What is ROLL-OVER!
and why does OBDOG advocate for this now?
ROLL-OVER! has become the
mantra of OBDOG - a rallying cry, if you will. ROLL-OVER!
is the product of decades of abuse and flagrant disregard for the Recreation
Area's enabling legislation by GGNRA
management. It stands for Reversion,
and Legislation--until it's OVER
(and we have won). The core principle in play is that this proposed
2016 GGNRA Dog Management Plan, as promulgated by the GGNRA/NPS/DOI, is
unlawful and we can utilize any of the above ROLL paths to remedy the situation.
The path taken is up to the citizens of Marin, San
Francisco, and San
and their elected representatives in government.
Why is this 2016 Dog Management Plan unlawful? The enabling
legislation for the GGNRA imposes a unique limitation on NPS's discretionary
power for “management of the recreation area”: the “Secretary of Interior..shall utilize the resources in a
manner which will provide for recreation
and educational opportunities consistent with sound principles of land
use planning and management.”
are these sound principles of land use and management? In this new Dog
Management Plan, the GGNRA asserts they must "protect the resources" and
consequently they are reducing our access.
Fortunately, for the users of this great National Recreation Area, the
GGNRA/NPS/DOI has a very specific process they are required to follow when
making public policy changes like this. The process dictates that the GGNRA must:
- Monitor the
the National Recreation Area, so that they may detect the degradation of
the resources in their trust. This
is termed "vital monitoring" in the law; and is the prescribed
method to document damage to resources.
To see the applicable laws/statutes/regulations that codify the
requirement for vital monitoring, please refer to the OBDOG "This
SEIS/DEIS is Unlawful" section: http://oceanbeachdog2.home.mindspring.com/id22.html
and OBDOG's "Comments on the GGNRA SEIS";
section "Vital Monitoring";
pages 4-8: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2ezi1v4OYkzT3pNU1hGYXdXV28/view
- Conduct site-specific,
peer-reviewed studies to establish a scientific basis for proposed changes
and confirm the changes they propose will actually resolve or minimize the
problem. To see the applicable laws/statutes/regulations that codify the
requirement for site specific, peer-reviewed studies, please refer to the
OBDOG "Smoking Taser" section:
and OBDOG's "Comments on the GGNRA SEIS";
section "Peer Review";
the GGNRA follow their own laws regarding sound principles of land management? The
answer is an overwhelming "NO".
In 2006, when the GGNRA publicly stated they planned to change the Dog
Management Policy to "protect the resources", OBDOG submitted a
Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request for the reports, data and studies
they utilized to determine dogs were causing damage to the resources of the
GGNRA. The GGNRA's response was
remarkable--they had nothing, absolutely nothing.
An appeal to the Department of Interior took
five years, and the response was the same--they had nothing.
in their first version of the proposed changes to access for dogs and their
guardians (the DEIS) the GGNRA included a 2009 Audubon study they claimed
supported their decision to limit access at Crissy Field and Ocean
to protect the plover. The OBDOG Comment
on the DEIS attacked the legitimacy of the 2009 Audubon study as if we were
conducting peer review. We established the
study was flawed in so many regards that in the GGNRA's next submission to the
public (the SEIS), the 2009 Audubon study was omitted entirely. Additionally,
our Comment on the DEIS pointed
to a 2007 UC Berkeley Dept Of Environmental Studies Report regarding the plover
at Crissy Field and Point Reyes, a study conducted with the GGNRA's cooperation. The
UCB study was site specific,
peer-reviewed, and determined dogs and their guardians did not deter the plover
from foraging and feeding. Although this UCB study met the scientific
requirements for consideration, it did not support the arbitrary policy changes
the GGNRA wanted to make. The UCB study
was intentionally omitted in both the DEIS and SEIS. (see http://oceanbeachdog2.home.mindspring.com/WSP_Recreation_Warren.pdf
for a copy of the study.)
