The following draft meeting minutes and resolutions are available to the public from the GGNRA:

NOVEMBER 28, 2000


NOTICE: These minutes are tentative, subject to revision and approval at the next regular meeting of the GGNRA Advisory Commission.



November 28, 2000

[A verbatim transcript of this meeting is available for public review in the Office of Public Affairs and Special Events, GGNRA, Building 201, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA 94123. The following is a brief summary.]

Meeting Time: 7:30 p.m., to 11:15 p.m., November 28, 2000
Location: GGNRA Park Headquarters, Fort Mason, CA

Present for the Advisory Commission:
Chair Richard Bartke, Vice Chair Amy Meyer, Michael Alexander, Susan Giacomini Allan,
Gordon Bennett, Anne-Marie Booth, Betsey Cutler, Redmond Kernan, Doug Nadeau, Trent Orr, Lennie Roberts, Dennis J. Rodoni, Fred Rodriguez, Douglas Siden, Jack Spring and Dr. Edgar

Staff Liaison: Michael Feinstein

Present for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area:
Superintendent Brian O'Neill; Nancy Hornor, Chief, Planning & Technical Services; Jon Gervais, Environmental Protection Specialist.

Present for the Presidio Trust:
Craig Middleton, Acting Director



The minutes of the Advisory Commission meetings of October 17, and October 21, 2000 were adopted as submitted.


Chairman Bartke opened the discussion and placed the following discussion in context. He discussed the public hearing process, which covered four public hearings on the subject and the 8-week public comment period during which an estimated 1,500 written communications were received from diverse groups, such as SF Dog, SPCA, and Habitat Restoration. He reviewed the many documents reviewed by commissioners, which included the transfer from the City of San Francisco to the NPS the area known as Fort Funston; the Voter Pamphlet, ballot arguments and Proposition F of October 1973; the endorsement by Willie Brown; the spending on the ballot proposition and the final outcome of the election results. The Commission also reviewed the agreement signed on April 29, 1975 between the City of San Francisco and the NPS, and the two deeds dated May 22, 1975 and September 17, 1975. Other documents reviewed included the San Francisco Master Plan; GGNRA General Management Plan of 1980; all federal laws and regulations, which included the NPS Organic Act, the 1978 Amendment to the NPS General Authorities Act, Director's Order No. 55; the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), specifically 36.2.15, and three compendiums; Public Law 92-589, which established GGNRA; The Commission's Pet Policy, adopted September 27, 1978. Also reviewed were the findings and order from the Federal District Court, dated April 26, 2000.

Chairman Bartke further reviewed his research of the cases having to do with the Park Service's Closures, which included Henderson V. Stanton; Mausoff v. Babbitt,* and Spiegal v. Babbitt. and noted that, on appeal, the Park Service prevailed in the three cited cases.

Chairman Bartke discussed the case in the matter of Bicycle Trails Council v. Babbitt, a case involving the Commission, which held that all units of the NPS are treated the same; there's no difference between the National Parks in urban areas and National Parks in rural areas. He quoted the second finding as follows:

"As long as the evidence supports the Park Service determination, the court is not free to substitute its judgment for that of the agency."

Members of the Commission also made site visits to Fort Funston. Chairman Bartke then requested a report from the San Francisco Committee.

San Francisco Committee Report:

Chairman Jack Spring discussed the committee meeting of November 7. Among the topics discussed were the Camera Obscura and its nomination to the National Historic Register and the Fort Funston Closure Notice. The Fort Funston matter had been discussed over four meetings, which resulted in the committee's suggestion to the Commission a series of resolutions to stimulate discussion and modification or change by members of the Commission. Chairman Spring then asked Commissioner Meyer to discuss and outline the resolutions.

Commissioner Meyer introduced the first resolution, entitled "RESOLUTION, CLOSURE OF TWELVE ACRES AT FORT FUNSTON," (See Attachment). During the recitation of the resolution, Commissioner Meyer called the commissioner's attention to 36CFR2.15, particularly the following paragraphs:

"(a) The following are prohibited:

"(2) Failing to crate, cage, restrain on a leash which shall not exceed six feet in length, otherwise physically
confine a pet at all time."

Chairman Bartke then called for a discussion on the resolution.

