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tv   [untitled]    April 17, 2011 1:00am-1:30am PDT

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on dogs, it is not at all. if the proposed plan is adopted, it is not a ban. there will be some restrictions, but it is not an outright ban. the dog walking would remain in activity, there would be seven proposed areas. large portions of the beach remain open. a mile of ocean beach, a half of the christie field airfield in the entire beach would remain open to off-leash dog is. -- dogs. and the plan provides for a variety of experiences, including visitors that prefer not to interact with the dog. and ultimately protect critical species and habitats. we have often worked with san
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francisco on many issues in this plan is no different. we plan to work with the city. this plan addresses impacts ha, we are willing to work with city officials and staff to see how we can address your concerns and questions about that. we are working with many fronts in san francisco right now. where do we go from here? we need to hear from the public in a very constructive been substantive way -- and a substantive way. the of the plans look the same as they did at the beginning. we are open to constructive feedback. we need to hear from all groups, and all comments will be carefully reviewed. the final plan will respond to substantive comments.
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we believe that this unique part can have a unique rule on dog use. this plan reflects years of hard work by hundreds of people, and requires everyone pulling together. with that, i am available for questions. supervisor wiener: i was happy to hear you talk about how ggnra would be working with the city. would they be effectively negotiating with the city in order to take into account the needs of san francisco and its residents? whether actually be a collaborative process to shape the plan going forward?
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>> i would not characterize it as negotiating. we have alternatives on the table. a constructive comments from the public and working with city officials, we are all ears. supervisor wiener: i understand that the white house has instructed that under nepa, federal agents are to work with local officials. >> yes, we do. i am not sure how you are characterizing it, but we are all leaders. -- all ears. we have to take their comments on what we have on the table and that will inform. supervisor wiener: for example,
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sticking with the current management plan, working with the city to improve enforcement, would that be a possibility? >> i don't believe the current status quo is sustainable. we would not be here talking about possible changes. are you asking for some sort of a delay? supervisor wiener: i am talking about what the end result might be. there is a disagreement about whether the current situation is working. there is also a perspective that says it can perhaps, with some smaller changes, or changes to enforcement, to ensure good behavior. that it could be a workable solution. >> it gets into how significant
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the changes you're suggesting -- we don't believe that the current situation is tenable or sustainable. we see degradation of resources. we see people that are not welcome. they feel less -- they tell us that they don't feel like they can go to certain areas of the park. whether it be fencing, better signage, working with the city. we are open to any of those options. >> i believe we are in agreement that ggnra is an urban recreational area. >> it's a national park in an
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urban area. it's a national recreation area. technically. it is a national park area part of the national park system. it is not any less or any different from yosemite. supervisor wiener: if i could ask members of the public, i know a lot of us have very strong views about this, we asked people to refrain from speaking or applauding, booing or hissing. ggnra did not have to come today. they are here to have a conversation. would you agree that recreational uses an important part of what -- use is an
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important part of what ggnra is? >> it is one of our core principles. supervisor wiener: how ggnra is used, is important to take into account the needs of san francisco and its residents? >> yes, that is also one of our core tenets. whether they be from san francisco, rhode island, it is a national area. supervisor wiener: it states that you did consider the potential impact on san francisco and that there would not be any significant impact? >> that is what the document states. supervisor wiener: what did
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ggnra do to come to the conclusion that there would be no significant impact on san francisco? gosh it was not an exhaustive study. -- >> it was not an exhaustive study. we realized it was not a ban. we are shifting people around. we, in the end, did not believe that there will be significant impact area >> was there a numerical analysis? >> there was not. supervisor wiener: during the tsunami warning, ocean beach was
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shut down as a precautionary safety measure. i was not there personally, but i had been informed that if was basically over run with dogs that day. presumably, there may have been a causal connection there. were you aware of that? >> i have heard that story as well. if there was a connection, a mile of ocean beach would still be open. the tsunami situation was a bit different. it was not what we are proposing at all. >> with the compliance based
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escalation, what is the compliance? my understanding is that if there isn't a 75% compliance, it will go to the next most restrictive that would be no more off-leash? gosh it would go to perhaps no dogs or to a leased area. -- >> supervisor wiener: there would be no more off-leash dogs permitted? >> they are all luck that specifically. -- looked at specifically. supervisor wiener: could go to a ban on dogs in that particular area?
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if that plan is approved, we could have a situation where potentially all of it would be off-limits to dogs? given the level of compliance we're asking for. we are looking for 75%. we are trying to be as flexible or as reasonable as we can. we would be stepping up our education and our enforcement to try to revise people that there might be a change in the offing. supervisor wiener: how was the compliance going to be measured? >> we would have a third party institution develop the criteria and the system.
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we have not developed that yet, but it would be a third-party developed and peer reviewed. it would be posted on the web site, as well as the progress. >> has this been tried anywhere in the park system you are aware of? >> adaptive management is a tool that we use. the national seashore of north carolina is looking for something where they have views on the beach. i am not familiar with the dog example at the moment. supervisor wiener: is it difficult to predict what level of compliance there will be? >> we have some sense of those that are watching, they see dog
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walkers and they make occasional the haitians. we have a sense of how things are going out. we believe with education and cooperation that we can get there. supervisor wiener: in terms of the overall incidence that are reported, the percentage that are attributable to dogs, from five years ago, there was about 7% attributable to dogs? >> i am not familiar with that number. we have had a lot of freedom of information requests for data. i do know that as a percentage, it is interesting because when you compare it, the analogy is
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made. given the slide that i showed where we have various litigation and confusion, no clarity about what the rules are, the level of enforcement has been up and down because there was other direction given to field rangers and staff. there is obviously officer discretion as well. if you have a dog problem verses something more serious going on, the officer will go with a more serious case. it is hard to use that as a measure, but we will share the specifics as soon as we can. we are going to be boasting that -- posting that to the website. supervisor wiener: those are the
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questions i had. supervisor mar: i had a couple questions about ocean beach. can you walk us through one of the federal a threatened species? and what did you have on reports of dogs and during -- injuring them and the rationale for balance with the critical habitat and the sensitive species? >> at ocean beach, the area where the birds are is between the middle of golden gate park. the area is currently closed to 10 months of the year while the birds are present.
