tv [untitled] April 13, 2011 6:00am-6:30am PDT
i would encourage the supervisors to do a thorough study before passing any resolution. supervisor mar: i think sally stephens has a posting from january where she is questioning the data on the dangers of the clovers. she cites a 2006 study and a no vember 2006 report. even though the reports to acknowledge that there is not a danger or the data theire, i was wondering if you could respond to that. >> it is interpretation of the data that is out there. if you look at some of the studies provided in this, if you
ask the park biologists are people that have studied this, they will tell you that off- leash dog have been recognized as a persistent threat. there is a quote, i'm sorry i don't have it handy. it is about recognizing that off-leash dog are one of the primary sources of disturbance and risk for snowy clovers. they one time nestedt here -- nested there, but don't now because of the recreational use. supervisor wiener: we have two more informational speakers. i want to invite ken wiener,
no relation. [laughter] he spells it wrong, too. [laughter] he came down from seattle and is the founding chair of the environmental land use and national resources practice. he is the former deputy director of the white house council on environmental quality and will talk to us. >> thank you. i represent a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting responsible dog ownership. they participate with other community and recreational groups and environmental stewardship. many of our members are members
that enjoyggnra -- enjoy ggnra now. our remarks are to try to be polarized issues and preserve the mission to preserve national and recreational values for current and future generations. we would like to dollars the effort that ggnra has put into this. these are difficult public lands management issues. we think the cities can help guide us. you all the san francisco's charter. it is to improve the quality of urban life. it was born of a symbol of geological promise that open space is vital to the metropolitan area. that is an essential quality of
our urban design. it was established in 1972 to meet the recognize the needs of urban recreation. the san francisco metropolitan area was growing. the park service will tell you that it has to manage all units of the national park system home to protect natural resources. it is also accurate that it has to manage each unit consistently with a congressional charter for that unit. president nixon's message to congress stated that this proposal will encompass a number of existing parks, military reservations, and private lands to provide a full range of recreational experiences. when people site legislative history, i go back to our original sources.
what i was working on the environmental message program, i happened upon a copy of the original transmittal of the proposal for the golden gate national area legislation. this is from about 40 years ago. in that transmittal, the secretary of the interior explained that while state in local governments have provided some open space, the potential for park and recreational development of a much greater increase should be realized in order to meet the demonstrated need for recreation space. and a variety of outdoor recreation uses. i point this out because someone told you that the local parks are enough. clearly, that was not part of the original proposal and intent
for ggnra. identifying needs and noting that the south side is heavily used urban park land including marine green. and the intent was stated in the bill reports for the legislation that ggnra will ensure it's continuity of open space for the enjoyment of present and future generations of city dwellers. a dog walking was recognized as part of use and enjoyment. the senate and house reports of both commented that proposed area, for people to walk their dogs or i italy watch the action along the bay, the official legislative history will capitalize on the availability
of this important can't equal resources in the san francisco region by establishing a new national urban recreation area to serve the outdoor need that will concentrate on serving the outdoor recreational needs of the people of the metropolitan area. it must relate to the desires and interests of the people. it must be managed in a manner that will be protected for future generations. these were also the city's understandings. as you know, there is a mission statement that it is the preservation unimpaired of the natural and cultural resources of the park for present and future generations to enjoy. that is all we ask. looking at alternatives, i would like to make a couple of observations to share with you
our conclusion that the draft does not provide a solid technical basis for dismissing the action alternative when many areas of our current -- currently working. and the no-action alternative does not mean to do nothing. it means the current management plan. the current management plan calls for education, outreach, enforcements. it does not say do nothing, and that is important, in thinking about the no-action alternatives. it is not a continuation of the status quo or whether or not the status quo can be improved by doing better under the park service's national recreation area plan. you may know that the plan is being developed in context to a larger update of the ggran plan. this will reflect a larger
direction of recreational uses. in the recreation area. an eis is required to examine the human environment. that is defined as, quote, the human environment should be determined comprehensible and to the relationship of the people of that infirm. you know in your own ceqa documents and others that it is typical to have a recreational section that looks at recreational impact. this has no detailed analysis of adverse impacts to recreation in the affected area, including direct impacts and related mitigation measures. in thinking of this definition, ggnra but in your own charter, one of the most remarkable things is the quality of urban areas is not a significant factor in determining a dog management plan.
