Dear Secretary Zinke,
We urgently need your help preserving recreational dog walking in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA).
While you are working to make the Department of the Interior dog friendly, the National Park Service (NPS) is trying to push through a rule–a pet project of former NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis—to ban dog walking from most of the urban GGNRA. For over 40 years, people have walked their dogs on a mere 1% of the GGNRA's 80,000 acres. Now, the Park Service wants to cut that by nearly 90%.
We think you’d agree that dog walking is a perfectly appropriate activity for an urban recreation area like the GGNRA, located within one of the most densely packed urban areas in the nation.
During the past 14 years, the NPS has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars developing this highly restrictive dog walking rule for the GGNRA, despite the overwhelming opposition of tens of thousands of local residents and the Boards of Supervisors of Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties. If the rule goes into effect, the Park Service intends to spend $2.6 million annually to enforce it.
Right now the Park Service is hoping you won’t notice that they’re still trying to push this unpopular and unlawful rule forward, despite the fact that the National Environmental Policy Act process has been tainted by the use of private email accounts by NPS officials, as well as administrative record file destruction, omission of data, and collusion with outside groups to lobby elected officials.
Secretary Zinke, please help us stop the Park Service from taking away one of our favorite recreational activities—walking with our dogs. We request that this proposed rule for dog walking in the GGNRA be withdrawn immediately.