Dogs on the Beach
If the problem has to be explained, you probably don't own a dog.


Introduction
Navarro Beach Funnies Cartoon
Some donated photos of objectionable parks policy
Dogbeach Blog
Emails
From the Mendocino Land Trust
Arguements For and Against Leashes
Sign the Petition
Download a petition copy to print to pass around or place locally, but please return them to me (at PO Box 57 Albion CA, 95410) instead of the CA dept of fish & game.
Links

23/Aug/08 Reuters
Science And The Public: Informed People Make Better Environmental Decisions Than Government Does

18/Sept/'07 EurekaAlert
This link refers to a study on why local conservation efforts often fail because while many basic conservation strategies are sound, their use is often flawed. The strategies are applied too generally, it says, as an inflexible, regulatory "blueprint" that foolishly ignores local customs, economics and politics.


About 30 years ago, there was a local movement in Mendocino to protect the town from development speculation. (The Mendocino Land Trust) was created to buy the mouth of Big River from Georga Pacific Lumber Co. to keep it scenic. The State of CA was brought in to put up some of the cash. There was an agreement that traditional uses and concerns of locals would be addressed in managing the beach. For (about) 4 or 5 years signs have been up stating that dogs must be on a leash, but the rule has never been enforced, and violators were simply told to leash their dogs, and were ignored when the beach was otherwise empty. Before the purchase, there were no signs or rules. Some say the state has that rule on it's beaches because they need to protect the public (assuming the worst), or themselves from liability. The question arises: against what odds?

For example there's a large tide pool that develops every summer on the beach, the water is stagnate, warm, and sometimes chest deep. Kids & tourists always swim in it. It's a cesspool of rotten seaweed, dead fish, junkfood wrappers, coliform bacteria, and dead birds. There are no signs saying "Danger, contaminated/infectious water, no swimming". Possibly because it would look bad, stifle fun, or draw attention to an unsolvable problem.

So the concern about dogs on the beach appears to be political concern for the convenience of a favorable public image, rather than for actual public well-being (because nobody can prove that their septic infection came from that pool). In other words, (as GW says) political decisions are driven by specific circumstances. The leash restriction was never put to a popular vote, partly because most people just don't care, and partly because there's no mechanism to hear opposing views. Like how many people enjoy watching dogs play?

Ok, that's not entirely true, there were notices in the paper about public discussions sponsored by the Mendocino Land Trust. At the one I attended, there were about 35 people. At least seven of them were there to ask about dog access. The chairwoman flatly refused to discuss the topic, saying it had already been settled. So much for public input.

Surveys done by the State Parks system to authorize policy represent only a tiny portion of park users (those who chose to reply to the survey), in only a few staffed parks where admission is charged. The surveys do not, and should not be construed to represent a majority of park users. And dog leash laws should not be indiscriminately enforced without consulting local opinion.



the Navarro Beach Funnies

No Fires
More Navarro Beach Funnies


Below are some emails, most current are at the bottom.

Today, (Jan 19) cold & raining, I got busted for walking my dog (Mr. Dog) on Big River beach, there was only myself and 2 other people there, (besides 2 rangers), the other people also had a dog.
After a 2 or 3 year hiatus I believe dog owners are now being targeted specifically. I plan to contest the bust at TenMile Court at 10:30 on Feb. 24th. Not because I wasn't braking the law, but because it's a bad law & doesn't address the actual problem of inconsiderate dog owners. I expect I'll have to pay the fine anyway (it's $60 on Point Arena State Beach & probably the same here), If anyone can offer suggestions about dealing with Legal stuff (besides hiding from it) please email me.
writeto

Thanks
Bill Cornelius


There's some justifiable concern that unsupervised, territorial, or over-enthusiastic dogs can be a threat to people, but the same can be said about unsupervised, territorial, or over-enthusiastic park rangers. There's almost daily news stories about police beatings and shootings, yet we don't punish them all for the actions of a few. Still, that's police, not rangers, likewise aggressive dogs usually are not arthritic Labradors.


How come there's never an agressive lab around when you need one? (that's a dog joke)


If Parks has the resources to put 2 guards on an otherwise empty beach, late in the day, during bad weather, then they could just as well be discerning between a problem and a non-threat.


