that on face if you're not a dog owner. It is heartfelt.

You just can't run your dog around a living room, which is

about all we have available to us. Most of us don't have

backyards. We have to go to urban parks and we see, or I

see, as a strong environmentalist, an urban park. I know

you don't like to call it that, but I believe strongly

that that's what it is. That's Fort Funston and Crissy

Field. We have to be able to go there to exercise our


The environmental issues can be dealt with. We

can make compromises. We can protect the threatened snowy

plover and the endangered -- I mean, the endangered snowy

plover -- no, threatened snowy plover and the endangered

bank swallow without tearing each other apart. We can do

it, and I strongly believe in doing it.

So I just wanted to correct -- and if you could

pass that on to the National Park Advisory Commission that

there are some very strong environmentalists amongst dog

owners, who believe very strongly. I think most of the

people here would probably consider themselves


Thank you.




MR. BUTEN: Hi! My name is Norman Buten.

I just want to reiterate, to a certain extent,

what this lady just said; and that is: As dog owners, we

do have a very responsible attitude in terms of dog

litter. In fact, when we see a dog coming and the owner

didn't pick up it's litter, we almost ostracize that

person, or reprimand him to pick up their doggie do. And

I think most people agree over here, even among the dog

owners. I'm prepared to be open to a heavy fine for

people who don't pick up their dog litter.

The bottom line to all off us this is: We're a

responsible bunch of people. We're prepared to behave as

responsible members of the community to promote a

harmonious community. And that is picking up the dog

litter and doing whatever it takes to live well with other

people within our community, including environmentalists,

for the birds, et cetera.


VOICE: Are all these people just going to speak

or are we back to the list?

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: That's what I'm wondering.

Are we back into the public hearing, or are we speaking on

the proposal?

[Many voices speaking simultaneously.]



MR. KEATING: I just have a short comment as to

the proposal, which I think will give the Commission a

higher comfort level in voting for it, and then a

suggestion on how to do this.


MR. KEATING: John Keating. I'm the attorney

currently on the other side of the litigation in the Park

Service and Fort Funston Dog Walkers matter.

You have been told that you had to rescind the

policy tonight to get an advantage in the dog litigation.

What I'm going to tell you is that it won't do you a damn

bit of good if you do -- it won't do you a damn bit of

good if you rescind the policy. It won't have an effect

in the litigation. Your attorneys have tried this a

number of times in the litigation, and it's been rejected.

It is a very simple reason why you don't need to do it to

achieve an end in the litigation. And the reason is: At

Fort Funston, you're closing off all access to the park

area. You're not just closing off off-leash dog use.

Therefore, the litigation is not going to be dismissed

just if you limit off-leash dog walking because we're

going to want to walk our dogs there with leashes, and

other people, the kids, are going to want to down the sand


So I hope you understand the tortuous

intellectual process we've been in here, where you're

thinking that you have to do something to achieve an end,

when it's not going to give you that end.

The second point --

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: You understand, of course,

that the Commission is not a party to the lawsuit. We've

been to none of the hearings, nor do we intend to.

MR. KEATING: I understand that. And I'm not

trying to give you advice. I'm just trying to tell you

that maybe it won't have the intended effect anyway. So


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: But I'm trying to tell you

it's not an intended --


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: It would not be a goal of


MR. KEATING: Mr. Alexander indicated that you

had been informed that possibly would be a benefit for

rescinding the policy. I'm not suggesting that that's why

you're doing it. I'm just saying that, if in the back of

your minds that was a benefit, you don't need the benefit.

Secondly, all of that can be put on hold so you

don't need to deal with the Fort Funston matter. So we

can sit down and work out a solution, a temporary

solution, until that process of meeting and getting a

cohesive policy is set up. We've repeatedly requested to

sit down. So, the point is that we're willing to talk

with you. You don't need to do it.

Now here's a suggestion: You might want to

consider keeping the process local at the first stage

before you bump it up to the National Advisory Board.

Thank you.





MS. GARCIA: Really quick. My name is Christine

L. Garcia, and I'm representing In Defense of Animals. My

only request is that you add In Defense of Animals as an

interested committee, or interested party, in that

committee that you're referring to.


MS. GARCIA: I also wrote down all my

information, and I'm offering my legal, professional

services, just as everybody else is, to facilitate the

amending of 36 CFR 2.15 and 36 CFR 1.2. So please call me

if you need any legal anything.



CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Okay. We're now ready for a

vote. Discussion from Commission Members on the motion

that's in front of the Commission.


COMMISSIONER MEYER: Mr. Chairman, I think that

you've brought forth a number of different things, which

require different treatment. The first one that you

brought forth, and I'd like to see it separated from the

others, is the one concerning the recommendation to the

National Park's Advisory Board, because it's one area of


Another one has to do with reaching out to, as

soon as possible, to have discussion with many groups

which would start the process going of trying to come, to

figure out how, what we can do to improve the situation

here with regard to the groups that are involved, and,

ultimately, with other groups in the region. I think this

needs a lot of work at a committee level. I don't want to

slow the process, but I think that you need to prepare a

directive for committees to get some suggestions. We

have, for example, coming up this week, the Presidio

Committee. We also have, next week, the San Francisco

Committee. And this would, you know, help within the


Another thing that you said, you made a complete

round trip from where we were at the beginning of this

meeting. And I think it's important to state what we

stated, and you've tried to state at the beginning of the

meeting but there was so much noise in here, that what we

have is a statement made by the U. S. Attorney concerning

a policy which we had -- it's not a policy; that's too

strong a word -- a recommendation which we had made, which

was acted on for a period of time by the National Park

Service, to have dogs be allowed to go off leash in

certain areas. And I think in not voting on that, we need

to discuss that separate matter. That, if we don't vote

on it, it's because the U. S. Attorney has essentially

rendered what we did 22 years ago moot, because we have to

follow his advice.

That's at least three separate sections. Did I

miss something?


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Can you meet with other public



COMMISSIONER MEYER: And, then, the fourth one

would be other public agencies. One would be with groups

and interested parties, and to pick up the full range of

interested parties. The last would be to work with other

agencies. I simply think you have to break those into

four separate matters.




COMMISSIONER ORR: Well, first, I just have a

question. Are we done with the public hearing? Where are

we as a matter of process? Because I don't know whether

what I want to say is what I want to say now or --


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Well, I made a proposal and it

was -- it's been moved and seconded.




CHAIRMAN BARTKE: If the people want to continue

with the public hearing, we may do that. I have

literally, probably, three or four hundred names of people

who have signed up.




CHAIRMAN BARTKE: And we can go through that.

I've made a proposal which is now in the form of a motion

made and seconded. So I would deem that, if the motion is

adopted, this issue on our agenda is put to bed for now.


COMMISSIONER ORR: Well, then, let me speak to

the motion. I share a concern that Commissioner Meyer

just raised, which is: I'm personally uncomfortable with

the elevating the issue to the National Advisory Board at

this point because it sounds to me like the other three

things you're suggesting -- that is the meeting with the

other land-owning agencies in this area, the meeting with

interested organizations to deal with what would be a

reasonable application for an exceptional rule here in the

park; and then the third, which is the Superintendent

meeting with interested groups and elected officials, and

so forth, in the next 120 days -- I mean, that seems to me

to address this. I haven't heard tonight, and I haven't

heard from the Park Service, that this is an issue in

other parks. And I'm not prepared to send this up to a

higher level when it sounds to me like the rest of your

proposal would deal with it locally.

So I suppose one thing I would say is I would

prefer that to be broken off as a separate motion, or

voted on separately. Because, otherwise, I'm

uncomfortable with voting for the whole thing.



CHAIRMAN BARTKE: I think it's on the question

of parliamentary procedure that, on the request of a

member, the chair is permitted to split them into separate

votes. And, so, at your request, I'll do that.




COMMISSIONER ORR: Then, if I could just briefly

address the second three. I think I've already said I'm

not prepared to send this up to the national level because

I just don't think we have the information, or that that's

a necessary step at this point.

I want to stress a couple of things here about

what I've heard; and one is: You know, the people who are

interested in off-leash dog walking, obviously, you feel

very strongly about this. We've heard that loud and

clear. I have to say that, in this process, we're going

to have to involve -- we heard from the woman from the

equestrian community; we've heard from Arthur Feinstein.

We've gotten a lot of letters from people. I've actually

heard -- I'm involved in the environmental area, and I've

heard from various people that knowing the crowd that was

going to be here -- and given some of the behavior here

tonight, I can understand this -- people did not want to

come and speak. I mean, people said to me: Why should I

come there when I'm going to be booed and hissed and

treated rudely?

