This transcript is

Dedicated to Lydia Owen Boesch

for tirelessly bringing this issue to the attention of the Board of Supervisors.

City and County of San Francisco
Neighborhood Services and Parks Committee
Tuesday, June 5, 2001

Members: Supervisors Leland Yee, Tony Hall and Gerardo Sandoval

Clerk Mary Red:
Item Number One is a hearing to consider the National Park Service's closure of open space at
Fort Funston, which has resulted in a reduction in land available for dog walking and other recreational use by residents.

Supervisor Leland Yee:
All right, thank you very much, Madam Clerk and colleagues. This is an ongoing issue that this committee has been struggling with with the National Park Service, their premature closure of some of the open space in the Fort Funston area, that has created some tremendous problems, not only for dog owners, but those individuals who would like to recreate in that area. I think, also, the closure of some portions of
Fort Funston to dogs walking off-leash has created additional impacts into the open space in the City and County of San Francisco. And so, what this hearing is about is to try and get the City and County of San Francisco to be a lot more involved in what goes on at Fort Funston.

Historically, the Fort Funston property used to belong to the people of San Francisco; it used to be owned by the City and County of San Francisco. When the government of the City and County of San Francisco deeded the property over to the federal government, it was with the understanding that there would be a continuation of a recreational use, and so when you start to cordon off area, then that recreation no longer becomes possible.

And so, what this committee has been trying to do is to, then, get the City and County of San Francisco to be more involved in some of the decision-making processes. I've held meetings with Senator Feinstein and her staff, along with the G.G.N.R.A. staff, and we will continue, I think, those discussions.

On a separate track, this committee has asked, and the Board of Supervisors has also indicated, its desire to ask that the City Attorney begin looking at a process whereby we, in fact, have a larger voice over the use of that particular land. Absent that, we will seek the return of that property back to the control of the City and County of San Francisco.

So, that's sort of the background behind that; this hearing is to get an assessment from the City Attorney as to our progress on that particular effort. So, Madam City Attorney, do you want to brief the Committee on where we're at?

Deputy City Attorney Mariam Morley:
Good afternoon, supervisors. Mariam Morley from the City Attorney's office. Colleen Crowley and I -- Colleen is an aide to Supervisor Yee -- met with attorneys for the G.G.N.R.A. in early May, and I think it was a really productive meeting; very friendly. They told us that they were working on their "Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking," and that they would send us a copy of that when it was ready. We haven't received that yet, but we've talked a little bit about what rulemaking process they would engage in and how it would go. It sounds like, still, at this point, they haven't decided exactly what they will do, but the "Advanced Notice" would be, the point of that would be to solicit ideas about what sort of rule should be proposed, what the concept behind any rule should be, and they didn't know if, after the "Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking," if they would seek comments in writing or have meetings. But after that was over, then they would decide whether to go forward with negotiated rulemaking, and that would be the segment at which, if they were going to hire a consultant, a facilitator, or a mediator, and actually hold meetings with stakeholder groups and individuals, that's where that would happen, at that part of the process. And the next phase is what we're accustomed to, generally, in rulemaking, which is the notice of the proposed rulemaking that then goes out for comment.

Supervisor Leland Yee:
The proposal for rulemaking is for what purpose, and what exactly are they trying to address in that particular process?

Deputy City Attorney Mariam Morley:
They -- under the regulations that govern federal agencies, when they want to make policy determinations, they have to engage, in certain instances, in formal rulemaking, which requires that they give notice of what their proposed rule is, put it out for a requisite number of days for comment, receive comment back, and basically tell the public that they've considered those comments before then adopting their formal rule. And this form of rulemaking, apparently, negotiated rulemaking, does involve actually bringing stakeholders together and seeing if you can work out the conflicts among various groups who are actually--

Supervisor Leland Yee:
And this is about the dog walking and so forth?

Deputy City Attorney Mariam Morley:
Yeah, and that's what they would be doing here; that's what they talked about doing here. But they were not ready to and said that, the lawyers themselves said that they didn't know yet exactly how this process would go, and what the plan was. So they haven't revealed to us exactly how they will run this rulemaking process. But this is a process that the G.G.N.R.A. announced recently. So we talked some about that.