Hi Bill,

I also recently had an bad experience with rangers at Big River Beach. Because I knew they were parking up by the church several days before (two pickups with insignias on them) we have been on the alert and have used the leash all the time.

Just before new year's day a ranger pulled up on the east side of the bridge and announced that he saw us off leash while looking at us through binoculars from, I presume, the west side of the beach up on the cliff. He actually had to drive the pickup over to the other side to confront me. He said he'd give me a warning this time. Man, I read him off and said he was really way wrong and that maybe the thin leash was not seen. He searched my eyes and then relented and didn't give me a ticket.

You're right the change there's been definite change in tactics recently. At first there was sort of unwritten liberal policy explained as an idea to appease a bunch of us dog owners who worked so hard to get the additional land purchase. Someone said they talked to one of the big wigs and he hinted if we did off leash at the times of day when the beach was not heavily used, like early morning and late afternoon, they'd look the other way... Ha Ha.

In retrospect my beef is that these rangers are using a technique that I think is way out of line.Spying! Beyond the pale. Out of line for our community, for sure. They are trying to bust people instead of going down to the beach to interact with people and explain things as good public servants . Also, the two rangers-one gal and a guy-looked as if they could use some exercise. (I wonder if this precipitated by the State needing to line the coffers?)

Oh, as far as the amount you might have to pay...About three months ago a woman with one small fox terrier got a $250. ticket there. She said she did not get a warning and tried to talk the ranger out of it. He refused to do anything She didn't protest it...

Good luck in court and if you don't mind, I'll send your message around to he list of dog owners I know...

Richard

P.S. If there's anything we can do to help, let us know.


Try $269.00 not $60.Good luck,you'll need it.Sorry to bear bad tidings but two friends have had to pay.I've heard if you go to court and plead a hardship you might get a reduction by a sympathetic judge


Hi,

I hope you are right, that it is onl;y $60. My daughter, Michelle, had her dog out of the car for about 2 minutes while waiting for me at Big River, and was given a ticket, no warning, fist time offense, never even made it onto the beach - $270!!! She was able to get it reduced to $96!

You're right, it's a bad law - would be nice to get it changed, even a designated day change would be good, like someone wrote is the case in Monterey.

Sandy


I was told by someone that Monterey got an exception for their beach that allows off-leash dogs. I don't know if this is true, but worth investigating.

I have also stopped contributing to state parks fundraising events, as a protest against their behaviors. I was asked to leave Heeser Drive, parked in my truck with two out of town friends watching the ocean at 10:00 PM on a full-moon night. The ranger told me the park was closed! Heeser Drive Road!! Sydelle

> ===========================================================================
>
> My husband just got one too. He & dog were the only one.
> Apparently they are using binoculars from the cliff and posting Rangers to
> catch us who transgress.
>
> The Parks does not care. The have cut back the Humane Society truck to just
> 1 week-end a month, which means less adoptions and less money from the
> tourists. They have no reason for why.
> Alberta
>
> ===========================================================================


Hi Bill,

A friend of mine forwarded me your message about getting a ticket on Big River Beach. I got one on Christmas eve and am scheduled to go to court on 2/24. The ticket was for 256.00. When is your court date?. I plan to ask for a reduction.

I have been taking my dogs to Big River, almost every day, for the last 11 years. During that time I have not seen one dog fight or any attacks on people. There are people in this community that bitch and complain to the rangers about dogs off leash and they respond by upping the harassment. I think it is a sad state of affairs that there is a blanket state law in place and the local park superintendents have no discretion to allow off leash times.

I have been one of the last holdouts at Big River, refusing give in to the rangers, but it is no fun anymore, always having to look over my shoulder to see if I am being watched. I feel like I am living in a police state and I am afraid that it will get worse as more people move here.