In this process, which I'm going to support, you

have to understand that there needs to be representatives

from the environmental organizations, from interested

parents groups, from senior centers, from whoever it is,

because this is a national park that belongs to everybody,

whether you say it's an urban park or a national --

however you define it, this park belongs to the American

people. It's used by people from across the country and

throughout the world.

So I just want to make clear my feeling that,

you know, this has got to be addressed in -- you know,

don't expect this to be a series of closed meetings in the

same way that we've been accused of having sort of secret

meeting between just the canine community and the Park

Service, or members of this Commission. It's really going

to have to be all inclusive, and that may take some time.


Supervisor Peskin used the word "balance," and

that's exactly what we're going to have to do here. And I

plea to everyone here to come in and -- you know, the

thing that I don't like to hear people belittling

endangered species, and belittling plants, protecting

endangered plant communities as hobby gardening, and that

sort of thing. I mean, I think you do yourself a

disservice in making those sorts of arguments.

So, again, as we go into this process, I would

plead with people to realize that there are a whole

complex set of issues here that have to be fit together,

and we may not end up with off-leash walking everywhere

that everyone would like it to be. Just as we probably

won't end up with restored habitat everywhere some people

would like it to be. But, again, that's the process I

envision. The only reason I'll be voting for this is

because I expect that to be the process we go through, and

I guess I'll get off my soapbox at that point.






COMMISSIONER CUTLER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I congratulate you for your thoughtfulness in putting

forth this suggestion, and I fully support it, as well as

Commissioner Orr's, and Commissioner Booth's and

Commissioner Meyer's comments.

The hallmark of our democracy is participation,

and we've had a lot of that tonight. I, for one,

appreciate it. Despite some of the comments to the

contrary, I fully appreciate all of your comments -- not

the rudeness, I might add.

I would like to emphasize my own concern that

the process, this 120-day process, or perhaps longer if it

needs to be, be fully inclusive, as Commissioner Orr was

starting to suggest, not only with the canine community,

but the equestrians, the people walkers, whatever you call

walkers, pedestrians, and every other stakeholder.

Because this will only work if all of the stakeholders are

at the table, and if all of the representatives of the

stakeholder groups come to the table fully prepared to

compromise. Because this will be a system where not

everyone gets, not anyone gets, everything that they want.

With that in mind, I fully support your




Dr. Wayburn.


COMMISSIONER WAYBURN: I would be perfectly

happy to see this divided. I disagree with Commissioner

Orr as to putting it up to the National Park's Advisory

Board to the Secretary as putting it upstairs. I think

that this occurs in other parks, particularly in other

urban parks, as well as in San Francisco. I don't believe

we're unique. I think that it's worthwhile passing this

onto the Advisory Commission to the secretary. This was

done on another matter, on wildlife in the national parks,

and a special commission, chaired by the late Starker

Leopold, made recommendations for a policy which has been

followed ever since.

But, on the local level, I had quite a bit to do

with establishing the Golden Gate National Recreation

Area. It was I who went to Congressman Phillip Burton

with the proposal. And the policy that Commissioner Meyer

and I made locally was: Doesn't San Francisco deserve a

recreation area? And the resounding answer that we got at

that time was: Yes. And this is what Congressman Burton

acted on. He further said that he would like to have a

national park where the people could go by public

transportation to their national park.

I confess to be a dog owner and a dog walker

myself. And I have had Vizlas for the past 35 years. The

Vizla loves to run. She always comes back. This was a

policy that we negotiated with the Park Service

originally, and I personally think it's valid at this


I support what you said about having the Park

Service negotiate with other interested parties. I'm

perfectly happy with dividing this into two parts: local

and national. I think the Commissioners should all be

reminded that what you have suggested is not permanent,

but interim policy, to have effect only for the next 120

days, during which time all of the interested parties can

make their suggestions.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Thank you, Doctor.


Lennie Roberts.


COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I wanted to just speak to the first item, which

was to refer this to the National Park's Advisory Board.

I think it would be premature to do that at this time.

