To promote healthy, safe, and varied experiences for all park users, and to protect natural resources and wildlife, the Parks Department is recommending that off-leash dog recreation be piloted on specified trails at Quarry Park and Pillar Point Bluff for 12 months. The specified trails were selected because they are largely located away from Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas, are wide enough to safely support passing recreationalists, and provide a variety of hiking experiences for park visitors. Also, on-leash dog recreation is currently allowed at both Pillar Point Bluff and Quarry Park, which means dogs are not being introduced to these parks for the first time, but instead are being allowed to recreate in a new way.
To evaluate the potential environmental impacts created by the pilot program, the Parks Department prepared an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration and an Adaptive Management Plan (AMP). Parks will use the AMP to manage and monitor the off-leash dog recreation pilot program and to protect the environment while also accommodating the diverse and changing recreational needs of the public over time.
The AMP will monitor 8 indicators to evaluate the program:
Presence of dog waste
Fecal coliform levels
Harassment of wildlife
Dog entry into sensitive areas
Dogs traveling off trail
Leash compliance for on-leash trails
Interactions between other visitors and dogs
Changes in park visitation in response to visitors with off-leash dogs
Baseline monitoring for these indicators has begun as of July 2021, and is presented on this page and in the document linked to this page. The data included in the baseline monitoring to date includes observations for all of the above criteria except for fecal coliform levels.