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Original post made
on Apr 23, 2008
When it comes to the GGNRA, be afraid. BE VERY AFRAID! They have a long history of reneging on their promises and violating their enabling legislation. Just ask the residents of Stinson Beach, West Marin in general, the dog walking community in San Francisco, Marin and Pacifica and beyond, Fort Baker and Sausalito residents and neighbors, etc. Although "recreation" is a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the GGNRA and its skipper, Brian O'Neill, have made every effort to drop the term from their name. In fact, don't be confused when you see the name Golden Gate National Parks on their web site. To the GGNRA, recreation and any association with the term recreation is an albatross around their collective necks. The admitted objective of the GGNRA is to turn these once great open space recreation areas into stand-behind-the-ropes-and-look-only museums. Their goal is to treat these urban parklands exactly like the traditional national parks, e.g., Yosemite. With the ever diminishing open space and recreational opportuinities available in this densely populated urban area, such a policy is simply unacceptable. But the GGNRA and the extreme environmentalists who support their policy, simply don't care. I encourage all who read this to just say "NO" to the GGNRA.
The GGNRA is, first and foremost, a unique urban recreational Park. Its enabling legislation is much different than almost all other National Parks in stressing recreation first. While this does not mean that the GGNRA has a duty to protect that which is truly threatened or endangered, the GGNRA, under the helm of Brian O'Neill, continues a public relations campaign to misinform everyone over the recreation-first mandate of the Park.
When the GGNRA reniged on the 1979 Pet Policy (its own Policy), they were taken to court over the issue (actually, they put three people on trial for doing nothing more than following traditional, GGNRA promulgated, policies. In ruling aginst the GGNRA, the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California, in United States v. Barley, et al. 405 F.Supp.2d 1121 (N.D.Cal. 2005), stated:
"In sum, for more than twenty years, the GGNRA officially designated at least seven sites for off-leash use. This was not accidental. It was a carefully articulated, often studied, promulgation. The responsible GGNRA officials in 1978 and thereafter presumably believed they were acting lawfully. Even now, the government concedes that the GGNRA had full authority at all times to relax the general leash rule at the GGNRA but argues it could have done so, at least after 1983, only via a "special regulation." In other words, the agency allegedly used the "wrong" procedure back in 1978 (and thereafter) even though a "right" procedure to reach the desired result was available and could have been used. The government has not revealed its internal justification for following the "wrong" process. Whatever it was, the justification was abandoned in 2002 with the two-word explanation that it had been "in error." With this ipse dixit, the NPS wiped away two decades of policy, practice, promulgations, and promises to the public."
You can count on the same happening in the future.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The headline of this thread and some of the information in the article the thread is linked to are wrong. There is no meeting on Sunday, April 27. We'll be publishing a correction in our online news section soon.
Meanwhile, keep your comments on the GGNRA and its parklands coming.
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