[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 53 (Wednesday, March 19, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 15278-15281]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-06032]


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PRESIDIO TRUST

36 CFR Part 1002


Public Use Limit on Commercial Dog Walking

AGENCY: The Presidio Trust.

ACTION: Proposed interim rule and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Presidio Trust (Trust) is proposing a public use limit on 
persons who are walking four or more dogs at one time in Area B of the 
Presidio of San Francisco (Presidio) for consideration (Commercial Dog 
Walkers). The limit would require any such Commercial Dog Walker in 
Area B to possess a valid commercial dog walking permit obtained from 
the National Park Service (NPS), Golden Gate National Recreation Area 
(GGNRA).
    Commercial Dog Walkers would be required to comply with the terms 
and conditions of the GGNRA permit as well as those rules and 
regulations otherwise applicable to Area B of the Presidio. The permit 
would allow a maximum of six dogs per Commercial Dog Walker at any one 
time. The GGNRA commercial dog walking permit requirement is a 
compendium amendment being proposed for all GGNRA sites in San 
Francisco and Marin County that allow dog walking, and would be 
implemented concurrently with the Trust's proposed rule. Both are 
interim actions and would remain in effect until the final special 
regulation for dog walking in the GGNRA is promulgated as anticipated 
in late 2015, at which time the Trust expects that it will adopt a 
final rule following public input and comment.

DATES: Public comment on this proposal will be accepted through May 5, 
2014.

ADDRESSES: Electronic comments may be sent to 
commercialdogwalking@presidiotrust.gov. Written comments may be mailed 
or hand delivered to John Pelka, The Presidio Trust, 103 Montgomery 
Street, P.O. Box 29052, San Francisco, CA 94129. All written comments 
submitted to the Trust will be considered, and this proposed interim 
rule may be modified accordingly. The final decision of the Trust will 
be published in the Federal Register.
    Public Availability of Comments: If individuals submitting comments 
request that their address or other contact information be withheld 
from public disclosure, it will be honored to the extent allowable by 
law. Such requests must be stated prominently at the beginning of the 
comments. The Trust will make available for public inspection all 
submissions from organizations or businesses and from persons 
identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations 
and businesses. Anonymous comments may not be considered.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Presidio Trust Office of External 
Affairs, 415.561.5300 or commercialdogwalking@presidiotrust.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The 1,491-acre former U.S. Army base known 
as

[[Page 15279]]

