Draft Dog Management Plan/SEIS

The Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Draft Dog Management Plan (draft plan/SEIS) was released on September 6, 2013 for a 90-day public review and comment period. Following the government shutdown, the comment period was extended until January 11, 2014. However, due to continued concern from some stakeholders, the comment period has been extended a second time, to Tuesday, February 18, 2014. Hard copies must be postmarked by February 18; online comments must be submitted before 11 p.m. Pacific (midnight Mountain Time) on February 18.

The overall purpose of dog management planning at Golden Gate is to determine the manner and extent of dog walking in appropriate areas of the park, provide a clear, enforceable dog management policy, provide a variety of visitor experiences, improve visitor and employee safety, reduce user conflicts and preserve and protect natural and cultural resources and natural processes.

The draft plan/SEIS follows a previous draft plan/EIS, released in January 2011 that generated 4700 comment letters. This draft plan/SEIS responds to the substantive public comments on the draft plan/EIS and includes analysis of dog management for Rancho Corral de Tierra, a site in San Mateo County that was added to the park in December 2011, after the development and release of the draft Plan/EIS.

As a result of consideration of substantive comments on the 2011 document, the draft plan/SEIS incorporates new data, considers additional research, makes some changes to the impacts analysis, revises the management strategy to accentuate and expand monitoring and eliminate automatic triggers, evaluates fencing as an future management tool to manage dog walking impacts, adjusts the preferred alternative at several sites, and includes site specific alternatives and analysis for Rancho Corral de Tierra.

The draft plan/SEIS evaluates the impacts of six alternatives, including the preferred alterantive, for dog management in 22 sites within the 20,000 acres that are owned and managed by Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The draft plan/SEIS does not address lands within the park boundary managed by other agencies such as the Presidio Trust or Pt. Reyes National Seashore.

The preferred alternative includes:

· Site-specific treatments that provide a balanced range of visitor experiences, with areas that allow on-leash and off-leash/voice-control dog walking, as well as areas that prohibit dogs

· Off-leash/voice control dog walking in seven specific areas of the park where impacts to visitor experience and safety and sensitive resources would be minimized

· On-leash dog walking in many areas of the park

· No dog walking in areas of the park where impacts were unacceptable and could not be mitigated

· A monitoring-based management strategy that would measure compliance with the dog walking regulation and impacts to resources. The resulting data would inform park management and law enforcement when, where, and how to prioritize responses to noncompliance

· Permits allowing both individual and commercial dog walkers to walk more than three dogs, with a limit of six dogs, in seven areas of the park

· Site-specific analysis of dog walking alternatives in Rancho Corral de Tierra.

Public Comments Welcomed
Comments on the draft plan/SEIS will be accepted until February 18, 2014. All comments are welcome, but the NPS is most interested in comments on the changes between the draft plan/EIS and draft plan/SEIS. Comments submitted on the 2011 draft plan/EIS will continue to be considered and do not need to be resubmitted.

Where Can I See the Draft Plan/SEIS?

The draft plan/SEIS will be available for review and comment at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/dogplan. A limited number of hard copies and compact discs will be available on request; leave a message on the Dog Management Information Line: 415-561-4728.

A copy of the draft plan/SEIS will also be available at these local libraries:
Marin County
Marin County Free Library
Civic Center Branch
Corte Madera Branch
Fairfax Branch
Marin City Branch
Sausalito Public Library

San Francisco
San Francisco Public Library
Main Library
Chinatown Branch
Marina Branch
Mission Branch
Potrero Branch
Richmond/Senator Milton Marks Branch
Sunset Branch

San Mateo County
Daly City Public Library, Westlake Branch
Pacifica Sharp Park Library
San Mateo County Library, Half Moon Bay Library

East Bay
Berkeley Public Library, Central Library
Oakland Public Library, Main Library

Public Open House Meetings
The NPS will hold 3 open house meetings where interested members of the public can review details of the draft plan/SEIS, speak to park staff and submit comments.

Saturday, November 2, 2013, 11:00 AM-4:00 PM
Fort Mason Center, Bldg. D, Fleet Room
2 Marina Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94123

Monday, November 4, 2013, 4:30-8:30 PM
Farallone View Elementary School
1100 LeConte Avenue
Montara, CA 94037

Wednesday, November 6, 2013, 4:00-8:00 PM
Tamalpais High School, Ruby Scott Gym
700 Miller Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941

How to Comment
NPS encourages commenting online through the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/dogplan. Note that the deadline for submitting comments online in PEPC is midnight, Mountain Time (11pm Pacific Time) on February 18, 2014.

Written comments may also be sent by U.S. Postal Service or other mail delivery service or hand-delivered to: Superintendent, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Fort Mason, Building 201, San Francisco, CA 94123, Attn: SEIS.

Comments will not be accepted by fax, e-mail, or in any other way than those specified above. Bulk comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

For more information about the draft plan/SEIS and the overall dog management planning project, click here to read the Frequently Asked Questions.

Next Step - Rulemaking Process
After comments on the draft plan/SEIS have been received, evaluated, and addressed, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be published and circulated for public comment. A final rule will be published after the final plan/EIS has been published and a Record of Decision signed, in late 2015.

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