What is WoofieLeaks?
WoofieLeaks was created to give the public access to National Park Service (NPS) documents pertaining to the development of the highly controversial and restrictive dog management plan for Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). These documents were obtained through a lawsuit Morrison & Foerster filed on behalf of Save Our Recreation, SFDOG, Marin County DOG, and Coastside DOG of San Mateo County against the National Park Service for failing to comply with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
Despite the overwhelming opposition of the public and Bay Area elected officials that repeatedly called for significant change and balance during three public comment periods, the plan has changed very little from draft-to-draft during the past five years.
Many of the documents on this site raise serious questions and concerns about the National Park Service’s record keeping practices, collusion with special interest groups opposed to dog walking, and ability to conduct a fair planning process. Documents call into doubt the agency’s compliance with numerous laws.
On January 10, 2017, the National Park Service was planning to finalize the GGNRA dog management plan. However, due to documents that were obtained as a result of the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the Park Service suspended the plan in January pending an investigation into NPS staff use of private email accounts. Please see below for the latest updates and FOIA document findings.
October 19, 2017: The National Park Service releases its dog plan investigation report into NPS staff use of private email accounts and announces that it is permanently withdrawing the proposed dog rule for GGNRA, ending its more than decade-long effort to severely restrict recreational dog walking in this urban recreation area.
September 19, 2017: WoofieLeaks documents reveal head of the NPS Dog Plan Scandal Investigation, Dr. Ray Sauvajot, worked on the GGNRA dog plan for years. This finding combined with the agency’s secrecy surrounding the details of the investigation continue to fuel public distrust. Click here to learn more.
May 30, 2017: Following the May 15 announcement of the NPS investigation into the dog plan scandal, Morrison and Foerster issues a letter to the National Park Service outlining dog and recreation groups' serious concerns about the agency investigating themselves. Specific issues include the agency's investigation scope, which appears from their May 15 statement to be limited to the private email use of only one staff person, and the appointment of Dr. Ray Sauvajot to lead the investigation--an NPS staff member who worked on the dog plan for several years. The letter calls for transparency and for a truly independent investigation to be conducted by the Department of the Interior's Office of the Inspector General. Click here to read the letter.
May 15, 2017: The National Park Service releases a public statement from its Associate Director for Natural Resources Stewardship and Science, Dr. Ray Sauvajot, announcing that he has commissioned a three-member “independent review panel” to evaluate whether or not NPS staff use of private email impacted the NEPA process for its proposed Dog Rule for Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). Click here to view the statement.
March 14, 2017: WoofieLeaks posts additional documents revealing that at least four National Park Service staff, including two GGNRA Superintendents, used their private email accounts to hide their ongoing collusion with anti-dog walking groups in order to influence the dog plan outcome for Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The additional private account emails were recently obtained via a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Bay Area dog and recreation groups. Click to view the emails and learn more.
January 10, 2017: The National Park Service suspends the dog management plan for Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) pending an investigation into the use of personal email accounts for agency business in the GGNRA dog management planning process. In response to the Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by Bay Area dog and recreation groups, the Park Service released 137 pages of emails from a former GGNRA senior official’s personal email account that showed extensive behind-the-scenes coordination with a handful of external groups that acted as surrogates to push the Park Service’s anti-dog walking agenda.
Click to read the National Park Service’s statement.
Click to view the emails.
Congresswoman Jackie Speier releases a statement calling on the Department of the Interior’s Inspector General to conduct a full and public inquiry and for the National Park Service to rescind the GGNRA Dog Management Plan because of this tainted process. Read the Congresswoman’s statement here.