Food for thought from Golden Gate National Recreation Area

by Molly

NPR: Who’s a Park For? Dog Owners Fight Park Service

“…Golden Gate National Recreation Area, in California’s Bay Area, is expanding, quite literally, up next to some people’s backyards. And while you might think neighbors would be thrilled to see this scenic landscape preserved, the relationship between the National Park Service and locals is off to a rocky start.

If you love your dog the way Peggy and Bill Bechtell love Kalie, you couldn’t ask for a better place to live than right on the border of Rancho Corral de Tierra. The ranch is 4,000 acres of cypress trees and grassy rolling hills, about 20 minutes south of San Francisco. Peggy says it is dog paradise.

‘We don’t have a community center, that’s our socialization out there. There’s 12 dogs running around playing together,’ she says.

Until recently, this land was owned by a local land trust, which mostly just let it be. But in January, the land officially joined the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It’s now part of the National Park System. The Bechtells, like a lot of others here, are none too pleased.

‘We’ve had nothing but great community here for 32 years and the minute they come, they ruin it,” Peggy says. “Everybody’s upset. Everybody’s furious. And frightened.’…”