National Park Service September 9, 2013 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Dog Management Plan, Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California
Document Number: 2013-21726
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-09-09
Agency: Department of the Interior, National Park Service
Pursuant to Section 102 (2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C), the National Park Service (NPS) is releasing a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Dog Management Plan (Plan/SEIS), Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), California. Current dog management in the park is based on a number of factors. Areas included in the GGNRA Citizens' Advisory Commission's 1979 pet policy, followed by the park for over twenty years, must be managed in accordance with the June 2, 2005, decision by the U.S. District Court for Northern California (US vs. Barley, 405 F.Supp. 2d 1121) holding that NPS cannot enforce the NPS-wide regulation requiring on leash walking of pets (36 CFR 2.15(a)(2)) in areas where the park had previously allowed off leash use until notice and comment rulemaking under 36 CFR 1.5(b) is completed. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be published for notice and comment after comments on the Plan/SEIS have been received, evaluated, and addressed. A final rule will be published after the final Plan/FEIS has been published and a Record of Decision signed. The purpose of the Plan/SEIS is to determine the manner and extent of dog use in appropriate areas of the park, provide a clear, enforceable dog management policy, preserve and protect natural and cultural resources and natural processes, provide a variety of visitor experiences, improve visitor and employee safety, and reduce user conflicts. The Plan/SEIS evaluates the impacts of six alternatives for dog management in 22 areas of GGNRA. The range of alternatives includes the consensus recommendations of the GGNRA Negotiated Rulemaking Committee for Dog Management, the 1979 Pet Policy, 36 CFR 2.15, voice-control dog walking and commercial dog walking. The preferred alternative includes site specific treatments from multiple action alternatives that together allow for a balanced range of visitor experiences, including areas that prohibit dogs, and areas that allow on-leash and voice- control dog walking. It includes the following key elements: The Negotiated Rulemaking Committee's consensus agreements; on-leash and/or voice and sight-control dog walking in multiple specific areas of the park where impacts to sensitive resources and visitor experience are minimized; no dogs in areas of the park where impacts are unacceptable and can not be mitigated; a monitoring-based management strategy measuring compliance in on-leash and voice and sight-control dog walking areas that will provide information for a range of management responses as needed, including further restrictions or elimination of a use where compliance is not able to be achieved by lesser actions; permits for both individual and commercial dog walkers for more than three dogs, with a maximum of six, in limited areas of the park; and the site-specific analysis of Rancho Corral de Tierra as a recently- acquired GGNRA site evaluated under the Plan/SEIS.
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