There may be an appropriate time later, after we have

wrestled with these issues, with all the stakeholders, as

Commissioner Cutler suggested. And I certainly support

the idea of having all the stakeholders that we can

possibly involve be involved. Because we have, as a

national park, we have a responsibility to all the users

and to accommodate the public use and enjoyment of the

parks. Where there may be uses that conflict with the

general public enjoyment, we have to look at that. And I

think we need to have representatives who have a broad


We also have, of course, the responsibility to

protect park resources. And, in reference to that, I just

wanted to point out that I spoke with Terri Thomas today,

who has been, up until recently, in charge of the park's

resources. We have in GGNRA 69 rare, threatened, or

special-status species of wildlife. Sixty-nine species

that are listed either as endangered, threatened or

special status. We have 38 rare, endangered, threatened,

or special-status plants. So this is 107 species, which

is far greater than Yosemite has. And this is not

Yosemite in terms of granite cliffs, but this is an

extremely special place because we have so many habitats

that are very precious habitats.

So that is just one of my biases as an

environmentalist. We do need to be concerned about that,

as well as the use and enjoyment of the park by the people

not only of our local area, but also the broader area.

So I will support the suggestions that we have

made, but I think we should hold off on the National

Park's Advisory Board, the referral.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Michael Alexander.



Commissioner Roberts about that. I'm very pleased to hear

Dr. Wayburn say that he is comfortable with separating

that issue, the issue of bumping this up to the National

Park's Advisory Board.

I'm going to ask that we table that at this

time. The reason is: I think we need a lot more

information. I think we need to go through at least the

committee process. I think we need to hear more about

exactly what that Board has done in the past on issues

that are complex and controversial, and get a better

understanding of that. I'd be very happy to bring it back

if it appears that that is an appropriate way to go. But

I don't think that there is any critical timing -- and

please tell me if there is -- to get it underway this

month. We can always bring it back next month.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: I know of no critical timing

on that. We have -- what I plan to do is to take up the

other issues first, and then take up Dr. Wayburn's

suggestion secondly. So, if you --


COMMISSIONER ALEXANDER: I will hold my table,

then, out of consideration for your process.




COMMISSIONER ALEXANDER: And I want to say that

I am in support of the other recommendations.




COMMISSIONER SPRING: I think that what you're

suggesting now is the proper thing to do, and take those

issues separately.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Okay. Doug Nadeau.


COMMISSIONER NADEAU: I agree about the National

Park's Advisory Board. Over the years, when we've talked

about doing something about our dog policy and making it

legal, every time we've talked about it, we talk about

what a can of worms this is nationally. And I'm afraid

that, if we took it at this point to the National Park's

Advisory Board, it would, it would be very difficult.

I keep thinking about the Point Reyes Wilderness

Proposal that we crafted many years ago, when we, locally,

came up with some recommendations that were totally

counter to National Park Service policy, and we persisted

and said this makes sense in this urban area, and we

changed national policy. It was actually -- we changed

the law. And I think we can do that here, and I think we

should try to do that.


I guess this is surprise, surprise! Because I

was ready to vote at the last meeting to rescind the

policy, but that was mainly to sort of clear the decks. I

do, I do believe that we can accommodate off-leash dog

walking in our park.


I just want to make one more point. I really

want to thank Trent Orr and Lennie Roberts for what they

said. You guys need to listen very closely to those

things. This is not just some trashy urban park. It's an

important place, and those are all important point.

The final point that I would like to make is

that I'm a little bit worried because this could be a can

of worms from a national standpoint. That rather than

spending a lot of time workshopping this with multiple

organizations -- I mean, this could take months -- and

then coming up with a policy, and then going to Brian, who

has to run this up the flagpole, through the Regional

Office and Washington, I'd like to suggest that, before we

do that, Brian meet with representatives from our Regional

Office and the Washington Office, maybe with some Advisory

Commissioners present, and maybe even with some members of

the Board of Supervisors present, to talk about, without

getting specific about what the policy is, what are the

chances of this getting through. I would like some

assurances. In fact, I wish John Reynolds was here

tonight -- he's our Regional Director -- or someone from

Washington, because this does have national implications.

But I'd like to get a reaction from those folks before we

spend a lot of time working with these good folks in the

audience, and others, and crafting something in detail.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: I think that's a good

suggestion, but I do not want to delay the process. I

would like to do it concurrently, if we can do that.




CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Okay. Fred Rodriguez.


COMMISSIONER RODRIGUEZ: In your questioning of

the various Supervisors, and other representatives, I

think what you were looking at is saying that this is a

problem that is just, is beyond just this group here.

