In an announcement today the National Park Service said it’s postponing signing-off on the dog walking restrictions it had proposed for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The record of decision, which was expected today, will be delayed indefinitely.
In light of newly found records, the Park Service said it has undertaken a review of communications by a senior GGNRA employee who used his personal Gmail account to conduct official business related to the dog plan. This private email use was discovered in response to our ongoing federal lawsuit to compel the Park Service to comply with our Freedom of Information Act Request for information about how the agency made decisions in developing the dog management plan.
We feel the National Park Service is taking the right action postponing the dog plan. But it needs to go further with a much broader investigation of the entire dog management planning process, which has been severely compromised. Documents released last week via www.WoofieLeaks.com show the Park Service is biased against people who walk with dogs, engaged in questionable meetings with external groups by directing them to drum up support for the dog restrictions, and had improper — and possibly unlawful — recordkeeping practices. The newly discovered private emails reveal similar activity by the agency and suggest the use of the personal email account may have been intentional.
This is a huge victory for everyone who has participated in good faith in the dog management planning process and for the elected officials who stood up for us!
Recreational dog walking is a wonderful, healthy activity that’s beloved in the San Francisco Bay Area. All we’ve ever wanted is to keep a reasonable amount of open space in the GGNRA for people to exercise with their dogs.
The National Park Service may try to bring its plan for restricting dog walking back in the future, so please stay tuned. In the meantime, many thanks to the ace team at Morrison & Foerster who is representing Save Our Recreation, SFDOG, Marin County DOG, and Coastside DOG of San Mateo County in the lawsuit.
You can see all of the communications obtained via the Freedom of Information Act at www.WoofieLeaks.com.