Here we go again. The signs permitting pets "under voice control" at Crissy Field were taken down in late July 2000. [note: wait for the signs to change in the photo above after it loads...]
As at Fort Funston, the National Park Service's Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) unit has stepped back from previous agreements which, after much debate, led to the signs in the first place. Off-leash recreation is still enjoyed at both Crissy and Funston, but its status is vague and clearly not a priority for the Park Service.
A grandiose transformation is underway at Crissy Field, however ill-planned some aspects may turn out to be. At Fort Funston, the Park Service is proposing to take even more land than before out of recreational use. And a similar story plays out at many city parks. With fewer and fewer off-leash recreation spots, the intensity of use at those remaining goes up. The GGNRA has been able to limit off-leash use on most of its land by allowing it at Crissy Field and Fort Funston. If these practices were to be curtailed, surely there would be a spillover of demand to other GGNRA areas and to city parks.
The exercising of dogs off-leash is a valid recreational activity which should be respected and encouraged, rather than held in contempt and only allowed in one or two places under the Park Service's "sufferance."
Continue to enjoy off-leash dog walking in both parks; it's still permitted. But the latest development is a warning sign. It makes it all the more important to write the GGNRA and others (see addresses) about the proposed closure at Fort Funston during this public comment period.
Wouldn't it be nice to see a sensible sign such as this, at the entrance to a National Forest Wilderness Area?:
First Section of Fort Funston Forum