The lawyers were concerned about a veto over the G.G.N.R.A.'s authority, and how much control the City would want, consultation versus direction.

Then we agreed that we would meet with Brian O'Neill and his staff, and although we have been making -- I have been making -- efforts to set up a date, at one point we thought we had one, but because of, basically, their conflicts, vacations, and the schedules of the people that are going to be involved, our meeting is not set until Friday; we're going to meet on Friday the 8th, this Friday, with Brian O'Neill and with his staff, and with his attorneys again, I think.

I'm also working on, I've almost completed, another draft of the agreement, of the 1975 agreement, and that's what Supervisor Yee had asked our office to do, was to negotiate an amendment to the agreement, so I've been working on the actual language of that, so that we can present it to the G.G.N.R.A. right before or maybe right after our meeting with them, and see if we can reach agreement.

Supervisor Leland Yee:
What's the general sense of G.G.N.R.A. over the City's interest and greater voice relative to Fort Funston?

Deputy City Attorney Mariam Morley:
You know, their lawyers act a lot like the City's lawyers do; they say a lot of the same things that I would say in a meeting like that -- which is, basically: they don't make policy for the G.G.N.R.A., they're counsel to the G.G.N.R.A. -- and they were quite helpful, I thought, but what they said was, they don't know what the director, what the Superintendent, what Brian O'Neill's position is, and if they had, I know they wouldn't have been prepared to share it with us without letting him do that himself. And I understand that because that's the same position our office would take at a meeting; we don't make policy, and wouldn't try to speak for him.

They didn't seem really overly concerned about the legal issues that would be involved.

Supervisor Leland Yee:
So, they did not see this as a -- that the re-opening of the M.O.U. [note: Memorandum of Understanding between the City and the G.G.N.R.A.], that further discussion of the M.O.U., possible changes within the M.O.U., they're not opposed to that?

Deputy City Attorney Mariam Morley:
No, their lawyers did not indicate that.

Supervisor Leland Yee:
OK.  Supervisor Hall.

Supervisor Tony Hall:
Just wondering, Ms. Morley, did they talk to you about timelines for the proposed rulemaking; were there timelines indicated there?

Deputy City Attorney Mariam Morley:
No. They didn't even have the actual plan for how they would run it. What I hope is when we talk to Brian O'Neill on the 8th, that we'll be able to get that from him, and if you'd like, I can send him a letter or put in a call to them, and tell them that we'd like to talk about that specifically so they're ready to do that; but no, they didn't.

Supervisor Tony Hall:
Yeah, I think that would really be important, because we've been waiting for months to get some kind of a timeline/guideline as to what they're going to do, when they're going to do it, and I think that's really important, and I think we need to hold them to that. I think we need to hold them to a specific timeline in order to resolve this issue or it's going to go on and on and on. You know where I'm going.

Deputy City Attorney Mariam Morley:
I do.

Supervisor Tony Hall:

Deputy City Attorney Mariam Morley:
I'll get back to you on what happens on the 8th about that issue.

Supervisor Tony Hall:
Thank you.

Supervisor Leland Yee:
Also, I think it's extremely important and appropriate and accurate for you to convey to the G.G.N.R.A. the absolute resolve on the part of this committee and this board, that we are very interested in engaging in the retrieval -- taking back -- of that land, if, in fact, the land is not serving the purpose for the people of San Francisco, all of the people of San Francisco. We have resolutions that have been passed, measures that have been passed, that indicate, that codifies, I think, that particular sentiment, so I think it's extremely important to, I think, share with G.G.N.R.A. our absolute resolve about addressing this particular matter, of having the City and County of San Francisco have some say over the direction and the operation of that Fort Funston property. I mean when we -- when the people's lands were turned over to the federal government, it was not a blank check. There are conditions for that particular use, and when G.G.N.R.A. thinks that they can unilaterally change that particular use, that then, they've got something else coming on that, and it's extremely important that you convey to them our absolute resolve in exerting the City's authority over that particular piece of property.

