Ocean Beach Signs Misrepresent
Where Leash / No-Leash Zones Have Been
During Period of "No Change" in Policy

What's up at Ocean Beach? A few years ago, after much discussion and planning, most of Ocean Beach was declared an on-leash area, ostensibly for the benefit of the Snowy Plover which is in residence part of the year.

However, there were explicit off-leash areas remaining: south of Sloat Boulevard and north of Stairwell 21. Along two miles of Ocean Beach, between those two unambiguous markers dogs must be on leash (the questionable validity of the entire prohibition is another topic begging discussion).

But recently the National Park Service placed new signs at Sloat and Stairwell 21. In both cases, there is absolutely no reference to which area is on- or off-leash. And the new signs quite boldly point at areas that most definitely do not require leashes!

These signs suggest that the Park Service has decided not to listen to the Advisory Commission's Jan. 23rd motion that enforcement remain unchanged. Whether or not tickets are being written, leash rule signs are certainly part of enforcement and this is a major change.

The northern sign, at Stairwell 21 (just north of the Beach Chalet) All of the beach from the sign to the Cliff House in the far distance is off-leash-OK -- has been for years and the Superintendent has agreed to no changes during this period (see Jan. 23rd meeting comments).

Everything in sight is OK for off-leash dogs, although the sign would make you think just the opposite.

Similarly, at the Sloat parking lot there are two signs. The one in the background is placed correctly at the Sloat Boulevard line, although it doesn't mention anything about such a boundary or that off-leash dogs are OK to the left (south).  However, the sign in the foreground (below) is most definitely south of Sloat Boulevard.

This is the northern sign in correct spot at Sloat Boulevard line.
It used to state that the beach between Sloat and Stairwell 21 was closed to dogs off leash.

This area, Ocean Beach south of Sloat Boulevard, has been an off-leash area for many years. The Park Service is inciting park "user confllict" by marking traditional off-leash zones as "leash-only" areas. Even if rangers are not ticketing now, people won't want to get into arguments with others challenging the off-leash use while pointing to the sign.
Why is the Park Service doing this during a period they claim is turning over a new leaf and leading the way to greater cooperation among all parties?

You can tell that the sign is south of Sloat Boulevard by looking from behind the sign, back towards the Great Highway/Sloat Boulevard intersection.

Yes, the area north of Sloat is a leash-only beach.

But the beach south to Fort Funston is OK off-leash.

This is the boundary line at Sloat, as seen from the beach:.

It's also identifiable by fencing debris.

At the other end, Stairwell 21 is hard to miss.

From the beach, it's unmistakable, too.

So why does the sign face this off-leash OK area?

And why does the back of the sign, facing the on-leash zone, not indicate anything?

There's no indication at all that a long-standing leash policy involves Stairwell 21 and Sloat Blvd.


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