Ron Stark


On Jan 29, 2006, at 9:04 AM, Michael Antonelli wrote:

Dear Patricia,

Thanks for the email. For your info I just got my first ticket at Big River last weekend. It was raining and the beach was empty. When I was advised that I was being ticketed I had to provide my drivers license which was in my vehicle. When I opened the trunk of my vehicle to get my identification the Ranger stepped back and put his hand on his revolver_ The Ranger said he was new and had replaced a ranger who was too lenient and that tickets would be written_. NO MORE WARNINGS.
Two rangers are usually at Big River. One overlooks the beach on the bluff overlooking big River while the second one parks by the Beach under the bridge. With that combo they will ticket anyone from the church entrance to the river entrance.
Things are getting worse for the Dogs. The Ranger stated that I could walk my dog without a leash in another State and that California has a _no tolerance_ for Dogs policy_..and he hoped that dogs would be banned completely like some California Beaches.
Michael Antonelli



----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill Cornelius" <billcor_AT_mcn.org>
To: <info_AT_mendocinolandtrust.org>
Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2006 9:06 PM
Subject: question

> James:
>
> I understood that the land trust was to represent local needs, there's
> been some busts on the beach for dogs off their leash (mine included).
> This is new, has the policy changed, what happened, or how can it be
> addressed?
>
> Thanks
> Bill Cornelius
>
>

Bill--

When the Land Trust conveyed the Big River property as planned to State Parks in July 2002, the California Code of Regulations section that requires that dogs are prohibited from running loose within a unit of the State Park System and that they must be on a leash under the immediate control of a person went in to effect. The Mendocino County Code also prohibits allowing a dog to run at large unleashed on public property. I can't speak to the relative level of enforcement of these regulations since 2002, but haven't heard of any change in policy that would have kicked in lately. As we don't own the property, the best entity to discuss this with is State Parks.

On the coastal access easments and the beach we manage as a local private nonprofit, our signs require that dogs be on leashes and when we monitor those locations, we politely ask that users leash their dogs. As a land conservation organization, we wish to ensure that wildlife using the habitat we have protected is able to use the locations functionally and to that end we have worked with another local group, Mendocino Coast Audubon Society, to educate people with dogs to the impact their pets may have in chasing shorebirds that are migrating and using the Mendocino coast as an area to rest and recover on their journey.

As you are probably aware, there are folks in the community actively trying to find a dogs off leash location.

thanks for your interest, James


Donald Cruser wrote:
Dear Bill,
I would like to comment on your desire to let dogs run free on the State Park beaches. I disagree with permitting this for several reasons. First of all, the state parks are specifically set aside as wildlife preserves. Dogs, as predators who spend their free time urinating to mark territory upset this environment. It is well-established that wildlife will avoid the dog areas. This not only affects the wildlife, but also the people like myself, who go to the parks to see the wildlife. Incidentally, I observe and frequent the park beaches and the birds, in particular, are everywhere in the beach habitat.

Secondly, I have had experience with what was a free-run dog beach. I am referring to Big River Beach, where the area east of the bridge was owned by the logging companies up until just a few years ago. I still remember walking the beach with some friends from Germany and going over to set down on a grassy area. What a mistake that was. The entire area, and every other grassy area near the beach was covered in dog manure and pee. I should have known better since I had seen over 20 dogs running or being walked on that part of the beach at one time.

This brings me to the major flaw in your argument, and that is many dog owners don't train there dogs or accept responsibility for them. Read the San Francisco papers and you will know that many of the smaller neighborhood parks have been run over by the dog problem. I also make this judgement based upon a summer I spent working for State Parks. I worked the entrance station at Russian Gulch and Van Damme. My major problem was dealing with people and their dogs. For example, on a regular basis people would show up at the gate with their dog and I could not let them in the park unless they could show proof of rabies shots. In order to be accommodating, I would call the main office and get permission to allow them in under the agreement that they would not let the dog out of their vehicle other then to take care of business. Then I would go on my lunch break and discover the dog running off leash way out on the headlands with the owner. It happened over and over. Irresponsible owners.

On another occasion I was working the entrance station at Van Damme and noticed two young fawns hanging around looking lost. On inquiry, I was told that two dogs from neighboring houses had chased the mother into the creek and killed her. I am friends with the Spring family who farm the ranch just south of Mendocino. They used to raise sheep but gave the practice up because they grew tired of seeing their animals slaughtered by marauding dogs.More irresponsible owners.

I like dogs and have owned several myself, but I firmly believe that people should not own a dog unless they have enough room for them on their own property, or are willing to exercise them where they don't affect wildlife or infringe on the rights of other people. This automatically eliminates the state parks. Back in the 60's or early 70's, California State Parks did a survey of everyone who had stayed in the parks the previous year on the question of whether dogs should be allowed into state parks. The results came back with the overwhelming majority opposed to allowing dogs into the parks. Probably, to avoid a continual struggle with dog owners, State Parks decided to allow dogs into the parks, but on leashes and in limited areas.