Deputy City Attorney Mariam Morley:
I'll make sure that I do that.

Supervisor Leland Yee:
All right. Thank you very, very much, and thank you for your hard work. Let me open this item to public comments. Those individuals who would like to comment on this particular matter, please come forward to the podium, and you have two minutes.  Does anyone want to speak on this particular matter?  Please come on up.

Avrum Shepard:
Good afternoon.  My name is Avrum Shepard.  I live in San Francisco and I actually was born here.

First I'd like to thank the City for its involvement in dealing with the Park Service.  Unfortunately my opinion is that they are not dealing in good faith.  I've had some conversations with them and things that they've told me a month later, they change their minds in what they're going to do.

Supervisor Tony Hall:
Mr. Shepard, who is that that you're referring to?

Avrum Shepard:
The Park Service.  The National Park Service (sorry), and the Citizens Advisory Council.  My understanding is that they're supposed to represent the citizens and from what I can see, they do not do that.  They closed the gates on the fence because the birds have come back to Fort Funston and they are nesting, and they're doing perhaps an appropriate thing by closing the area off right now, but that should be a temporary closure and I would ask them to please open those gates.  They really haven't justified closing the gates permanently. 

The main reason I'm here today, though, is to thank the City for what they're doing.  We're really off on our own. 

I must say that at the Citizens Advisory Council that I attended last year, the City of Sausalito, I think every mayor that has been the mayor of Sausalito for the last 20 years showed up and they pleaded with the Citizens Advisory Council to delay what they're doing with Fort Baker.  Now understand that this is not Fort Funston they're talking about, I believe it's Fort Baker; the City of Sausalito perceives a really serious traffic problem which is being exacerbated by the Park Service in what they want to do there.  The Citizens Advisory Council seemed to ignore the people from Sausalito and proceed with development of the Fort Baker site.  On the other hand, the same night they were saying that they are environmentalists and they don't want to disturb the environment at Fort Funston.  Thank you very much. 

Neva Beach:
I want to thank you so much for paying attention to this at the city level.  I think it's now abundantly clear that your oversight is seriously needed and all of us who are concerned with urban park use welcome it. 

Supervisor Tony Hall:
What is your name?

Neva Beach:
My name is Neva Beach.  I'm a dog owner, but I'm mostly a City advocate.  I was a non-dog owner too, and used the parks abundantly in both roles.  The G.G.N.R.A. I think has abundantly demonstrated the need for oversight over its actions, so I'm not going to take much of your time, you know most of my arguments.  Please don't give up.

Anne Farrow:
Good afternoon.  I'm Anne Farrow, co-chair of SFDOG.  Thank you to Supervisor Yee and Supervisor Hall and Supervisor Sandoval for your continued interest in our recreational open space at Fort Funston.

When the City of San Francisco floated a bond issue to acquire Fort Funston from the Army it was with the promise to the people of San Francisco that the area would remain open space and not be developed in any way.  It was opened in October of 1961.  Fourteen years later San Franciscans were again promised that if they would turn the administration of Fort Funston over to the federal government it would just be a technical change, still remaining totally open for recreational use, with the City overseeing any changes. 

Seventeen years later, in 1992 fences went up. The City was not consulted.  Three years later more fences, no consultation.  In 1999 a huge portion of the handicapped accessible trail was ripped out.  The City was not consulted.  In 2000 more fences were built.  Despite a lawsuit by park users -- not the City, that should have been involved -- but two dog walking groups, who in fact are the major users of this park, this year, in 2000 the fences were extended and on-leash signs have gone up. 

The promise that was made to San Francisco citizens 40 years ago has been broken again and again.  The northwestern bluffs of Fort Funston are entirely closed to any sort of recreation.  The northern portion of Fort Funston is closed except for a sandy fenced path.  The Park Service has been non-responsive and arrogant to repeated requests by the City to honor the original agreement of involvement in any changes in use or access to Fort Funston. 

We urge you to demand that the closure of 2000 be open to the public by August 15 -- or when the bank swallows leave, if that's earlier, and to remove the on-leash signs, and to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that Fort Funston is indeed open to the public.  Thank you.

