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Dog Owners vs. Bird Lovers

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[Photo via Sally Kuchar]

"It's really unusual to win when you sue the federal government," said Sally Stephens, the chair of the SF Dog Group. "We've won three times." The SF Examiner reports that dog owners are taking the Golden Gate National Recreation Area's threat to significantly reduce where dogs can roam off-leash very seriously. But there are genuine concerns that off-leash dogs harm other species, like birds. If these so-called "birds" are so endangered, then where are their advocates? Dan Murphy, a bay area bird enthusiast, said he used to go to Fort Funston to watch the frolicking quail and jackrabbits. "Now I don't even go there," he said. "If they're not gone, they're almost gone. That coincided almost concisely with the explosion of off-leash dogs out there." "This would be the only national park, including urban national recreation areas, where you can walk your dog off-leash," said National Parks Conservation Association Associate Director Neal Desai. But that hasn't stopped dog owners from winning this war. Stephens calls taking dogs out of urban parks "extreme environmentalism," which is really catchy and works well in a press release.
· Doggy Blues [Curbed SF]
· GGNRA: doggone [Curbed SF]
· Dog owners are overpowering bird lovers in dispute over park usage [SF Examiner]