An Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) was published on January 11, 2002, to seek public comment on potential management options for pet management in GGNRA, consistent with protecting national park resources and assuring visitor safety. 8,580 comments were received during the 90-day public comment period. The park also contracted with Northern Arizona University's Social Science Laboratory to complete a Public Opinion Telephone Research Survey on dog management in GGNRA, and to compile the ANPR public comments.
In August 2002, the NPS convened a panel of senior federal officials from outside GGNRA to review the public comments and other technical information, including federal laws, guidelines and policies, in order to recommend to the GGNRA Superintendent whether the park should proceed to rulemaking or whether the existing NPS regulation - requiring pets to be on leash in all areas where they are allowed - should remain in effect.
In December 2002, GGNRA sent a recommendation on pet management in the park to Washington, based on the federal panel's recommendation. That recommendation, and the background material referenced, is provided below.