My recommendation to you is to find other areas outside of the State Parks. A couple of years back, the county opened up a dog park on the county airport property. I live close to this location and felt it was a good place for a dog park. It is generally not used by other people and it is a large enough area for the wildlife to adjust to the intrusion. I am sure there are other places available in Jackson State Forest.

Good Luck in finding somewhere else,
Don Cruser

Don:

You make good points, I can't address them all because I have no experience with some of those examples. My take is that if most dog owners are irresponsible (which they all aren't), (1) they should still have a forum to present their cause, (2) the state should still consider their position, because they would be the norm, and provide much of the beach usage (they were usually there, & often when no-one else was. Now that they're banned, who's keeping track of their non-usage? is it worth alienating so many?) Monterey and San Diego beaches are both said to have dog exception times and areas, If the people here ask for one, there's a need. At 1 week into my petition drive, I have about 200 signatures including some on paper. Not all zips are local but likewise not all beach users are local.

The 60's & 70's were baby-boom, free-love times and without knowledge of prior limitations, of course people wouldn't know when to stop. If they were already familiar with dog habits of boundary marking, to them it would be normal. People, like dogs, need a social context, some people only have their dogs but not other people. The state is unintentionally discriminating against those people while claiming to be the status quo. I beg to differ there, the state should be inclusive and not exclusive.

A few suggested solutions could be:
1) Not every beach needs to offer unleashed access, (like 10 mile).
2) Restricted areas could be defined, with directions to unrestricted areas, and fines posted, so that any sympathetic rangers wouldn't feel discriminatory (as with a blanket ban).
3) I'm especially interested in allowing dogs free access to specified areas below the high tide mark. That area is interesting to dogs. It's wide open, gives access to the surf, is self cleaning (scooping poop is fine but pee still stinks unless the pacific flushes it every 12 hrs) the tidal zone is one of the most biologically active areas on the planet & limited dog pee is biodegradable. If migratorial birds resting in the tidal zone are unable to fly to a nearby area where there are no dogs, they would soon be natural food for any wild predators.

I appreciate your concern for the doe that was killed with fawns. I agree that it might have been prevented with containment. However the doe might have guessed what she was getting into when she selected the neighborhood, and cars on the coast kill more deer than dogs every month. Nobody suggests banning cars or even requiring deer whistles (or holding the state accountable for the damage deer do to cars).

There are lots of options if both positions compromise, but none if they don't.

I hope we can work something out
Bill Cornelius


The LeDoux Bloom Family wrote:

Hi Bill, Lisa and Don:

1). I am not sure whether posting a "political" subject such as dogs off leash is appropriate for the parents to parents to parents list; 2). State Parks are not all preserves or reserves. We should know that it was named the California Department of Parks and Recreation for that reason! Our parks are multiple use, where appropriate. It is the Department's mission and our right as taxpayers who pay for these lands, their maintenance and protection to use and enjoy them. 3). My daughter and I have been lierally attacked by pit bull and pit bull crosses while riding our horses at Big River and Ten Mile State Parks over the past eight years! On one occasion, the dog was literally trying to bite my horse's rear leg. Luckily, it was a rear leg and the dog was frightened by being kicked at. What did the family (yes it was a family, mom, dad and the kids) say as I was screaming for help? Let me tell you, it did not include an apology! My fear is what if I or my daughter had fallen off and had been attacked ourselves? What if these dogs went after an elderly person or smaller or elderly dog. 4. The dogs are not the problem. It is the human owner that is the issue. Dogs should be on a leash and under control while interacting with the public. You'd think the recent mauling issues throughout California would be enough to cultivate an appreciation on this subject.

Now, go enjoy a long walk down the Big River Haul road with your leashed dog!

