Decision on Ocean Beach bonfire ban to take weeks
By Angela Hokanson / Brigid Gaffikin, Bay City News Service
June 6, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Bonfires will most likely continue
to be permitted at San Francisco's Ocean Beach this summer, if
only because it would take several months for a ban on the fires
to be officially enacted if park officials decide to approve the
ban, according to Rudy Evenson, chief of special park uses at
the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA).
The public comment period on a proposal to ban bonfires at Ocean
Beach closed last week, but it will likely be several more weeks
before the superintendent of the GGNRA makes an initial decision
on the issue, Evenson said.
Continued complaints about smoke pollution, beach litter and
vandalism in the area of the beach where bonfires are allowed
prompted park service staff to look into possibly banning the
At present, bonfires are allowed on the beach in the area south
of Fulton Street and north of Lincoln way, as well as in the section
of beach directly across from Golden Gate Park.
National Park Service staff will review the public comments on
the potential ban, and then GGNRA Superintendent Brian O'Neill
will make a determination on the issue, taking into account public
sentiment as well as the recommendations of the division chiefs
of GGNRA, Evenson said.
If the park superintendent comes down in favor of the ban on
bonfires, the proposed ban would then need to be published in
the Federal Register, a publication that details proposed regulations
by federal agencies and organizations.
Another public comment period would follow the announcement in
the Federal Register. Park staff would then evaluate the feedback
received during this second public comment period, and review
the decision on the possible ban.
It would most likely take several months for this process to
be completed, Evenson said.
When the GGNRA park superintendent makes a decision on the bonfires,
it will be posted on the National Park Service Web site, Evenson
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