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we have observers that monitor the birds occasionally. they observe how birds being flushed by dogs and are running through the area or jogging along. i could provide more information if needed. it is against the law for district while life. -- wildlife. >> the plan would create a seasonal leash restriction? >> it is confusing to people. and i am the right amount cannot? 10 months -- right month or not?
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10 months versus 12. the 12 month closure in the are a 00-- supervisor mar: and i would be interested in the other groups information. the unofficial reports of a dog injuring or killing one. >> i am not aware of that as a factual statement. the birds have been disturbed by dogs on both christie in the ocean beach. -- and ocean beach. the federal law drums the dog policy at local level. -- trumps the dog policy at the local level. supervisor mar: next, we are going to hear from the recreation and parks
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department. thank you. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i am here today to give you some information on our off-leash dog areas. and briefly discussed some of the impact that we expect if the proposed management plan goes into effect. like the golden gate national recreation area, our parks department is to have some sensitive national areas and endangered species. our job is to balance multiple users needs to recreates and
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enjoy nature. we understand what they are trying to achieve. i think you all have a copy of this map. we have approved 28 dog play areas or dpa's. each one was discussed and agreed upon through a lengthy process and brought to the commission and approved there. each one of the dog play areas as opposed to have the french group -- is supposed to have a fringe group. it creates a sense of community of around the dog area. we have had mixed results with that.
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it is important to note that while we have to find a dog play areas, we just had this issue in her district of folks using an athletic field for off-leash dog use. we struggle to enforce our off- leash rule. this is just a brief list. i apologize. they are spread pretty much throughout the city. people have easy access to locations. i have included a map of where the ggnra's proposed changes
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would be. it is important to note that we have many of the same challenges, over 80% of our dogs are near sensitive natural habitats. while we do have a lot that we share with the ggnra, we have concerns about this plan. most importantly, the study does not adequately speak to land outside the golden gate area. we think that is problematic. if you restrict access to a certain area of the city, they will necessarily go somewhere else. it will cause an additional maintenance burden for the city.
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we also have some anecdotal evidence from last month. the environmental study also references limiting the number of dogs the professional dog walkers are allowed to have with them at any time. the city does not currently have either of those things in place. while they are ideas that have been discussed. it and could be problematic n.y. -- it could be problematic if there are different rules in different jurisdictions. people continue to work collaborative the tomatoes as
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seamless as possible. the 75% compliance language presents a significant concerns for us. if the areas continue to progress to no dogs, the burden on city properties would be even more significant. our largest concern come but we don't have the empirical data or a good way to evaluate the tax on city land because the document did not study where the users are coming from, how often they frequent the place, the particular location. and where they might go instead
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if certain areas are not available. that is a brief wrap up of our concerns. >supervisor cohen: i was curious to know if you've had any conversation to address your concerns? >> we have met twice. supervisor cohen: were your concerns addressed? how did they end to them? candidate knowledge them? -- did they acknowledge them? >> yes. we share borders on a variety of
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properties. the question for the city now becomes the process by which it concerns our address. i can let the superintendent answer that question, but he is pretty clear about the concerns of our department. supervisor cohen: i was curious to know if you had an opportunity to sit down with rec and park to discuss the addressing of their concerns. >> we spoke to the city park and direct manager. most recently, when the plan was about to be released, we walk themand we did talk about the
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concern that they raise about the potential impact. we don't have a lot of data. nor do they. it is somewhat speculative as well. we were willing to work with the city to try and sort that out. we are putting them in different places. some of their dog parks are underutilized. i don't know if that is true, but it seems like there is flexibility there. it seems that the city has rules in place that we are trying to do ourselves. it seems awkward that we are being asked not to enforce rules that we have in other national
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parks and the city has the same rules. supervisor cohen: thank you. supervisor wiener: in terms of the issues that have been discussed, are they in agreement with those or is it an ongoing discussion? >> hi would say it is an ongoing discussion. the idea of the commercial dog walkers, the number of permits and the dogs that we might have, it makes sense that they will do something jointly. they continue to maintain that if this plan is implemented, there will be impacts on city parks.
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supervisor mar: i was going to ask you, that looks likel the ggnra plan would eliminate off- leash dog areas in land's end and baker beach. it impacts a small partof my dist -- part of my district and the presidio. i am looking at the recreation and park off-leash areas of the city. i know that they say we have 30 off-leash dog parks. we have more than boston, denver, sacramento combined. there are very few off-leash dog
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areas in the western part of the city decides the areas that you mentioned. there is only a couple on the western edge. there seems to be one in the northwestern edge. what do you think will be the impact on those areas to eliminate those areas? >> that is probably the most significant area of concern. the dog training area could be heavily impacted. the one thing that is worth noting is from an environmental perspective if users can no longer walk two locations near their house -- to locations near
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their house. mclarran park has one of