Sincerely,
Cynthia

Cynthia:

I heard about your attack, the dog owner was irresponsible. Pit Bulls are a problem everywhere, but even then, some aren't. It's not a reason to ban all dogs from all beaches. Some breeds of horses shouldn't be taken into populated areas. but even then there are individual horses of those breeds that behave well. Lord Rothchild once drove a team of 4 trained Zebras around Hyde park in London. But just because they behaved well shouldn't mean anyone ought to do it any time, likewise all horses (or dogs) shouldn't be banned if a few misbehave.

sincerely
Bill


Tues. 31 Jan '06.
dear friends,
In the past couple of weeks, Pat Scott and myself have been told by friends and acquaintances of various run-ins with State Park rangers. Many involve off-leash dogs, but others are just incidents where law-abiding citizens have been harrassed and treated as potential criminals while sitting or driving on State Park property. Both Pat and I have been in touch with Mike Wells, the new district superintendent, regarding his decision to only allow the Humane Society's Mobile Pet Adoption to set up once a month near the Ford House, citing the fact that MPA interferes with the educational mission of the site. Although he appears in print (thru our correspondance with him, and via his letter-to-the-editor in this week's Beacon) to be reasonable, the actions of his staff vis-a-vis various non-threatening citizens belies that. It seems to many of us that State Parks, on the Mendocino Coast, is out of control and is bent on becoming a threatening law enforcement agency (several stories include the description of the ranger as having his hand on his revolver during the encounter).
It's hard to know where to start in dealing with - there's been talk of a demonstration on Big River Beach, writing letters to Ruth Coleman, Director of State Parks in Sacramento, getting our supervisor David Colfax involved, and contacting Wes Chesboro and Patty Berg, our state reps. I am willing to collect stories of undue harassment and police-style tactics that people have experienced from State Park employees. It would be helpful to document our concerns, including, if possible, the name of the employee, date and a brief discription of the incident.
Pat is off to Mexico for 2 weeks and if there is anyone who would be willing to form a committee with me to get started on this issue, that would be very helpful. Many of us are feeling that we have lost a treasured and important part of lives on the coast due to State Park's unnecessarily heavy handed attitude toward not only the off-leash dog issue, but the general feeling that we must tiptoe around State Park property for fear of a run-in. Something is very wrong with this picture.
Sincerely, Carla carlaj@mcn.org


I ran into this same ranger at Spring Ranch week before last. Thank heavens I had my dogs on leash, he is a young guy who is very skittish - kept one hand on his revolver and the other on his club! He was not keen on my 'Lucy' wanting to give him a wet kiss...no sense of humor! He claimed that he was looking for mushroom poachers...and leash law violators - saw him the next weekend at Big River where he and another female ranger drove rather recklessly back and forth going after people! I will be sure to ask for his identification next time I run into him - didn't see him at all this past weekend.



1 Feb '06

An "Anonymous Source" in Albion told me he and some friends were pulling logs out of the Navarro river after the flood. A Park ranger came down, told them they were on state property, and issued a ticket. They assured him it was private property. The ranger didn't have a map with enough detail to locate the property line, but ordered them to stop logging till the issue was resolved. The loggers went home to check a detailed map to verify the property lines, and now can say they have proof that the logs were on private property. Meanwhile the river washed away the logs worth +/- $5000, and they still have to go to court. So who's responsible for the $5k loss, and how might it be recovered?

8 Feb '06
This just in!: The Rangers responsible in this bust didn't show in court. It appears to be a tactic to drag out the issue in hopes it'll be dropped. The defendants now have another court date. Stay tuned for more info.

24 Apr '06: Here's another page addressing this post, w/ some pictures.



25 Feb '06

I went to Tenmile court yesterday w/Judge Lehan. I told him about the rangers watching with binoculars from their truck on the highway turnout when the beach was otherwise empty, and suggested it was why he had so many dog leash violations from Big River beach. He agreed that previous local use was apparently not being recognized by Parks. I asked if it would be proper to address the issue of unleashed dogs on the beach. He said it was a separate legal procedure, and he couldn't allow it at that time and place. He also said that he couldn't in good conscience fine me for having my dog off leash, under the circumstances, but I would have to pay $20 for the paperwork. I said thank you & paid it. (actually it was like earning $130/hr to sit around 2 hrs waiting for my case to come up. After seeing him deal with the other cases, I think Lehan is a good man and I wouldn't have faulted him even if he'd upheld the original fine. I know that sounds like hindsight & self congratulation, but it's not.)



26 Feb '06

The possibility of an off-leash dog beach has not taken a possible turn for the better with the information that there's a precedent of two CA beaches owned by the state, but administered by local agencies, both of which allow off-leash dogs, because the information appears to be false. According to Parks, the information said the state had done a study on off leash dog parks but the funding was denied. "California State Parks was prohibited by the Department of Finance to spend general fund dollars on off-leash park improvements citing inconsistencies with State Parks' mission.