Commissioner Keman asked that a further resolve be added to the resolution, since the plan for Fort Funston was outdated. He asked that the following amendment be made to the pending resolution:

"The Commission requests that the National Park Service, as early as practicable, update the General Management Plan for Fort. Funston, and, in that process, work with neighbors and user groups to see that the plan reflects not only conservation, but how people fit into the plan, which, by just emphasizing the conservation aspects, does not indicate how people fit there."

Commissioner Meyer agreed with the amendment; however, Chairman Bartke pointed out that the Chair had not accepted a motion or a second on the resolution, and that the discussion could continue. He also indicated that there were budgetary constraints that would preclude the approval and would lead to false expectations. Commissioner Kernan suggested that the subject be considered, that money would only be requested when there was a need to update the plan. He asked that the subject remain on the record and perhaps be a separate motion.

Commissioner Rodriguez indicated that the last clause concerning the area being accessible to dogs on leash in the trail, and indicated that the resolution was silent with respect to the rest of Fort Funston. He indicated that, notwithstanding federal legislation, there was no enforcement of dogs on leash in other areas of Fort Funston. He questioned whether or not there was going to be change with respect to that issue. Commissioner Meyer indicated the subject would be covered in a subsequent resolution, that the main focus was the resolution before the Commission.

Commissioner Orr indicated that there was an error in paragraph 5 of the resolution that indicated the "City of San Francisco's Westside Plan," and should be corrected to indicate "City of San Francisco's Western Shoreline Area Plan."

Commissioner Meyer, after consideration of Commissioner Rodriguez's comments, amended the final paragraph to read as follows:

"RESOLVED, that in preference to permanent closure, the Commission requests the superintendent consider removing the fences, having a trail through the area accessible to dogs on leash, and enforcing NPS Pet Regulations."

Commissioner Meyer moved the resolution. Having been seconded, Chairman Bartke asked for discussion on the motion.

Commissioner Alexander, having read the appropriate laws and court decisions relating to this issue, spoke in support of the resolution. Commissioner Orr and Commissioner Roberts spoke in support of the resolution. Commissioner Kernan supported the resolution, but would like to have the superintendents have more latitude for creativity, and that there was the opportunity to have different rules for different kinds of parks.

Commissioner Bennett requested information on what the Western Shoreline Area Plan said in reference to Fort Funston. Commissioner Meyer reread the pertinent parts of the plan, as follows:

"Objective 9. Conserve the natural cliff environment along Fort Funston.

"Policy 1. Maximize the natural qualities of Fort Funston. Conserve the ecology of the entire fort and develop recreational uses which will have only minimal effect on the natural environment.

"Policy 2. Permit hang gliding, but regulate it so that it does not significantly conflict with other recreational and more passive uses, and does not impact the natural quality of the area."

Commissioner Nadeau expressed support for the resolution.

Commissioner Wayburn supported the resolution; however, he indicated his prior involvement with the establishment of the GGNRA and with urban parks in the United States. He indicated that certain exemptions had been made for dogs with the knowledge and advice of the Commission and the thensuperintendent, that the city allowed dogs in the park, that he was not familiar with later developments, but it was not meant to take away any of the privileges which had been allowed before.

Chairman Bartke indicated there was a motion and a second and asked for a vote. The members present voted and the motion passed without dissent.

Commissioner Meyer presented a second resolution, a composite of two resolutions. entitled, "Resolution to Rescind Golden Gate National Recreation Area Advisory Commission 1979 Pet Policy,"

Chairman Bartke asked for discussion on the resolution.

Commissioner Kernan indicated that the resolution was not on the agenda and that the policy in question applied to the entire GGNRA. He indicated that the resolution should be discussed, but no action should be taken, since it was not calendared nor notice given to the public. He was not prepared to deal with the resolution as a result.

Commissioner Orr indicated support of the resolution, since it was in line with the recently passed resolution. He indicated the present policy was inconsistent with the law, was illegal and unenforceable, and, in leaving it in place, promoted confusion. He indicated that closures of this nature were occurring in other venues.

Commissioner Wayburn asked if a motion had been made. Chairman Bartke indicated he would table any motion that was made.

Mr. Shepard, a member of the public audience, requested a point of order.

Commissioner Spring indicated the policy had been passed some years ago and imposed the impression on the public that this was the policy of the NPS, when, in fact, it was not. Removing the policy from Commission records would be a truthful and forthright thing to do.

Commissioner Bennett indicated that the resolution should be voted on, but suggested that the Commission calendar a discussion on what the new policy of the Commission should be. Commissioner Allan was not prepared to vote on this resolution.