We're dealing with what's going on within the GGNRA, but

there's a lot of pressure created by actions that have

been taken elsewhere. The fact that there is no place in

San Mateo to run dogs, that you need to come up to San

Francisco to do it, it would be good to bring these

players to the table. We had more than a majority of the

Board of Supervisors here, and you have on this

Commission, right now, at least three people who were on

the Rec & Park Commission in San Francisco, and a former

Superintendent, and there are ways of including what goes

on in city policy.

I also just want to comment about all the energy

that has been used up here this evening. I would hope

that we could capture it for other purposes, as well,

that help to promote and preserve the GGNRA. Hopefully, a

collaboration that wouldn't end on this issue, but would

form a base on which to build on other issues and further



And just as a passing comment, because I know

there's just so many attorneys, that I do not, for one

moment, feel that, if there were an off-leash ban, we

would not be using the area for recreation. I think that

there's a lot of recreation that goes there. But I think

it is important to hear what the desires are of people

that are in the community and see where we can fill those.

But not because I feel it's going to be rescinded or taken

from us.



Dennis Rodoni.


COMMISSIONER RODONI: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I welcome your suggestion to bring a closure to

this item tonight. I do think that a no-action is

appropriate on the proposal for rescinding the resolution.

And I would like to comment, though, that I think possibly

the recommendations could be combined into one. I do not

see any particular benefit in separating the public

agencies from the group that would be -- okay, I wanted to

make sure of that. Because we've got a tremendous offer

of cooperation tonight from Supervisors and State

Assemblymen, et cetera, et cetera; and I certainly would

like to encourage the Superintendent in this work group --

however it should evolve -- to include all those bodies,

public agencies and private individuals, so that we could

reach an agreement with that group. And I do include, as

Trent and Lennie suggested, that we have to include every

user to be a part of this group to get a fair resolution

for everyone.




COMMISSIONER RODONI: And, so, I would welcome

voting on this resolution; but I would remind the Chair

that there is line over there that hasn't gotten any

shorter. So we need to address that.



Gordon Bennett.


COMMISSIONER BENNETT: I just want to make sure

that we include Marin County is this. There are these

same issues in Marin County, and we should -- we've

spoken, San Francisco has spoken, to San Mateo. Those

groups should be included and also Marin County.




Miss Meyer.


COMMISSIONER MEYER: Dennis, the reason I tried

to separate those two is because they're really two very

different trains of thought. One is that, before we can

go and say to people in the Region we need to talk to you

and we want to know what you want to do, we need to find

out from the various groups, user groups, interest groups

-- stakeholders is probably the right word -- what they're

thinking and what the range is of what can be done before

one can make any representations to another county, or

another agency. And that's why I separated the two.


COMMISSIONER RODONI: The Superintendent to

approach the exception issue, without going through the

process first, so we knew what the exception was that was

acceptable to all of the groups, so that was my point.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Okay. Speaking for myself, I

don't know if any of this is going to work. But I made

the proposal because you asked for it. So I will now

rephrase the motion in this way:

First, that we ask the park staff to continue to

meet with the other land-owning agencies regarding other

places where this activity can take place.

Secondly, that the Superintendent meet with all

the interested parties, stakeholders -- a better word --

including the elected officials and the congressional

offices, and let's add, specifically, the agency of the

City and County of San Francisco, within 120 days.

Third, that among these discussions be the

possibility of an application through the Park Service for

a change in the CFR affecting this park.

Fourth -- and this is the one that I made

explicit, rather than implicit -- that the staff make no

changed in its enforcement during the next 120 days.

Those are recommendations and that's the motion

that's been made and seconded. Are we ready to vote?







clarification on when you say "stakeholders," because

there are groups that are not organized. I had one person

call me whose dog was leash, but was attacked by dogs not

on leash, and she's not part of an organized group. Is

there someway to bring in those who also use the park, but

maybe not organized into groups?


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: I think we've said that those

people are included as stakeholders. Stakeholder does not

mean necessarily groups. But all the groups that have

been mentioned tonight, all of them, plus all the users of

the park. Okay?



CHAIRMAN BARTKE: We're ready to vote. All in

favor say aye?

[Members voted: 14 ayes]

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Opposed say no?


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: The motion is adopted.