There may be other approaches. Such as
1) A dog park run as a (non profit) concession from Parks by a group of local people. So far, two local businesses have volunteered to help support such a beach on Big River, and it hasn't been advertised (except here).
2) The Parks survey that found dogs to be a problem may have been statistically questionable, for example, the demographic of the most outstanding survey respondent was a white female, age 35 to 44, college educated, earning more than $75000/yr, living in southern Calif. There are more other types of people at any given park, but they aren't represented because they didn't fill out the survey. The missing data appears to have been extrapolated by Pareto distribution, which was a big thing when it was first proposed in the 1920's but some now suggest is too easily abused. For example: a tenant of the distribution is called the 20/80 rule, such as where 20% of any population has 80% of the wealth. Mr. Pareto never lived to compare that principle to modern American society where 5% of the people have 90% of the wealth, which suggests the observation was perhaps too facile. Or perhaps he was right & something about our society is out of balance, OR both are correct, but equally dependent on cultural perception OR ... both are Lies propigated by a massive secret underground government conspiracy someplace, whos' only agenda is to mess with the minds of lone bloggers !! ... but probably not. More than likely it was the best choice available to the person who handled the survey, given the data available, and a procedural fudge for the sake of produceing any results at all (results were undoubtedly part of the contract).
3) A (polite) letter & email campaign describing local sentiment, addressed to any or all of the links at the bottom.



Tues 28 Feb'06

Last night the Mendocino Park District had an open meeting to discuss the naming and classification of Big River & the Mendocino Headlands. The deadline to vote was extended till March 10 for more input. Some of the Dog Beach people took the opportunity to meet with the Parks Officials. There were around 35 people present, and about 20 owned dogs. Nearly everyone made comments about dogs while acknowledging that it was not the actual topic of the meeting. It went pretty well considering the wildish nature of dog owners. Parks representative Mike Wells and Superintendent Marshall expressed frustration that they were pretty tightly obligated to follow Park laws because it was their job. They didn't know who to contact to facilitate the process of establishing an off-leash Dog Beach. And they had the responsibility to keep trail bikers and illegal logging out of the parks just like off leash dogs. No one objected to stopping the logging or off road biking, because (understandably) nobody was there to represent those groups. The Dog people did take exception to strict enforcement of the leash laws though citing previous usage. Bill Heil pointed out that a person can jay walk in Fort Bragg when the streets are empty and the police don't bother to patrol the empty streets looking for Jaywalkers & wouldn't bust them if they saw any. So it's a matter of discretion as to whether a given action really poses any danger to the public. Placing 2 full time guards on Big River Beach during the tourist off season, to watch for an off leash dog on an empty beach, isn't a worthwhile use of Park resources. Steven Antler offered that there may be a legal course to pursue citing the Mendocino Land Trust original promise that previous beach usage would be continued by the process of "Grandfathering". Other agreed, but I personally feel a lawsuit would be a failure of negotiation.

It's my own opinion that the Parks Officials (and the 2 rangers in question) for the most part aren't local residents, they have no real tie to the place or the people. They came here to replace local Parks people. They transfer in, do a job, & get transferred somewhere else. It makes for a homogeneous park system, but one with corporate values, interpreted to the best advantage of employees that wish to keep their job benefits. They live in a closed corporate society, which is not linked the one surrounding them. The basic problem is personal fidelity to the people that take care of you, & it's not the same people.



15 march '06

Bill

I was thinking of writing an email to Mike Wells if you think we can make any headway with getting the Parks officials to tone down their enforcement against unoffending off leash dogs (on the beach on off hours, not harassing anyone, poop being picked up, etc.). Like Bill Heil (who made the jaywalking argument at the meeting), I have been surprised and disappointed by the Parks' aggressive enforcement of the law. I can understand ticketing in certain circumstances, but this is ridiculous. Even in SF, I can make an illegal u-turn in front of a cop and s/he won't ticket me if I don't hold up traffic or endanger a pedestrian (I know this from experience). It's the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law. When I first heard of the off-leash ban, I truly expected them to ticket only once in a while, or only for bothersome dogs/irresponsible owners at peak times. I have to think that it's not fun for these rangers to enforce this so aggressively and then have to live in the community as the bad guys. Do you think there's any chance they would tone down their enforcement - sort of a detente - if we get off their backs a bit and do things like help clean the beach, etc? Did they appear to respond to Bill's argument at all during the meeting?