the Presidio is part of and is at the center of the GGNRA. 
Administrative jurisdiction over the Presidio is divided between the 
Trust and the NPS. The Trust oversees the interior 1,100 acres, Area B, 
and the NPS oversees approximately 300 acres along the waterfront, Area 
A, of the national park site. Commercial Dog Walkers have been 
regularly using the Presidio for at least ten years. According to the 
most recent estimates by the San Francisco Professional Dog Walkers 
Association, the City and County of San Francisco (City) has roughly 
300 Commercial Dog Walkers. Trust staff estimates that between ten and 
twenty of these Commercial Dog Walkers walk their dogs within Area B 
during any given time of day, typically bringing between four and ten 
dogs or more at a time. Most often-used areas include the corridor 
adjoining West Pacific Avenue from the Broadway Gate to the 14th Avenue 
Gate, as well as the areas east of the Ecology Trail in the Tennessee 
Hollow Watershed. By both direct observation and through reports from 
the public, the Trust is aware that dogs brought into the Presidio in 
these numbers have been responsible for damage to resources, threats to 
public safety, and visitor conflict.
    To ensure that Commercial Dog Walkers act responsibly, effective 
July 1, 2013, the City passed legislation that requires Commercial Dog 
Walkers with four or more dogs, limited to eight dogs total, to carry a 
valid annually renewed dog walking permit issued by the San Francisco 
Department of Animal Care & Control (see http://www.sfgov2.org/index.aspx?page=3857). The law is enforced on all City property under 
the San Francisco Department of Recreation and Parks, the Port of San 
Francisco, and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, but does 
not apply to federal property within the geographic limits of the City, 
including Area B. Currently, the Trust does not impose restrictions 
specific to Commercial Dog Walkers in Area B. Since last year, the 
Trust has witnessed a number of Commercial Dog Walkers who would 
otherwise fall under the City's legislation, walking their dogs in Area 
B in order to avoid the permit fees, requirements, and limit on the 
number of dogs they may walk on City lands covered by the City law.
    Under 36 CFR 1001.5, the Trust may impose reasonable public use 
limits in Area B, given a determination that such action is necessary 
to maintain public health and safety, to protect environmental or 
scenic values, to protect natural or cultural resources, or to avoid 
conflict among visitor use activities. On November 21, 2012, in direct 
response to the City's Commercial Dog Walker regulations, the Trust 
requested public comment on a proposed public use limit on Commercial 
Dog Walkers (77 FR 69785). The limit would have required Commercial Dog 
Walkers in Area B to possess a valid dog walking permit obtained from 
the City. Commercial Dog Walkers would have needed to comply with the 
terms and conditions of the City permit as well as those rules and 
regulations otherwise applicable to Area B. In proposing the public use 
limit, the Trust felt that the possession of a valid City permit, which 
sets basic insurance, training, and safety standards and limits the 
number of dogs a Commercial Dog Walker may walk at once in City parks 
and other designated areas, would have assisted in implementing its 
responsibilities, including the avoidance of conflicts among the many 
different users of the Presidio, equitable allocation and use of 
facilities, ensuring public safety, and protecting resources.
    The initial 65-day comment period for the proposed use limit was 
extended by 30 days to February 25, 2013 at the request of the public. 
By the close of the public comment period, the Trust had received 257 
individual comments, including nine oral comments provided at a public 
Trust Board of Directors meeting on November 29, 2012. Roughly one-half 
(51 percent) of the comments received expressed support for the public 
use limit, and roughly one-half (49 percent) were opposed. Commenters 
who opposed the proposed use limit, including four conservation 
organizations, were largely ``dissatisfied with the status quo'' of the 
presence of Commercial Dog Walkers in the Presidio and wished to see 
the activity prohibited. They recommended that the Trust should not 
adopt the proposed use limit until such time as GGNRA published its own 
policies and requirements on Commercial Dog Walkers. They further 
requested the Trust to work in partnership with GGNRA and ``come out 
together with one system clearly defined.'' They urged that ``a single, 
clear rule for federal park properties that can be widely broadcast to 
dog walkers in the area will allow for more efficient administration, 
greater compliance, and reduced impacts to Trust resources.'' One dog 
owner group also supported deferring implementation of the proposed 
rule until such time as GGNRA adopted its rule.
    In its February 25, 2013 letter to the Trust, the GGNRA stated its 
support for the Trust's public use limit. The GGNRA disagreed, however, 
with the number of dogs allowed under the City permit (up to eight), 
and argued that a limit of six dogs is more reasonable, and is 
consistent with the NPS's understanding of the standard practice for 
the majority of local land management agencies that regulate commercial 
dog walking. In reaction to the City's program and the Trust's 
proposal, the GGNRA stated it would consider enacting an interim 
commercial dog walking permit system this year, before completing its 
dog management planning process and rulemaking. Given the Trust's and 
the GGNRA's shared management responsibilities within the Presidio, the 
GGNRA asked the Trust to consider adopting its interim permit system 
rather than that being implemented by the City.
    On May 30, 2013, the Trust announced on its Web site that it 
supported the GGNRA's proposed intention to move forward at this time 
to create and implement an interim permit system to regulate commercial 
dog walking within the park. After having examined all public comments 
and considered the new information provided by the GGNRA, the Trust 
agreed to suspend its own decisions regarding the regulation of 
commercial dog walking. Before taking any action, the Trust also 
offered to provide the public with an additional opportunity to 
comment.
    On March 14, 2014, the GGNRA provided 30-day public notice of its 
intended interim change to its compendium requiring that Commercial Dog 
Walkers in all San Francisco and Marin County sites of the GGNRA where 
dog walking is allowed, including Area A, obtain a permit from the park 
(see https://parkplanning.nps.gov/commercialdogwalking). Permits would 
allow a maximum of six dogs per Commercial Dog Walker, and require a 
business license and proof of liability insurance and dog-handling 
training through existing training courses, such as those offered by 
Marin Humane or San Francisco SPCA. Permit holders must also abide by 
all NPS regulations. The GGNRA action is an interim compendium 
amendment (2014 Superintendent's Compendium of Designations, Closures, 
Permit Requirements, and Other Restrictions Imposed under Discretionary 
Authority) and would remain in effect until late 2015, at which time 
the final special regulation for dog walking in the GGNRA, which will 
address commercial dog walking, is promulgated. The GGNRA involved the 
Trust throughout the development of the interim commercial permit 
requirement.