[Motion carried: 14/1, Meyer dissenting]

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: We now have before us the

recommendation by Dr. Wayburn. This has also been moved

and seconded, that we forward this issue to the National

Park's Advisory Board.

Discussion on that motion?






COMMISSIONER WAYBURN: I recommend a special

commission to study and make recommendations. This is not

just to the Advisory Board. It's that the Advisory Board

and the Director, if necessary, appoint this special

commission of knowledgeable people. This does not reach a

conclusion at this time, and it is not just pushing it



CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Okay. I will reword the

motion, then, that's in front of us, which is: We ask that

the National Park's Advisory Board appoint a special

commission to study and recommend on this policy.







concerned about this. I don't want to -- I don't want to

see us voting. I think we may well be split on this. I

don't want to see us voting no on it. And, again, I need

to understand what is the critical -- is there a critical

timing here? If there isn't, can't we just table this for

a month so that we have a better understanding of it?


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Well, under Parliamentary

rules, if you table it, it's tabled until the Board voted

it back off the table. If you want to postpone it to a

definite time, that's a different kind of a motion. I

would suggest --


postpone it for a month.



[Unidentified member of the audience speaking

but not recorded.]



understanding what I'm, what I'm -- I'm talking about

something quite different and very specific.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: The motion that is being

considered by the Commission at this time had been a part

of the former motion, but it was split out; and that is:

This body requests the National Park's Advisory Board

appoint a special commission to investigate and advise it.

Commissioner Alexander has suggested a postponement for

one month. I've not yet heard a second.


COMMISSIONER CUTLER: I'll second that.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Seconded. Discussion on the

-- I believe, on a motion to postpone, you can only

discuss the postponment, not the motion itself.



COMMISSIONER BENNETT: I'd like to hope that we

can solve this on a local level, so I would like actually

to postpone it for the 120 days that we have to look at

the local measures.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: That would be a substitute






CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Okay. Is there a second to

the substitute motion?




CHAIRMAN BARTKE: It's been moved and seconded ,

the substitute motion, that we postpone the referral to

the National Park's Advisory Board for 120 days.

Now, discussion on the -- oh, man! It's later

than I thought -- on the substitute motion.

Do you have a question?


VOICE: Are you referring this for a decision or

for --

VOICE: Advice.

VOICE: Okay, advice, but not like telling you

what you have to do?


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: That's correct. It's simply

-- the question remains local.



COMMISSIONER ALLAN: Mr. Chairman, I think that

it just makes sense. We'll work on this for 120 days and

we'll have something.

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: I hope. Okay. The substitute

motion, then, is to postpone the referral for 120 days.

All in favor say aye?

[Members voted.]

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Opposed say no.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: That motion is adopted.

[Substitute Motion (Commissioner Bennett)

carried: 12/1, Commissioner Orr dissenting.]

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Is there anything else on this

item to come before the Commission?



CHAIRMAN BARTKE: The next item on our agenda --

excuse me. Somebody asked that the Superintendent

respond. He's willing to do that. We will ask him to do


SUPERINTENDENT O'NEILL: I want to, first of

all, thank the public for, in most cases, your decorum and

appreciation. I really do appreciate the thoughtful

comments of people, like Ed Sayers and Linda McKay, in

understanding the delicacy and difficulty of the issue

that we have to deal with here. We have a park of

extraordinary diversity and extraordinary resource values.

And there are many, many difficult issues to try to thread

through. And I think this Commission, and I know the park

has, has tried to be very resourceful in how we have

addressed that given constraints that have to work within.

I think we want to continue that attitude of being

resourceful, but realizing that we have to thread a very

difficult needle here on how we do it, and certainly

representing the Park Service in the spirit of wanting to

see if there's an answer that is appropriate, that's

respective of other user interests, is respectful of

resource stewardship that we all have a concern with, and

that the discussions involve all of the key stakeholder

interests. Because, clearly, we heard from a lot of

people who felt intimidated about coming tonight because

of what they expected would be the decorum, and I don't

think we got a full representation of all those views

tonight. I think it's important, if we have this

dialogue, we understand who those stakeholders are and

that they feel like they have a voice that's being heard,

respected, and dealt with as we address it.