Supervisor Tony Hall:
I have a question.  Anne?  You had mentioned August 15.  What is the significance of that date?

Anne Farrow:
That's generally when the bank swallows leave and return to South America.  When they closed the temporary closure it was to be from approximately the 15th of April to the 15th of August, or when the bank swallows arrived and left.

Supervisor Tony Hall:
All right.  Thank you.

Robin Buckley:
My name is Robin Buckley and I'm representing myself.  I just wanted to thank you for what you are doing and, you know, hang in there.  It just really irritates me to see the federal government treat us like this. 

I just want to tell you about, I went out to Fort Funston over the weekend and they were going to have a plant talk, and there was going to be a group of people taken around, looking at native plants.  I was asked not to bring my dog and so I didn't, and when I got there all I heard was how bad the dog owners were because they had their dogs off the leash, and aren't they all breaking the law.  Now that's, you know, that's one of my main focuses.  I don't want to feel like a law-breaker.  I'm a law-abiding citizen, and that's all I have to say.  Thank you very much.

Vicki Tiernan:
Supervisors; thank you very much, especially you, Supervisor Yee, for truly studying the situation and understanding that it's not environment versus recreational interests.

I feel strongly that whatever course of action we take, that it needs to be a strong one.  However well intentioned some Park Service employees might be, I think their language and their actions make it very clear that they are trying to edge recreation right out of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.  This is clearly epitomized by their persistent use of the term "Golden Gate National Parks"instead of "Golden Gate National Recreation Area."

As part of this new ANPR process, all of a sudden leash signs have gone up in areas that have been well established as off-leash areas, and we've been given the vague "Washington told us to do it" explanation for this, but there's been no written documentation and it's been told to an aide in Jackie Speier's office that there is nothing in writing. 

This all, I think the handwriting is very clearly on the wall that they want to edge recreation right out of the G.G.N.R.A., and we as a city cannot afford to have this happen.

Lastly, on behalf of Lydia Boesch I just wanted to say that she says that she is leaving the city, but she is not leaving this issue; she's going to fight it as long as it takes.  Thank you so much.

Committee Clerk Mary Red:
What's your name?

Vicki Tiernan:
Vicki Tiernan; I'm sorry.

Linda McKay:
Hi, my name is Linda McKay and I'm the chair of Fort Funston Dog Walkers.  I'm here today to ask you for two things; I'll try not to repeat what other people have said.  One is, opening of the gates; I know that's been asked for already, but a little background on that is that the Park Service is telling Washington that this is a temporary closure and that's in order to avoid oversight by the OMB --Office of Management and Budget -- so they're indicating back to Washington that this is a temporary closure, just leave us alone, you know, things are sorting out, but they're acting locally like it's a permanent closure.  We see no evidence that they are going to open those gates without some prodding.  So I think the comment is that it can't be both, at the convenience of the Park Service, it's either permanent or it's temporary and if it's temporary, let's get the gates opened.

The other point that's been brought up are the leash signs -- we have real concerns that the Park Service has created an unmanageable situation.  I received word today that there was an incident at Muir Beach, a very serious incident.  A man was arrested, put in handcuffs, and this was all over walking off leash.  It's a basic misunderstanding of what the law is.  We've been told that not to worry, they are not going to change enforcement, but what I told Brian O'Neill when he told us this is I don't see how he can manage 200 or 300 park police, so that they all understand that the sign is up but it doesn't mean anything, and in fact the evidence is that they won't be able to do that.  So this can become quite serious, and we would like your help in assisting them.  They say this is for legal reasons.  The solicitors may say they don't set policy, but in fact this came from the solicitors; so if they need some help in sorting through the legal issues, maybe that's a service the City could offer. Thank you.

Michael Goldstein:
 Hi, my name is Michael Goldstein, and you said that the purpose was to "to deal with the G.G.N.R.A. unilaterally changing the use of the land away from recreation," and I just would like to urge you to keep after that and don't ever forget about it, and there's a lot of stalling going on now.

