Just when we thought we might be able to walk with our dogs in the Golden Gate National Recreation area without constantly having to worry that the Park Service would take this activity away, they are moving to revive the dog rule for the GGNRA, hoping the new Secretary of the Interior won’t notice what they’re up to. It could happen as early as this summer.
Here’s what’s going on – we thought the Park Service wouldn’t possibly try to push through the GGNRA dog rule after we discovered through our Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit that numerous Park Service officials—including two superintendents–had been using their private email accounts to collaborate behind the scenes with special interest groups that oppose dog walking. By colluding with these groups to lobby elected officials on behalf of the Park Service position, and by destroying administrative record files, demonstrating bias against dog walking supporters, and omitting data from the dog management plan, they irreparably corrupted the administrative process used to develop the dog rule.
But that doesn’t seem to matter to the Park Service. They recently announced they would quickly conduct what appears to be a cursory investigation of the inappropriate use of private email accounts by Park Service staff. We think they’re trying to get the rule to the point where it cannot be withdrawn. The Park Service even tried to mislead the public by saying that only one of their officials used his private email account to collaborate with outside groups, when it was actually four officials, including the current superintendent of the Grand Canyon.
We need to make sure these activities come to the attention of the new Secretary of the Interior, who has been very public about wanting the Department of the Interior (of which the Park Service is a part) to be dog friendly. He can help us stop the Park Service staff’s misconduct and get the dog rule withdrawn once and for all.
Please sign our petition to Secretary of the Interior Zinke and spread the word with everyone you know who enjoys dog walking in Ft. Funston, Muir Beach, Rancho Corral de Tierra, Crissy Field and so many other places where we’ve been walking with our dogs for decades.
We’ve held off the Park Service for more than a decade because tens of thousands of us wrote letters, rallied, lobbied, marched and did whatever else we could think of. Let’s not let them defeat us now.