So, clearly, from the Park point of view, I'm

very supportive of moving forward in the spirit of

tracking on those three issues. We have to make it clear

that, in 120 days, we'll see where we're at. And we have

to deploy what we call discretionary authority. There's no

such thing as not citing egregious situations. I think

you all will agree that there are certain situations out

there that need to be dealt with on the spot. Under no

circumstances are we going to give up that right and

obligation that we have to the public that uses the park.

So we will continue to use that discretionary authority,

and we will do it in a very responsible way.

We have to make it clear, also, that the Fort

Funston 12-acre issue is not subject to this resolution.

That's in the courts, and that has to complete itself in

the courts. And that that is important that that is a

separate issue from this broader question.

Other than that, I think we all here are

interested in rolling up our sleeves in trying to find

creative ways to deal with the challenges that we've got.

And I just want to underscore the fact that we feel

blessed in this community to have a national park that has

the resource values that are every bit as important and

significant as the Grand Canyon or Yosemite. And we need

to respect those resources in how we use them in

responsible ways.

Thank you.



Perhaps one last thing on this item. I want to

express my deep appreciation for those who gave up their

time to speak after they had signed up to speak. All of

the names will become part of the official record. We

have the names of everybody who signed up, even those that

were outside in the rain. They're all part of the record.


Looking at our agenda, Item 4 has already been

taken care of. Under Item 3, the Presidio Trust

Director's Report, he has submitted a written report; and,

so, having submitted a written report, I excused him from

being personally here.

The Superintendent's Report, Brian?

SUPERINTENDENT O'NEILL: I'm too tired to give

one myself.


It was a long night last night and an early

morning. And we've got a written report and you can read

it and you can ask me any questions you want from it.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Okay. Moving on, committee

reports. Are there any committees, other than the Marin

Report, which we already received?






met on December 14. We heard a lot about the long overdue

repairs to the PUC Pump Station Building on city property,

next to the east end of the Crissy Field Promenade. The

Department of Public Works is preparing to repair the

plaza, which has been broken up for many years.

Unfortunately, what we are going to get are apparently

ugly concrete slabs poured over the broken up plaza.

Afterwards, we hope that the chain-link fence will be


We received an update on the Presidio Vegetation

Management Plan. It is moving towards a finding of no

significant impact.

We discussed the Presidio Trust Implementation

Plan and its status and the process it will follow. We

received an update on the Presidio Interpretation Plan and

reviewed the interpretation themes from last Spring's

symposium. We received an update on seismic work at the

Presidio Visitor Center Building, and we heard an advisory

on the ground-cover issues at the east end of Crissy


That's my report.






CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Any other committees wish to


(No response.)

CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Now item 5 on the agenda is

the election of officers. This Commission has two

officers, the chair and a vice chair.

The floor is now open for nominations.






COMMISSIONER CUTLER: Mr. Chairman, I'd like to

nominate Richard Bartke to be the chairman.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Any further nominations?


COMMISSIONER MEYER: I move the nomination be





CHAIRMAN BARTKE: I thought I heard a train go

through here.

It's been moved and seconded that the

nominations be closed. All in favor say aye?


[Members voted unanimously.]


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Opposed say no?


(No response.)


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: The chair recognizes

nominations for the office of vice chair.


COMMISSIONER WAYBURN: Mr. Chairman, I nominate

Amy Meyer for vice chair.


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Amy Meyer has been nominated.




CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Any further nominations?


(No response.)


COMMISSIONER ORR: Move that the nominations be





CHAIRMAN BARTKE: Moved the nominations be

closed, and it has been seconded. All in favor say aye?

[Members voted unanimously.]




(No response.)


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: That completes our agenda for

this evening, unless there is anything that is not on the

agenda that we have to deal with.

(No response.)


CHAIRMAN BARTKE: No. This meeting will be

adjourned in memory of Senator Alan Cranston, Congressmen

Sidney Yates and Bruce Vento, and Colonel "Bud" Halsey.


(Whereupon, at 11:15 p.m., the meeting of the

Advisory Commission was adjourned, to reconvene at 7:30

p.m., Tuesday, February 27, 2001.

[note: that meeting was since canceled, next meeting is at 7:3\0

p.m., Tuesday, March 27, 2001.


- Editor, GGNRA WatchDog]


This is to certify that the attached proceedings

before the Department of Interior, National Park Service,

of the meeting of:




were held as therein appears, and that this is the

original transcript thereof for the files of the


James W. Higgins, CVR
Official Reporter


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