I also am concerned about the change of the land -- change of the name -- of the G.G.N.R.A. unofficially to "Golden Gate National Parks", and I just saw that in two posters on the subway coming out of here; it's happening in a very sly way, over time. We did give this land to the federal government for the use of recreation, and we need to make sure that they don't forget that.

I'm really concerned that the meeting with Brian O'Neill hasn't happened yet. It seems like it's wasting a lot of our time here, when the main purpose of this hearing today would be to hear back from the G.G.N.R.A. what they have to say to The City, and we're told by the attorney's office -- the City Attorney's office -- that we can't really hear much until we hear from Brian O'Neill, and, conveniently, that's not for another few days. So, we'll have to continue this, I suppose, and all come back again. I'd be very interested to see that this is pursued. Thank you.

Jane Shepard:
Hello, my name is Jane Shepard and I am representing Golden Gate Senior Services and our 800 members.  Thank you, supervisors, for your continued interest.

I just wanted to point out that the Sunset Trail, which is the only level, paved -- was level and paved -- trail accessible to people with disabilities and handicaps is still closed and it's been nearly two years and no one seems to do anything about this.  One of our seniors in particular -- several of them used to exercise there every single day -- one in particular has now lost the ability to drive a car because she no longer drives to Fort Funston and when she tried it, she became very disoriented and got lost.  I think that this is still part of the issue that we need to address, is that this trail is very important to people with mobility issues.  Thank you.

Karin Hu:
I'm Karin Hu.  First I'd like to thank the committee.

I'm a volunteer for the National Park Service doing bank swallow monitoring.  Also I'm with Green Friends, a group of over 200 environmentalists supporting solutions that include families and their pets.

I'm a San Francisco native and as a kid I spent hours in the Presidio sketching plants, watching birds, studying insects, with only my dog for company.  Being able to immerse myself in nature sustained my interest in natural history, and I later went on to earn a PhD studying insect behavior.  Today I'm a City College instructor and I teach courses in scientific methods and animal behavior.

Ironically, I'm no longer able to sit at the site that I had spent countless afternoons, dog or no dog.  The National Park Service has turned it into a native plant garden where visitors are confined to a short boardwalk.  And the same thing is happening at Fort Funston.  Areas are fenced off to plant these native plant gardens, and they're removed from recreational use for anyone -- hikers, walkers, and even naturalists.  It makes no sense to have these fragmented, unsustainable habitats.  Additionally it makes no sense to remove recreational space in a major city.

Fort Funston users have tried to talk to the Park Service for years, and there's no indication that they've heard one word of what we've said. 

We, as scientists, have appealed to them on the basis of scientific data and reasoning, with no response. 

We, as environmentalists, support the protection of wildlife and the conservation of natural resources.  We know that good park management can support sustainable recreational use.

And we as San Franciscans, have asked them for policies that are appropriate for an urban park, again with no response, except for their retaliation by permanently closing areas, declaring the Pet Policy null, and putting up "Pets On Leash" signs.

Off-leash recreation I know is not for everyone, but only 4% of the G.G.N.R.A. allows off-leash recreation.  The remaining 96% does not permit it. 

I'm grateful to the committee.  I want to thank you very much.  Please use all means possible to make the Park Service accountable to citizens.  Thank you.

Andrea O'Leary:
Good afternoon, supervisors.  My name is Andrea O'Leary.

Let's be clear about something.  You do not attempt to take back federal lands for the sake of most of us.  This endeavor is not, as dog owners say, the will of the people, or as you just said, Supervisor Yee, the "greater voice."  You will not improve upon our recreational experience; indeed, you will make it worse.  We will lose the little progress made by the National Park Service, by their finally securing our safety and comfort by enforcing leash laws.  Cordoning off small areas to bring back sensitive natural areas is in our best interest.  They will be reopened, but they will not be reopened if you take this land over and turn it into an off-leash dog haven.  This, as you said, Supervisor Yee, or is not servicing the purpose of all the people, and indeed it denies most of us a major reason we go to beaches. 