Commissioner Meyer reminded the commissioners once again of the current policy in 36CFR2.15. She indicated that this resolution would clear up any ambiguity in the policy and remove any confusion.

Mr. Shepard once again asked for a point of order, and indicated that this discussion was not on the agenda and the public had received no notice of the resolution, and would like to see some public comment on the issue.

Commissioner Alexander asked for some legal advice on the issue of proper notice before acting on the motion. Commissioner Orr responded and indicated that the 1978 policy was clearly illegal and that there was no problem in rescinding the policy. He indicated that it could be challenged in court, but would probably fail.

Mr. Keating, a member of the public audience called for a point of order and requested public input on the controversial issue, that the Commission could not rule on park use without taking public comment.

After some discussion by Commissioners Cutler, Wayburn, Nadeau and Meyer, Commissioner Orr moved for the adoption of the resolution. Chairman Bartke ruled the motion out of order and indicated he was convinced there should be a noticed hearing and allow public input. Although prepared personally to vote on the resolution, and agreed with the speakers who indicated the policy was illegal, he thought public process and keeping faith with the public was essential. He indicated the subject would be calendared in the future.

Commissioner Kernan propounded a motion that the Commission resolve that the NPS, as early as practicable, update the General Management Plan for Fort Funston, and, in the process, work with the neighbors and user groups. Commissioner Rodoni seconded the motion. The Chairman asked for discussion, and, hearing none, called for a vote on the motion. All members present voted in favor of the motion and it passed without dissent. (See Attachment.)


................................. [several other agenda items]

There being nothing further to come before the Commission, Chairman Bartke adjourned the meeting at 11:15 p.m., to reconvene at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, January 30, 2001, at this same location.

Approximately 75 members of the public were present.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Point Reyes National Seashore



Building 201, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA 94123


WHEREAS, The Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) is part of the National Park System and subject to its policies and regulations as well as to federal law, and

WHEREAS, the GGNRA has proposed to close 12 acres of Fort Funston to

· Reduce cliff and bluff failure

· Encourage the restoration of natural habitat

· Protect the lives and habitat of bank swallows, a species listed as "threatened" by the State of California Endangered Species Act

· Assure the safety of visitors, and pets, and,

WHEREAS, the naturally eroding cliffs of Fort Funston have lost many feet of land since the GGNRA was established, exacerbating loss of species habitat and creating safety issues, and

WHEREAS, this Commission has, during an extended comment period between January and October 2000, heard testimony from park users and other interested parties on four occasions and has received approximately 1,500 written comments, and

WHEREAS, this Commission, in part at the request of the Fort Funston dog walkers, has reviewed applicable National Park Service law including the GGNRA enabling legislation, the hearing record on that legislation, the House and Senate Committee Reports on that legislation, National Park Service regulations including Title 36, Chapter I, Part 2, Sec. 2.15 "Pets," the National Park Service Director's Order # 55 of September 8, 2000 and the September 15, 2000 "Notice of New Policy Interpreting the National Park Service (NPS) Organic Act, the results of the 1973 election at which 66.8% of San Francisco voters approved the transfer of lands from the jurisdiction of the city to the GGNRA, the 1975 agreement between the City of San Francisco and the Federal Government for the transfer of the city lands to the National Park Service, the 1977 City Planning Commission "Staff Response to GGNRA [Management Plan] Alternatives," the General Management Plan for the GGNRA approved in 1980 after Bay Area-wide public hearings, the City of San Francisco's Western Shoreline Area Plan, the results of several court cases regarding NPS land and resource management, and the sustainability plan of the City of San Francisco, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the decision of the GGNRA superintendent to close twelve acres of Fort Funston to dogs is appropriate and necessary, and be it further

RESOLVED, that in preference to permanent closure, the Commission requests the superintendent consider removing the fences and having a trail through the area accessible to dogs on leash, and enforcing NPS leash regulations.

Adopted by unanimous vote of the Advisory Commission on November 28, 2000.

Richard Bartke, Chairman

Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Point Reyes National Seashore



Building 201, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA 94123


RESOLVED, that the Advisory Commission requests that the National Park Service as early as practicable update the General Management Plan (GMP) for Fort Funston and in that process work with neighbors and user groups.

--Adopted by unanimous vote by the Advisory mission on November 28, 2000

Richard Bartke, Chair

To First Section of Fort Funston Forum