"such intensive trampling destroys all vegetation, even the extremely tolerant iceplant."
          from "Proposed Habitat Protection Closure" by National Park Service, July 18 2000

"In some areas, the trampling is so extensive that not even iceplant has survived."
          from California Native Plant Society Action Alert, July 2000

Iceplant (Carpobrotus edulis) trampled along a "social" trail at Fort Funston.

Here is a lovely trail where one can enjoy wide open vistas, solitude, sanity, and needed exercise. Isn't that what a recreation area is all about? Why must such activity be attacked and eradicated? Fort Funston is not a "preserve", it is an essential urban recreation park.

If the National Park Service, in alliance with private organizations, wishes to turn Fort Funston into a fenced-off preserve for introducing new flora and fauna while disallowing longtime recreational use such as off-leash dog walking, that is a major public policy question which must be fully discussed and justified in a public forum. In the coming two months, we will all have the rare opportunity to discuss these issues. Let your voice be heard! It's your park, your tax money, your recreation that is at stake.

Many people feel that the changes that are being proposed are simply not necessary in order to make sure that the bank swallows are fully protected. It seems there is a deeper plan to incrementally eliminate off-leash dog walking in one of the few places it is enjoyed. It's too bad that such a healthy activity which enhances the physical and social well-being of people and dogs is cast so inaccurately as a threat to the environment.

- Michael B. Goldstein, Editor



To First Section of Fort Funston Forum