Our City agencies, where you do have jurisdiction, have not done an adequate job of maintaining our neighborhood parks, and taking over coastal lands to manage for long-term sustainability is something this city is not capable of doing anytime in the foreseeable future.  You do not have the 440 million dollars needed to bring our neighborhood parks back to the basic standards.  You have an out-of-control dog problem everywhere.  Nobody has solved it.  This has been going on for decades.  You do not have the 10 million dollars plus to pay for a legal battle with federal government. 

All this when most of us don't want you doing this in the first place.

The Board of Supervisors is known for its deal-making, so let's make a deal.  Bring the off-leash dog problem under control and make enforcement of the leash and health laws work.  Install innovative and inspirational playground equipment in every park, without surrounding it with fences to protect the kids from dogs.  Bring all facilities up to earthquake and A.D.A. standards.  Sustain and maintain quality programming and gardening.  Then we can talk about the City taking over management of coastal areas.  Then perhaps, as the mayor just said down in the rotunda a few minutes ago, perhaps then we might manage the future better than we've managed our past.  Thank you.

Lindsay Kefauver:
Hello, I'm Lindsay Kefauver.  I want to again thank Supervisor Yee for taking up the need for the City's greater involvement in planning of the G.G.N.R.A. with this committee, and thanks to Supervisor Hall and Supervisor Sandoval for supporting this recommendation. 

Lydia Boesch, who has been our main liaison, regrets that she cannot be here today and in her stead I would like to ask the City Attorney's office to please persevere on this issue and to not be lulled into inaction by the foot-dragging of the National Park Service.

I feel that if Governor Davis can confront the president on the state's energy crisis, I would hope that our City government could, at the very least, request that the National Park Service live up to its agreements with the City.  Thank you.

Supervisor Leland Yee:
All right, thank you very very much.  Any other public comments; then public comment is closed.  Colleagues, do you have any comments?  Supervisor Hall? 

Supervisor Tony Hall:
Yes, Supervisor Yee – Chairman Yee.  [laughter]  There was a gentleman there that mentioned the G.G.N.R.A. changing its name to G.G.N.P.S.  Is that correct?  The gentleman who mentioned that?

Michael Goldstein: [from audience]:
To "Golden Gate National Parks."

Supervisor Leland Yee:
Do you want to just come on up?

Supervisor Tony Hall:
Yes.  Can you just come up, can you illuminate on that just for a couple minutes? 

Michael Goldstein: [at podium]
Sure, I could ruminate on it for a couple of hours, but I'm sure you don't want that! The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is who you gave the land to, we gave it to, and that was formed in 1972.  In 1872 Golden Gate Park was formed, so it's a hundred years older, and it's only 1,000 acres and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area is 74,000 acres, but it has the audacity, mostly through, originally, the Golden Gate National Parks Association, which is its "non-profit support partner", but also now more officially through Brian O'Neill calling himself the Superintendent of the Golden Gate National Parks, to call itself the "Golden Gate National Parks" -- or, "The Parks at the Golden Gate".  And that obviously takes the name recreation out of the entity's official title.  And that's not ever been done officially -- that's not who you gave the land to -- and I think it's important that that be raised in the discussions with The City. 

Supervisor Tony Hall:
When did that happen?

Michael Goldstein:
It's been a very gradual phase over; I've noticed it over the last year or two.  I've noticed it a lot in the last few months.   

Supervisor Tony Hall:
Yes, so have I.  Has -- and you say, it was the effort of who?

Michael Goldstein: 
Well, there's a group called the Golden Gate National Parks Association --

Supervisor Hall:
Uh huh; which is an arm of the -- 

Michael Goldstein:
It's a question of how independent they really are -- their offices are in the same "Building 201" where the headquarters of the G.G.N.R.A. are -- but they've been given a monopoly on things like the sale of audiotapes at Alcatraz.  They put out booklets about what you can do in the "Golden Gate National Parks," as they call it, and these list, one of them I looked at recently, listed 23 different units of the G.G.N.R.A. -- or "National Parks" as they call them -- and it listed about 18 different activities that you could do in a little table, with an "X" here and there -- 

Supervisor Tony Hall:
All related to parks rather than recreation, so we've dropped the recreation, is that it? 