the staff says they are listening with an open mind, and we hope that is true. some nonideological comments, asking about how the compliance- based program would work, how it would be measured, whether it is truly an adaptive management program, where it will really involved reaching out in educating people, as was suggested by the superintendent. a separate access path to the beach for dogs and people could easily resolved a longstanding problem area and be designed to restore native species at the same time and went into the natural environment, and people suggested areas where they could walk their dogs of liege -- often each -- leash. i often wonder why a former airfield would be, off limits.
even though would be possible to protect this without compromising it. so this is not about environmental development. it is about meeting two environmental needs, and natural areas in an urban area, and the board of supervisors has not been reluctant in the past to stand up to for the needs and rights of its residents in the ggrna. some of you remember when the changes did not involve the community. we appreciate their efforts and know it is not easy. for the quality of the city, the quality of the environment, the quality of the neighborhood, and, in short, the quality of the urban life, as it says in the san francisco charter. huckabee's q2 asked -- we ask
you to asked -- ask ggrna to look at this and other resources are preserved. >> thank you. ok, and then, finally, before we ask for a response from ggrna, we will hear from sally stevens, the president of the animal welfare in san francisco. commissioner? >> hi, thank you, yes. as he said, i am the chair of sf dog and also the chair of the animal welfare commission. what i want to say briefly with one comment is that in all of the discussion about endangered
species calm there is no federally designated habitat anywhere in the ggrna, especially in san francisco. there is literally dozens of people who walk their with their dogs, and it is probably the most perverse group of park users that you would ever see. you have days, straight, every social and economic class. we are environmentalists. we enjoy being out in the open space with other dogs, as people have done for thousands of years, and we actually embodied the recently helped the parks, help the people campaign. and yet, they want to force us out. in all the areas where doxepin walked off the leash legally, and this was determined that the policy was a legal management tool, for decades, vibrant
social communities have dollars, ... as was mentioned a few minutes ago by ken wiener. even on those rare sunny days in san francisco. communities such as this are a precious resource. it should be encouraged. yet again, this plan will essentially destroy those communities. we have really only been able to walk dogs off leash on 1% of the ggrna land, and that is important to remember, and yet, they want to cut it. they're cutting more in marin. in san mateo, there is not much. normally, you need a compelling reason, and you actually read through beat pages, there is nothing there. they are not there. it is full of insects that could
happen or might happen but very little evidence that any of these potential impacts actually have occurred, and believe me, they have been looking for them, and they do not see them. if you read the eis and actually read the reports, you see that dogs have very little negative impact on the natural resources. they disturb the wildlife less than people do, and they pose no threat. there is no safety issue with regard to dogs. as was mentioned, people are involved in and caused 98% of the serious incidents that the law-enforcement data report. dogs are only 2%. if there were huge amounts of dog bites the people portrayed, it would be in those reports, and it is not. what are the things not in there? there is no study of the impacts on the city parks. the basically say because
there'll be some small area open for dogs, people will not go into the city parks, but the reality is that people will go into the city parks, because those areas will become congested, even in b - -- in the ggrna. of the acreage, the natural areas program is calling for a reduction of 15%, and when that comes out sometime this year, we're going to see a proposed reduction in city parks, as well. it is going to be, you know, compounding. and just to give you a sense of this, it is a not just dogs. a coalition in their march meeting took a position opposing the alternative because it did
not look at the impact on city parks, and i think the court fact that tsunami friday happened right before that had an impact. there is no steady, as mr. wiener said, there is no study on human house, all of those impacts. we know that people who walk with a dog get no -- get more exercise than people who walk alone, and they actually lose more weight than when they walk alone or what other people. at the commission last march, we heard testimony that such a significant loss of off leash access and the resulting overcrowding of city parks will lead to an increase in problem behavior in dogs. the experts say that office exercise creates better behaved dogs. dog bites are far less common in san francisco and other areas,
largely because there is so much more often wish activity. to " a person from them koran humane society, it is not unlikely -- it is likely that there will be a change in this if this is reduced. the number one reason dogs are turned into shelters is because of behavioral problems. to quote an internationally known dog behavior is, there is no doubt in my mind that restricting this will be a social, public, and legal disaster for parks and cities, and i have given you copies -- oh, i have not given them to you. i am now, copies from various experts on dog behavior, and these are basically nationally known expert. this is not just a random person. this is people who have made their living and studying animals and dogs. increasing the number of surrenders to shelters is a
significant impact. we have tried to have a note to a philosophy in the city, that any potentially adoptable animal is not euthanize at city shelters, but the more you put them into shelters, it is likely there will be more that fall through the cracks, and that is likely to have a some of the impact on the city, and we do not want that. the commission voted 5-2. so wire the calls to restrict off leash? is basically an extreme view of what an urban park should be. it is like a museum, where you look at things from behind glass walls or where things are all roped off, and you are stuck on the boardwalk up with a sign that says "do not enter, do not go here." it is a look but do not touch idea. we feel these areas are four active recreation. that is why they were created,
and that is what the issue before. in this densely populated bay area, these are our backyards and our sandboxes. the people who created the ggrna knew that, and that is why there is so much about preserving recreational open space. if this is about sharing space, people, dogs, and nature have coexisted for decades, and we want to see that continue to go for decades to come. this is not a pristine wilderness. it is located within a city of 800,000 people. these are not pristine wilderness, and yet, we are being told that has to be managed as if it was. we were told by a u.s. attorney your advice the ggrna that all of discretion in how they manage their units. for example, you can have a dog off leash in national preserves as long as they are hunting and
killing animals. you do not manage a family value with the expectation that people have a solitary wilderness experience. you do not manage the ggrna that people have a solitary experience, and yet, that is what they're trying to do. we want to continue to show up -- to share that 1% of ggrna, and we essentially want to keep the "r" in the ggrna. the fact they do not have data is telling because they're making radical changes in use without having done the data and the work that they need to know if they truly need to do one, and they cannot even give you statistics to say how many people are even visiting the ggrna on any given day.
