Dog owners in San Francisco’s Bay Area are upset over a proposal that has limited canines from running around free in several popular beaches and parks in the city.
According to the New York Times, the National Park Service has included 21 locations within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area -- spread across 74,816 acres of marshes, lagoons and 28 miles of shoreline from Marin County in the north to San Mateo in the south where dogs could in the past roam free -- in a list of places where canines cannot run off-leash. This includes five of the six places in Marin County where dogs can currently run free.
According to an Associated Press report, the "dog management plan" has made dogs off-limits at Crissy Field beach and at most of San Francisco's Ocean Beach.
“I think the National Park Service, at least in its upper management, is anti-dog,” Martha Walters, a spokeswoman for the Crissy Field Dog Group, an organization that is opposing the proposal, told the New York Times.
The proposal, which was introduced on Sept. 6 after environmentalists complained that dogs were scaring wildlife and trampling vegetation, is currently up for a 90-day public comment period for dog owners to record their opposition.
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The final plan will be unveiled sometime in early 2015, the report noted.
“There is a strong sense of entitlement among some, not all, dog owners that they can run their dogs wherever they want,” Mike Lynes, executive director of the Golden Gate Audubon Society, an organization dealing with conservation issues, told the New York Times.
It is not surprising that the new proposal has upset dog owners, because, according to reports, an estimated 110,000 households in San Francisco own dogs, and this number is more than the number of children in the area.