[ from Monday Aug. 14, 2000 ]

Park Service Belatedly Publishes Notice of Proposal on Web

The National Park Service, two weeks into the comment period, has published a notice about its proposal -- not even the proposal itself -- on the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) website. It was published here on Fort Funston Forum  the same day (July 18, 2000) that it was made available on paper to the public. But they don't make it easy to find for anyone who isn't already informed about the situation. There's no mention of "Fort Funston", "closure", "proposal" or "comment"; the site's brand new link reads, "Federal Register Notices":

A screen capture image of GGNRA Home Page Links on Aug. 11, 2000.

By way of comparison, another link, "Ft. Baker", about the controversial Conference and Retreat Center proposal, has information on "Monthly Status Update", "Meet & Greet", "Proposed Plan", "Environmental Impact Statement", "Record of Decision" and "Request for Qualification". And the Ft. Baker link has been up for months as the proposal has gone through public scrutiny.

After the dogwalkers' sued the Park Service in March, not only was there no information about the closures, the then-existing link to a Fort Funston section was disabled (as indicated on their home page by the lack of blue or underlining), later to be removed altogether:

A screen capture of GGNRA Home Page Links on May 14, 2000.
Fort Funston's link had been disabled, and later it was deleted altogether.

The Park Service clearly knows how to conduct an open, instant, free and global forum on a controversial proposal via the World Wide Web. The two remarkably inconspicuous signs (see below) posted at Fort Funston two weeks after the proposal don't even refer to the fact that the proposal is available online.

The Park Service is running out of time to demonstrate a good faith effort to inform park users of its proposal and solicit their comments, as a federal court has ordered it must do to close these sections of Fort Funston.

Two weeks after the closure proposal was published, two copies of this notice were posted at Fort Funston. These are the only request for comment -- and they don't even explain that the proposal would close year-round twelve acres -- five closed "permanently" early this year, five closed year-round that were to have been closed only four months a year, plus an extra two acres that are still open. Is this a good faith effort to solicit comments from park users about such a major change?

To First Section of Fort Funston Forum