Michael Goldstein:
Yes, but also, none of them mention the main activity that takes place in the G.G.N.R.A., which is dog walking.  They didn't mention it, on- or off-leash --

Supervisor Tony Hall:
Well, that's recreational, so they eliminated that.

Michael Goldstein:
It's completely edited out of there. 

Supervisor Tony Hall:
That's great.  They're slick!

Supervisor Leland Yee:
All right.  Thank you very much.  If Madam City Attorney, Ms. Morley, if you could cause a letter to Brian O'Neill or the appropriate individuals, asking what is, in fact, the timeline for the rulemaking and then also, what is the timeline for the discontinuance of some of the closures that are currently set in motion or in place right now; given the fact that I think a number of individuals have indicated that officially what they had heard was that this is not a permanent closure, but a temporary closure, so what really might be the timeline for some of those activities.  I think, lastly, as soon as you’ve had the meeting with the National Park Service, why don't you apprise this committee of exactly the progress of that, and we will, in fact, hold another hearing to update, I think, everybody, about what's going on.  

Let me just conclude by saying that I don't believe that it is the intent of the City and County of San Francisco to take over, I think, all the federal land that adjoins the City and County of San Francisco.  But Fort Funston is a particularly unique situation in that it used to be the land of the people of the City and County of San Francisco.  We did not give that land over to the federal government without any conditions.  As a matter of fact, it is laid out very clearly in the codicil of that particular agreement, that the federal government would, in fact, hold that land in trust and maintain it for recreational purposes.  As I've said so many times before, when you start closing off parts of the land, then I don't know what recreational services it provides.   

I think the other thing is that this committee, nor the board of supervisors, is saying that we want to turn that land over for dog walking or not dog walking.  Our issue and our concern is the unilateral decision of the federal government to take action on a piece of property that used to belong to the City and County of San Francisco, and breaking the agreement that that transfer contained.  That transfer said that the federal government would, in fact, consult with the City and County of San Francisco or particularly the Planning Department, over some of the change in use.  And it is those kinds of, I think, bad faith, that causes me to then say that if you cannot keep faith with that original agreement, then we will take some action either to inject ourselves more clearly in terms of exactly that relationship of how we do, in fact, influence it, or, if you are not agreeable to that, then we will, in fact, take that land back.   

And so it is through, I think, those kinds of concerns that you see the actions on the board.  And then if, in fact, we were to take it back, then we would engage in an open process, I think, with all the stakeholders, in terms of how we would in fact use the land.  But be very, very clear: that our primary goal in this is for us, the City and County of San Francisco, to have some say as to what goes on, and what ultimately is going to happen is not going to be the board of supervisors, it's going to be all the stakeholders, those individuals who want dogs off-leash, those individuals who do not, and many other stakeholders, and together we will then come up with a plan that will be a lot more inclusive -- not what we have now, where, basically, it is a dictatorial decision of what's going to be open and what's going to be closed, without any input from the people of San Francisco.  That's the concern, and that's what we're trying to do here.   

All right, any other comments?  If not -- Supervisor Hall? 

Supervisor Tony Hall: 
Chairman Yee, I would like to request, along with the timeline regarding the proposed rulemaking, that the City Attorney also request information regarding this alleged -- not alleged, but what appears to be, in reality -- a name change, and the justification for it or the reasoning behind it.  Is that possible? 

Deputy City Attorney Mariam Morley: 

Supervisor Tony Hall:
Thank you.  I'd like to know what's behind the name change and why the "recreation" has been eliminated from it. 

Supervisor Leland Yee: 
And, maybe, if the G.G.N.R.A. of which the City and County of San Francisco turned the land over, the Fort Funston land over, if they no longer recognize that as their entity, then that entity no longer exists and maybe the land can then be reverted back.

[laughter; exclamation of "hurray!"] 

All right, with that, if there's no objection on this item, we will continue this to the call of the chair and we will hold another hearing upon the conclusion of the meeting of the City Attorney with the federal people.  Madam Clerk, the next item please.  Thank you very, very much. 

 transcribed by Vicki Tiernan