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Sierra Club confirms that La Force did not "double the Point Isabel Dog Park"

Updated: Oct 12, 2020

Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter has been asked by two members of the public – I am one – to issue a clear statement that there never was a Sierra Club campaign to “double the size of the Point Isabel Dog Park.” The actual campaign, led by Norman La Force, would have reduced existing off-leash recreational dog walking at Point Isabel by more than 50 percent.


Those are just the facts. Sierra Club is looking the other way while a candidate for the board of directors of East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) brazenly claims credit for a Sierra Club campaign that never even existed.


This isn’t about whether you like dogs. It’s about whether it’s wrong to lie to voters.


The chapter never answered.


This past week, though, with a letter to East Bay Times, Sierra Club has set the record straight. Possibly it doesn’t realize that.


When East Bay Times endorsed Elizabeth Echols for EBPRD, Ward 1, it noted that La Force's claim to have doubled "the Point Isabel Dog Park" is not true.


In a tortured explanation to the editor, published October 7, 2020, San Francisco Bay Chapter Executive Committee member Arthur Feinstein says: “Norman worked a solution that doubled the size of the dog park to be added to McLaughlin Eastshore State Park by including the adjacent Battery Park.”


Interestingly, that is exactly the solution park users had pushed for from the very beginning, and that state park planners presented to the public at Eastshore Park Regional Workshop #3 on March 21, 2002.


The following week, on March 26, 2002, La force wrote to EBRPD opposing the solution he supposedly worked. He said: “We are equally disappointed with the failure to protect the Battery Point and to turn it over to unleashed dog use.”


Feinstein’s letter also confirms that the conservation groups opposed off-leash recreation anywhere in the future Eastshore State Park, including North Point Isabel. They have been dissembling on this issue, as they scurry to make the case that La Force championed the “Point Isabel Dog Park.”

Awkward.


What a tangled web we weave.


You can download the March 26, 2002, letter here. It was obtained via a Public Records Act request.

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