Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ravine Scofflaws

It was another typical morning of offleash scofflaws in Prospect Park. The following videos were made during a 10 minute period in the Ravine. They show 10 offleash dogs in an area that is very clearly marked with signs that state "dogs must be leashed at all times". In addition, there were several more dogs in that spot that I didn't videotape. It's difficult to see in the video, but the dog owner with a Border Collie in the first video had his dog running up and down the hillside through the Ravine's wooded habitats.

It is obvious that the parks department has no intention to try to stop illegally off-leash dogs. First, we know that the DOPR monitors the CREDO website. Second, we have told PEP officers, who called to report the many summonses they are issuing (8 in all of March), that if they actually wanted to issue a pile of summonses, all they need do is station a couple of undercover PEP agents in the Ravine between 8 and 9 A.M. Yet each time a CREDO correspondent is in the Ravine during these times, we se illegally unleashed dogs and nobody handing out summonses.

* * *

So it seems that Plum Beach (or Plumb Beach, as it is sometimes spelled) is under federal jurisdiction after all, even though the parking lot, building and bicycle path are not. According to this Wikipedia article, "since 1972 it has been a part of Gateway National Recreation Area, though the parking lot and greenway that provide primary access to the shore are the responsibility of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and the New York City Department of Transportation."

A number of endangered species frequent Plum Beach, including the common tern and least tern. Clapper Rails nest there. Unleashed dogs are friends of neither.

According to the National Park Service website, Plum Beach is considered part of the Jamaica Bay unit and, as such, does not permit pets. (Even if it were not part of the JBU, dogs would still required to be leashed between March 15th and September 15th.) We recommend calling to complain whenever you find unleashed dogs there. These numbers are from the NPS contact page:

Park Police--24 hours
(718) 338-3988

Jamaica Bay Unit
(718) 338-3799

1 comment:

winston said...

I spent a great deal of time in Prospect Park this weekend. Most dog owners were considerate of the leash laws, but many were not. One dog owner let her dog run across the road almost knocking my child off his bike. A few allowed their dogs to run over our picnic blanket.

In the many hours I was in the park I did not see one park employee attempt to enforce the law. In fact, I observed many park employees standing (or sitting) and chatting while many park regulations were being ignored. Countless people were riding their bikes on the sidewalk or gong the wrong way on the road People were walking in the bike lane. There were many people drinking wine and beer also.

I am not judging these actions. But, it really seamed that everybody in the park was enjoying their day without any considerations that they were doing anything wrong (or I should just say not legal).

I did not see anyone trying to hide their wine bottle or leash their dog when the police walked by.

Why should they, the police did not seem to care.