Monica



2/Jan/'07

"Japan, Home of the Cute and Inbred Dog"
from NY Times, December 28, 2006
... As the number of childless women and couples in Japan has increased, so has the number of dogs, which are being coddled and doted upon in place of children, experts say. In the last decade, the number of pet dogs in Japan has doubled to 13 million last year - outnumbering children under 12 - according to Takashi Harada, president of Yaseisha, a publisher of pet industry magazines.
"Households with few or no children are turning to dogs to fill the void," he said. "For a dog to be part of the family, it has to be unique and have character, like a person." Indeed, many of these buyers want dogs they can show off like proud parents.




21/Jan/'07

BBC Sunday, 21 January 2007
Dog-owners 'lead healthier lives'
Dogs can provide companionship

If you want to live a healthier life get a dog, research suggests.
The companionship offered by many pets is thought to be good for you, but the benefits of owning a dog outstrip those of cat owners, the study says.

A psychologist from Queen's University, Belfast, said dog owners tended to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Writing in the British Journal of Health Psychology, she says that regular 'walkies' may partly explain the difference.

Dr Deborah Wells reviewed dozens of earlier research papers which looked at the health benefits of pet ownership.

She confirmed that pet owners tended in general to be healthier than the average member of the population.

However, her research suggested that dog ownership produced more positive influence than cat ownership.

As well as lower blood pressure and cholesterol, she said dog-owners suffered fewer minor ailments and serious medical problems.

There was also the suggestion that dogs could aid recovery from serious illnesses such as heart attacks, and act as 'early warning' to detect an approaching epileptic seizure.

Stress-busting

Dr Wells said the precise reason for the benefits was not totally clear.

"It is possible that dogs can directly promote our well-being by buffering us from stress, one of the major risk factors associated with ill-health.

"The ownership of a dog can also lead to increases in physical activity and facilitate the development of social contacts, which may enhance both physiological and psychological human health in a more indirect manner."

Dr June McNicholas, a health psychologist who has specialised on research into the health effects of pet ownership said that an important reason for the improved health of dog-owners was not just the exercise received while taking it for walks, but the opportunity for social contact with other dog-owners.

She said: "For older people, an animal can fulfil the 'need to be needed', perhaps after children have left home.

"In some cases, the social support offered by an animal is greater than the support that another human could offer."

Relationships Between Dogs, Owners Fall Into Three Categories



13/Sep/'10

Boston Globe Sunday, 12 September 2010
What explains the ascendancy of Homo sapiens?
Start by looking at our pets



11/July/'11

Medical Express Pets are good for mental health of 'everyday people'
"Specifically: pet owners had greater self-esteem, were more physically fit, tended to be less lonely, were more conscientious, were more extraverted, tended to be less fearful and tended to be less preoccupied than non-owners."



25/Aug/'11

LA Times: The Los Angeles County coastline stretches 75 miles, but only a few blocks allow dogs.



31/Aug/'12

Microbe free beaches thanks to dogs
from Science Mag, 31, Aug, 2012





These are links to other website locations in CA where people are working toward off-leash beach access.
Huntington Beach
dogbeach.org
Los Angeles dogbeachnow.com, freeplay.org
Santa Monica unleashthebeach.org Success! 2 Mar '06
San Francisco sfdog.org,oceanbeachdog.home.mindspring.com
Santa Cruz folf.org (Friends of Lighthouse field) Santa Cruz & San Fransiscos' situation w/ state Parks is similar to Mendocino.


These are Email addresses of some policy makers (please be courteous, someone has to be objective here, we don't want them to be as outraged and polarized as we are) :

Ruth Coleman, Director of State Parks in Sacramento : rcole@parks.ca.gov
Governor's office : governor@governor.ca.gov
California Fish and Game commission : fgc@fgc.ca.gov
CA State Senator Wes Chesboro : sen.chesboro@sen.ca.gov
Patty Berg, Ca Assembly Rep for district 1 : assemblymember.berg@assembly.ca.gov
Mendocino County 5th district Supervisor David Colfax
Please refer them to this page
Bill Cornelius : Bill Cornelius .


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