"The entire 12-acre project area will be closed year-round to visitor access. There is a portion of one designated trail located within the footprint of this closure. This trail, known as the "Spur trail" (see map), will be closed to visitor use because southern sections of this trail have become unusable due to increased sand deposition on the trail surface. This has compounded the establishment and use of unauthorized "social" trails in the northern section of the project area. Visitor use of and access to all "social" trails including "the Gap" (see map) within the project footprint will be prohibited by this closure."
from Introduction to Fort Funston "Proposed
Habitat Protection Closure"
"A portion of the Sunset Trail was closed due to failing and eroding pavement on an emergency basis. It was reopened on March 9, 2000, following the removal of a 1,200 foot unsafe section of paved area which was undermined by bluff failures."
from the "Declaration
of Mary Gibson Scott in Opposition to Temporary Restraining Order"
(see "Bluff Failures
on the Sunset Trail", Fort Funston Forum)
There you go again, National Park Service! You're not making sense. The Sunset Trail, which was paved and not "unsafe", and which was accessible to people with disabilities, was turned to sand. Yet at the other end of the park, the Spur Trail, which is perfectly walkable for people without disabilities, is labeled "unusable" and closed. How can intelligent people who actually see the reality on the ground at Fort Funston believe anything you propose is necessary after claims and closures like these?
The Spur Trail is a gorgeous trail which runs from the end of the paved road, down towards "The Gap" beach access, and from there turns right and heads north to meet up with the fenced-in trail running through the earlier-closed areas near the Great Highway. The north-south section, from The Gap to the northern corridor trail, is closed. It runs along the top of the bluffs, with beautiful views. Because the Park Service has decided not to do their job of trail maintenance, this trail indeed has a lot of sand on it, and in one place a shrub grows nearly across the entire width of the trail. So... do your job and maintain our trail! Or just open it up. Even as is, it's perfectly walkable as the photos below show.
There's no claim that any harm would be done by this trail being open. At the northern end, there's a sign saying that it is closed because bank swallows are nesting. But they're not!
Why is it that the Park Service is allowed to ignore its maintenance duties as well as its responsibility to keep land open for recreation? And why does it repeatedly get away with the use of spurious reasons and a lack of science to justify barring people from more and more of the park?
The Spur Trail is a perfect example of the mismanagement of Fort Funston by the National Park Service. It's hard to say which is more offensive: that the agency would shuck its duty to facilitate public use of the land, or that it would be so arrogant as to think it could fool people into believing its absurd explanations.
Here are photos which document the entire Spur Trail on Tuesday, September 26, 2000. The first leg runs through the newly opened (by court order) zone, and the section beginning with the orange fencing across the trail and the "dogs on leash" sign is the start of the section from The Gap north along the bluffs to the other trail. There is no excuse for this trail to be closed.
While you still have a chance to do so, write a letter to the Park Service objecting to the proposed closure. The deadline for receiving comments is very soon: Friday, October 6th.
First Section of Fort Funston Forum