these of the things that should of been locked up before they even came up with this eis. is yet of any of the questions, i am here. >> before we get to public comment, if ggrna would like to respond, you can do so. it is your decision. ok. thank you. ok, we will now go to public comment. so, for those who are not -- if anyone else has a car, you can bring them up to ms. somera, who will bring them to me. for those of you who have not done public comment before, here is how we do it. you will have two minutes. you do not have to take the full two minutes. i have a lot of people signed up, and that is great. you can take the full two minutes, but you do not have to,
and if you want to say, "i agree with what so-and-so's says," that is ok. when you have two -- 30 seconds left, there will be eight light but as of, and when it is done, there will be another bill. we request no applauding, no booing, no anything, and i will call your name, and you can line up, and i will us that when you line up, say what your name is, and then when the person ahead of you finishes, come right on up. you do not have to wait for me to call you, so we will not have big gaps between people. we will start the following people, and i also apologize for
butchering people's names, which i will do. laura, alisa, k m a commissioner from the animal and welfare commission. from the sierra club, amy, neil, cheryl, vicky, carol arnold. >> thank you, supervisors, for this opportunity. i am a veteran and the president of a veterinary group. i come here as an individual.
i have not been given permission to speak on their behalf. it did not come up. something that sally mentioned, about the behavioral perspective. in my 20 years as a veterinarian, i have noticed an interesting thing. i think it is a matter of socialization. the dogs i handle have to be muzzled far less than dogs and surrounding communities. this lends itself clearly to the idea that the dogs are much better socialized, more trusting of people, and thus less aggressive. they are less fearful of routine handling, and much more amenable to living as happy, healthy animals within our community. interestingly, i was thinking about this on my way over, even
within the city, i have noticed some differences, and those areas very close to the presidio, where i have practiced for 10 years, the dogs there are super friendly. all of the dogs go to the park. where i currently practice, not so much. their behaviors are more restrained, and they are cautious. so even for like the happy go lucky hound, a lease restriction can actually cause problems. -- a leash restriction -- restriction. -- frustration. they didn't have the opportunity to be paid as normally as they would if they are roaming freely, so in summary come i think that the proposal to restrict -- >> that is 30 seconds? >> no, that is the two minutes.
thank you very much. next speaker. >> hi, good afternoon, supervisors. my name is lori, and i am the director of the animal shelter, and additionally, i hansard for years on the advisory committee and negotiated the rulemaking committee for dog management, and i would like to say thank you, thank you for working to approve the ggrna plan so both protect the natural resources and the recreational values of our city. their plan is overly restrictive, and it represents a major departure from the balanced use of park lands that has prevailed for over 40 years. there is really plenty of space for balancing the needs of a divorce populace, and there is the diversity of experiences
that can be preserved. by vastly reducing off leash, that will have a negative impact on tens of thousands of dogs, and as has been mentioned, also the behavioral health of dogs. we know that people get the same benefits from playing outside and exercising. and in my position at the shelter and as a former dog trainer, i know how vital it is for dogs to get off leash play. it has been mentioned, and i think it is particularly important to recognize that currently less than 1% of the ggrna lands are available for off leash play, and this would reduce it even more. there is plenty of space for us to find a balance that is much more