San Mateo County Parks Off-Leash Dog Policy Pilot Project
San Mateo County Parks is evaluating two of its parks, Quarry Park and Pillar Point Bluff Park, for off-leash dog use. These parks provide refuge to a variety of native plants and animals in El Granada. A one-year Dogs Off-Leash Pilot Program has been implemented in designated areas of each park.
WRA prepared an Adaptive Management Plan (AMP) to evaluate the Pilot Program and led the CEQA Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration to support the effort. WRA has also prepared a White Paper on environmental impacts of allowing off-leash dogs on trails. The AMP included the following indicators and any changes in: presence of dog waste, fecal coliform levels in selected water bodies, visitor interactions between those with dogs off-leash and other visitors, Parks staff workload, and any changes in visitation levels at the two subject parks.
WRA staff worked collaboratively with the County Parks Director and natural resources management staff to determine thresholds for each indicator. Along with the County Parks Director, WRA presented the highlights of the AMP to Parks and Recreation Commission, and responded to comments following the public review period for the CEQA document. WRA also evaluated estimated current visitor use and changes in visitor use and its effect on air quality/greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) as part of preparing the CEQA document. Project Experience and ReferencesThe following are detailed projects with agency references similar in scope for the visitor use management study at Big Basin.
John Baas, PhD
Senior Environmental Planner
Rei Scampavia, PhD
Adaptive Management Plan