[[Page 15280]]

    Aligning with the City's rather than the GGNRA permit system could 
be considered a less restrictive measure reasonably available to the 
Trust due to the City's higher limit on the maximum number of dogs 
allowed (eight), which poses less of a financial burden on Commercial 
Dog Walkers. In a local newspaper article on the subject, the author of 
the City's legislation and City supervisor said that it was preferable 
to be less restrictive in light of the City's ``huge population of dog 
owners'' and the fact that ``many of them don't have yards'' (see 
http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Commercial-dog-walkers-must-follow-new-law-4665243.php). However, the NPS has expressed concern 
that Commercial Dog Walkers could not consistently control more than 
six dogs under voice and sight control. And while the City's Department 
of Animal Care & Control enforces eight dogs as the limit for one 
Commercial Dog Walker, in its Commercial Dog Walker Informational 
Pamphlet, it recommends six as a maximum number (see http://www.sfgov2.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=1419). GGNRA 
research on the maximum number reveals that the City's regulation 
allowing up to eight dogs is an outlier among jurisdictions around the 
country. As caretaker of the national park site and while mindful of 
the importance of equitably allocating facilities within the park, the 
Trust must place a higher priority on avoiding conflict among visitor 
uses, protection of environmental values, natural resources, and 
cultural resources and maintaining health and safety over a minor 
difference (six dogs versus eight) in addressing City residents' 
particular needs in this area and affecting the individual earnings of 
Commercial Dog Walkers (or otherwise having them choose to go elsewhere 
to walk their dogs). In addition, adopting the City's less restrictive 
measure in lieu of the GGNRA interim permit system would engender 
public confusion given the Presidio's presence within the boundaries of 
the GGNRA, the similar visitor experience mandates of the Trust and the 
NPS, and the adjacent jurisdictions of the two land management agencies 
with an unmarked boundary within the Presidio.
    The Trust's limitation would go into effect on the operative date 
of the GGNRA's interim commercial dog walking permit requirement, and 
is anticipated to remain in effect until the GGNRA's interim action is 
supplanted by a special regulation for dog walking in the GGNRA, which 
will address commercial dog walking. Prior to implementation, the Trust 
would conduct a public outreach and education campaign to alert 
Commercial Dog Walkers and others about the use limitation. The Trust 
would also post signs and provide handouts to notify park users of the 
limitation in areas where dog walking is a particularly high-use 
activity.
    Regulatory Impact: The proposed interim rule would not have an 
annual effect of $100 million or more on the economy nor adversely 
affect productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health 
or safety, or State or local or tribal governments or communities. The 
proposed interim rule would not interfere with an action taken or 
planned by another agency or raise new legal or policy issues. In 
short, little or no effect on the national economy would result from 
adoption of the proposed interim rule. Because the rule is not 
``economically significant,'' it is not subject to review by the Office 
of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866 or Executive Order 
13536. The proposed interim rule is not a ``major rule'' under the 
Congressional review provisions of the Small Business Regulatory 
Enforcement Fairness Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.
    The Trust has determined and certifies pursuant to the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., that the proposed interim rule 
would not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of 
small entities. The economic effect of the rule is local in nature and 
negligible in scope, restricting only a single use (commercial dog 
walking) in a limited geographic area (Area B of the Presidio occupies 
less than four percent of the City and County of San Francisco's total 
acreage) for purposes of protecting public health and safety and the 
natural environment. There would be no loss of significant numbers of 
jobs, as Commercial Dog Walkers would retain the flexibility to avoid 
the proposed restriction and permit fees by opting to use one or more 
of the available open space lands maintained by the San Francisco Park 
and Recreation Department, the Port of San Francisco, and the San 
Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Among these lands are 28 
specifically designated off-leash park areas for dogs throughout the 
City, including the Mountain Lake Park Dog Play Area that is 
immediately adjacent to Area B (see http://sfrecpark.org/parks-open-spaces/dog-play-areas-program/ for a location map for specified areas 
and for information on the process for establishment of additional off-
leash areas within the City's park system).
    The Trust has determined and certifies pursuant to the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act, 2 U.S.C. 1502 et seq., that the proposed interim 
rule would not impose a cost of $100 million or more in any given year 
on local, State, or tribal governments or private entities.
    Environmental Impact: The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 
mandates that federal agencies responsible for preparing environmental 
analyses and documentation do so in cooperation with other governmental 
agencies. The Trust is a cooperating agency with special expertise for 
the GGNRA proposed interim commercial dog walking permit requirement 
(as well as the special regulation for dog walking) under the NEPA and 
the Council on Environmental Quality regulations (an agency is 
considered to have special expertise when it has a related ``statutory 
responsibility, agency mission, or . . . program experience'' (40 CFR 
1508.26)). The regulatory actions by GGNRA and the Trust regarding 
interim commercial dog management for Areas A and B are substantially 
the same. As a cooperating agency, the Trust will support the GGNRA in 
the development of information and the preparation of environmental 
analyses to determine whether the actions would have a significant 
effect on the environment.
    Other Authorities: The Trust has drafted and reviewed the proposed 
rule in light of Executive Order 12988 and has determined that it meets 
the applicable standards provided in secs. 3(a) and (b) of that Order.

List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 1002

    National parks, Natural resources, Public lands, Recreation and 
recreation areas.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, part 1002 of Title 36 of 
the Code of Federal Regulations is proposed to be amended as an interim 
action as set forth below:

PART 1002--RESOURCE PROTECTION, PUBLIC USE AND RECREATION

0
1. The authority citation for part 1002 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 460bb note.

0
2. Add Sec.  1002.6 to read as follows:


Sec.  1002.6  Commercial Dog Walking.

    (a) The walking of more than six dogs at one time by any one person 
for consideration (commercial dog walking) is prohibited within the 
area administered by the Presidio Trust.

[[Page 15281]]

    (b) The walking of more than three dogs, with a limit of six dogs, 
at one time by any one person for consideration (commercial dog 
walking) within the area administered by the Presidio Trust, where dog 
walking is otherwise allowed, is hereby authorized provided that:
    (1) That person has a valid commercial dog walking permit issued by 
Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA);
    (2) The walking of more than three dogs, with a limit of six dogs, 
is done pursuant to the conditions of that permit; and
    (3) The commercial dog walker badge issued to the permittee by the 
GGNRA shall be visibly displayed at all times as directed in the permit 
while the permittee is engaging in commercial dog walking activities, 
and shall be provided upon request to any person authorized to enforce 
this provision.

    Dated: March 13, 2014.
Karen A. Cook,
General Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2014-06032 Filed 3-18-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-4R-P