Should Dogs Be Allowed Off Leash in Some National Parks?

Headlands_advencapGolden Gate National Recreation Area, Photo: Flickr/advencap

It's the kind of story that makes conservationists hopeful. After years of staving off development and raising funds, the Peninsula Open Space Trust purchased 4,000 acres south of San Francisco, called Rancho Corral de Tierra, and convinced the Park Service to add it to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This addition represents a boon for hikers, bird watchers, and naturalists, and it will boost efforts to protect threatened species within the tract. But not everyone is happy about the changes that inclusion in the Park System has brought.

Unlike some areas of the GGNRA nearer to San Francisco that allow dogs to be walked off leash, the National Park Service, of which the GGNRA is a part, decided to include a leash requirement to Rancho Corral de Tierra when it assumed control of the area in December. Previously, there were no such restrictions and many locals and dog walkers used the area and its network of makeshift trails to run their dogs. The new rule recently led to an incident that grabbed national headlines: a National Park Service Ranger tasered a man who was walking his dogs without a leash in Rancho Corral de Tierra.

Filed To: Adventure, Media, Politics, Nature, Biking

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