GGNRA asserted in the DEIS that dogs were adversely affecting water quality in
the GGNRA. OBDOG pointed out in our Comment
on the DEIS that the study the GGNRA referenced to establish diminished water
quality did not exist. Further, OBDOG
provided the annual report from Heal the Bay to show that a reputable
organization found the water quality unaffected by dogs.
In the SEIS, the GGNRA stated as follows:
"Although water quality monitoring currently occurs at GGNRA, no
site-specific, peer-reviewed studies have been conducted at the GGNRA sites to
document impacts to water quality specifically from dogs...water quality has
therefore been dismissed as a resource topic in this document due to lack of
the SEIS on pages 373 and 376, admits the following:
"Site-specific, peer-reviewed studies
have not been conducted at the GGNRA sites for
the sole purpose of documenting impacts to
vegetation or soils from dogs.... Very few
site-specific, peer-reviewed studies have
been conducted at GGNRA for the purpose
of documenting impacts to wildlife as a
result of dogs."
Clearly, the GGNRA/NPS/DOI has failed to meet the minimum
standards under Federal Law to promulgate the sweeping policy changes in the
2016 Dog Management Plan. These failures
were all pointed out to the GGNRA/NPS/DOI during the Notice and Comment
process, yet the GGNRA/NPS/DOI failed to rectify their legal and scientific
shortcomings and now brazenly proceed to institute these changes which they
know are unlawful.
The GGNRA further proves the point that they have knowingly failed to document resource degradation,
and refused to provide site specific, peer-reviewed studies to support these proposed management changes
by using this new DMP to exempt themselves from EVER having to follow these DOI/NPS rules regarding
science-based resource management. The Poison Pill (Monitoring-Based Management Program) has
again been included in this latest version of the DMP, and it is by far the most dangerous iteration yet.
In this version of the Poison Pill, the GGNRA allows itself the flexibility to implement secondary
management actions (which can include short, long or permanent closures of dog walking areas) to prevent unacceptable impacts or conditions before they occur. It's all up to the Superintendent-no documentation required! This is a bald-faced attempt to circumvent well established Federal Law to allow GGNRA management to lock dogs and their guardians out of the GGNRA altogether.
The City of San Francisco is
legally and morally obligated to use these violations of the enabling
legislation, MOU and grant deeds to take back (revert) Fort
Funston, Ocean Beach,
Lands End and perhaps some additional areas.
If the City refuses, the citizens could sue the City of SF
to force them to move
for reversion. The City must be
reminded they made promises to
protect citizens from potential restrictions upon access or fundamental changes
to these properties after inclusion into the GGNRA. The City made these promises
in 1972 to
persuade the public to vote for Proposition F which allowed the City to
transfer these properties into the GGNRA.
The beauty of reversion is it puts control of prime local areas like Ocean
and Fort Funston
back into the hands of local
officials who are more accountable to the voting public. Please see http://oceanbeachdog.home.mindspring.com/reversion/index.html
for a discussion on reversion.
Alternatively, the citizens of San Mateo,
and Marin counties certainly could undertake litigation in Federal Court to enforce
the Federal legal
requirements (vital monitoring and site specific, peer-reviewed studies) for a
public policy change of this magnitude. The
remedy in that case would be reinstatement of the 1979 Pet Policy, and a
requirement for vital monitoring and peer reviewed studies on properties
acquired after 1979 to see if historical use is consistent with maintenance of
the resources over time. This would not be a permanent fix, but it would be far
superior to just letting the GGNRA run roughshod over the rights of the public.
Lastly, we could reach out to Congress with a request for oversight and legislation establishing the 1979 Pet Policy as a
Seven Special Regulation which would make it much more difficult for the
GGNRA/NPS/DOI to remove our access in the future. Unfortunately, we can expect
GGNRA/NPS/DOI will try again to take away our recreational access (the current
proposed change in the DMP began in 2006 after the Federal Court reinstated the
1979 Pet Policy in 2005). OBDOG and
leadership from other groups have reached out to local Congressional
representatives as well as others in Washington
in a position to advocate on our behalf with no tangible success at this time. However,
every election holds promise for a Congress
more sensitive to our issues.
And so, dog groups and dog advocates alike: