Learn about this national gem and how it’s being devastated by pollution, habitat loss and giveaways to private industry.
Point Reyes encompasses evergreen forests, mountains, thousands of acres of coastal prairie, freshwater marshes, saltwater estuaries, wild surf, calm bays, lakes, and thousands of species of wildlife on both land and sea.
Presently, the National Park Service is proposing to extend ranching leases and expand operations on over 28,000 acres of Coastal Prairie in this national park and kill native wildlife here to satisfy the tenant rancher demands.
Over 92% of the public polled supports the recovery of these ranch lands and restoration of the prairie wildlife to add significantly to the Seashore’s natural spectacle, which complements the rich history of the Coast Miwok, Sir Francis Drake, and the Manila galleon trade - - All within a scenic forty-mile trip through the Golden Gate National Recreation Area from San Francisco.
A National Seashore that truly honors the history of the Coast Miwok in Point Reyes, preserving important cultural and historic sites, as well as taking care to respect and encourage indigenous participation.
The preservation, stewardship, and restoration of the entire Coastal Prairie Ecosystem where wildlife can flourish and be undisturbed and unpolluted by the extractive commercial ranching found across Marin County.
A National Seashore that works to attract a wider variety of people, while protecting the ecology and is accessible to low income communities from the Bay Area and protected for use by the countless generations to come.
Point Reyes will become a component of the 30 by 30 plan and function as an important Carbon Sink on the West Coast as it's our ONLY National Seashore on this side of the Continental U.S.
Point Reyes National Seashore Final Plan:
Diversify Agriculture; Haze and Kill Tule Elk
In a long-awaited and contentious decision, the National Park Service today issued a final Point Reyes National Seashore General Management Plan amendment, which has for the past several years been undergoing public comment and agency analysis. The plan calls for extending (and diversifying) industrial agriculture with no lessening of chronic cattle grazing, manure dumping on park lands, and hazing and shooting of native free-ranging tule elk if they migrate into public park lands leased for livestock grazing.
My life has been indescribably enriched by public lands, and one of the most beautiful on earth is fast losing its wildness: Point Reyes National Seashore.
Tragically, the very organization charged with protecting Point Reyes, the national park, is hastening its demise.
If approved, the (NPS) proposal will turn this national seashore into a national disgrace.
The McClure dairy, the largest and oldest dairy in the seashore, will shut down, citing water shortages and a glut of organic milk.
As McClure’s blinks out, now would seem the time to follow up on Rep. Huffman’s suggestion to "expand wilderness areas and maybe even we’ll be expanding elk herds further. "
June 30, 2021
"You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts." (Daniel P. Moynihan)
There is no shortage of opinions on ranching in Point Reyes National Seashore, but there is a shortage of durable facts.
Join subject matter experts to learn what is fact and what is fiction regarding various issues related to PRNS.
Read the full paper HERE.
By Peter Byrne
Pacific Sun/N. Bay Bohemian Jun 30, '21
The Pacific Sun/Bohemian has uncovered that the National Park Service at Point Reyes has killed tule elk, often in torturous ways, in medical experiments for decades. The federal agency absolves itself of any moral responsibility by blaming nature for the deaths. If only that were true.
Mickey Huff of Project Censored Radio
is joined by Peter Byrne,
award-winning investigative journalist and
Will Carruthers, award-winning reporter
How the NPS is favoring legacy cattle ranches and dairies
over preservation of the land and the survival of the native Tule Elk.
The Sierra Club has become extremely concerned about Pt Reyes Nat'l Seashore’s management of the 2,600-acre Tomales Point Elk Reserve, where tule elk are held captive behind an
8 foot woven-wire fence. 254 individual elk (47% of the population) died there during the 2012-2015 drought while the wild, free-roaming Drakes Beach and Limantour herds increased.
We are now in another drought. The Seashore allowed another 152 elk to die in the Tomales Point enclosure last year.
Over 50 organizations, including the Coalition to Protect America's National Parks – have joined together to urge the Department of the Interior to stop the National Park Service’s imminent
General Management Plan Amendment (GMPA) for Point Reyes National Seashore,
a plan that favors special interests over the public use, protection and restoration of this National Park.
On April 22, the California Coastal Commission held a virtual hearing to discuss the impact of dairy and cattle ranching at Point Reyes National Seashore. Superintendent Craig Kenkel began his presentation with the words, “Point Reyes is the ancestral home of the Coast Miwok.”
Kenkel spent the rest of his talk advocating for a Park Service proposal to increase the terms of ranching leases from five to 20 years.
Right now, the National Park Service is rewriting its General Management Plan for Point Reyes National Seashore, and the agency must decide whether to sunset the expired livestock grazing leases across tens of thousands of publicly-owned acres, or to continue authorizing unsustainable overgrazing, tillage agriculture and even the killing of native tule elk by extending leases that were never intended to continue on indefinitely.
Tule elk are treasured creatures in California, and for years, animal rights groups have butted heads with the Point Reyes National Seashore over its practice of keeping elk fenced away from nearby cattle ranches.
Amid a dry 2020, the groups tried to bring water to the creatures but were rebuffed by the National Park Service.
LA Times 4/14/21
The National Park Service (NPS) has issued a press release revealing that 152 Tule elk, one-third of the Tomales Point herd, died at Point Reyes National Seashore. The deaths occurred because elk were trapped behind an 8-foot fence
that encloses the park’s Tule Elk Reserve, where the NPS confines the rare elk to keep them off parklands reserved for cattle.
Investigative reporter Peter Byrne takes a close look at the history of PRNS and a look at the controversial plan to extend the leases of cattle ranches and dairies located within the beloved park.
This article spurred pushback from PRNS staff however their statements about the facts presented in the article are demonstrably inaccurate.
Kehoe Lagoon seethes with 300 times the acceptable amount of Enterococcus,
E. Coli's nasty bacterial cousin.
Public records show that Park Service administrators and the California Regional Water Quality Control Board have long known that astronomically high levels of microorganisms flow directly from livestock into the Park’s recreational and fishing waters. And these agencies have done nothing to effectively eliminate the source of the potentially lethal bacterial invasions.
Erik Molvar, Counter Punch 2/21
"Apocalypse Cow" article by P.Byrne heats up the debate. "The National Park Service unit is launching a propaganda war in a desperate effort to control the media narrative, and to cover up decades of laissez-faire mismanagement of livestock operations leasing Park Service lands on the National Seashore..."
Project Coyote, as well as hundreds of other organizations and individuals, submitted comments to the NPS’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement for PRNS and Golden Gate Natl. Recreation Area speaking out against expansion of ranching in the park arguing that such a proposal will only increase conflicts between wildlife and livestock.
Disregarding climate change, science and more than 7,000 comments from the public, the NPS has released its final General Management Plan Amendment for ranching at Point Reyes Seashore. The plan extends 20-year leases to the 24 ranchers grazing cattle in the Natl. Seashore, allows livestock diversification, and calls for the killing of native Tule elk.
Point Reyes National Seashore is under siege by the National Park Service; the organization sworn to protect this fragile and unique ecosystem for the benefit of the public access and recreation, biodiversity and wildlife.
Tule Elk have become the symbol of a battle between private enterprise and public interest.
Shocking two-minute video of our Congressman Jared Huffman offering up California's native Tule elk to Representative Garret Graves (Rep) of Louisiana in his legislative efforts to pass Bill HR 6687 perpetuating private commercial ranching on Point Reyes National Seashore and promoting the killing of native Tule elk.
Harvard Law School’s Animal Law & Policy Clinic took legal action against the National Park Service today for its negligence in allowing tule elk to die slow and preventable deaths as a result of starvation and dehydration at Point Reyes National Seashore in Northern California.
“An analysis of the public comments submitted to the National Park Service regarding the future management of Pt. Reyes National Seashore shows an overwhelming preference for wilderness and wildlife over commercial ranching and dairies."
- Ken Bouley, concerned local citizen.”
of a series exploring the old,
but still standing, Tule elk fence while discovering more corpses and and wildlife hazards.
Ranchers at PRNS are wealthier than 90% of the American population and still receive discounted rents, disproportionately low grazing fees and subsidies to support their enterprises - all funded with our tax dollars.
Confused? So are we. Watch to learn more.
Join Mickey Huff of Project Censored for a discussion with Laura Cunningham and Mark Bartonlini on the conflict of interests and issues of social justice at play in this battle for our national seashore.
Western Watersheds Project 4/21
Ken Bouley, The Wildlife News 3/21
Erik Molvar, Counter Punch 2/21
Deb Moskowitz, Marin Independent Journal 2/21
Joe Sweeney, The California Aggie - UC Davis 1/21
Ken Bouley, Bay Nature Magazine 1/21
Peter Byrne, North Bay Bohemian 12/20
Laura Cunningham, The No Bull Sheet 5/20
Erica Gies, National Geographic 9/30/20
George Weurthner, The Wildlife News 9/30/20
MALT Board of Directors’ Conflicts of Interest Exposed as Legal Battle Unfolds Peter Byrne, Bohemian 9/29/20
Austa Somvichian-Clausen, The Hill 9/23/20
Center for Biological Diversity 9/18/20
Articles, Letters and Media:
"...Point Reyes ranchers in the company of the Bundys, the Hammonds, and other anti-public-lands extremists who seek to subvert America’s public lands to the whims and control of private interests, with Trump as their champion. “Unleashing American enterprise” may soon become the directive for Point Reyes National Seashore, rather than the congressional requirement to protect and preserve, for the use and enjoyment of the people."
Erik Molvar, The Wildlife News
Deborah Moskowitz, Resource Renewal Institute
Ken Brower 9/13/2020
National Park Service 9/18/20
Will Houston Marin IJ 9/18/2020
K. Repanshek, National Parks Traveler
RRI, Western Watersheds, Center for Biological Diversity
National Park Service Pressed to Tear Down Elk Barrier, Ensure Water Supply for Pt Reyes Elk Harvard Animal Law & Center for Biological Diversity
George Wuerthner, Wildlife News
S. Parks, Roadtrippers Magazine
Sarah Killingsworth, The Wildlife News
D. Moskowitz, Pt. Reyes Light
Simon Worrall, National Geographic
PRNS featured on The Project Censored Radio Show
Kenneth Brower on Saving Point Reyes National Seashore - Rewilding Earth
Correcting the Mismanagement at Point Reyes National Seashore - Rewilding Earth
"A Perilous Summer for Tule Elk"
Representing approximately 1% of their original population, Tule Elk, a California endemic subspecies are at the brink of survival. Decades have been spent restoring this species in our nearest national park at Point Reyes Seashore only to have Tule Elk once again in the cross hairs.
Tule Elk are in desperate need to retain their sanctuary at Point Reyes National Seashore which was part of their original home range. And, just as important, PRNS needs native free roaming Tule Elk to restore the native landscape and protect biodiversity! Learn more about the history, current status and imminent challenges facing Tule Elk with JULIE PHILLIPS - Nature Based Teaching
Introduction: 'Point Reyes: A Wilderness in Peril'
Chance Cutrano: Historical Legislation and Leasing Agreements at PRNS
Laura Cunningham: Water Quality at PRNS
Laura Cunningham:Myths of 'Conservation Grazing' w/Skyler Thomas
Skyler Thomas: The Truth about Carbon Farming
Skyler Thomas: Full Playlist: Biodiversity vs Pasture & more
David McGuire: Water Quality Effects on Marine Life at PRNS
Dr L. Martin Griffin: Protecting Point Reyes National Seashore
Kenneth Brower: Saving Point Reyes Seashore
James Coda, Atty.: Wildlife vs Ranching
William P. Mott & Robert Johnston: A New Vision for the Coast
The COALITION TO SAVE POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE is a grassroots group comprised of a diversity of people dedicating their time, energy and expertise to preserving the biodiversity at Point Reyes National Seashore - From conservationists, biologists, local leaders and volunteers to tourists and citizens alike taking initiative to reclaim and restore our National Seashore at Point Reyes.
Laura is at the forefront of this coaltion as scientist, artist, ecologist and the California Director for the Western Watersheds Project. She is also the author of “State of Change: Forgotten Landscapes of California,” a Gold Medal Winner of the 2011 California Book Award addressing native California ecosystems that are disappearing as a result of agricultural conversion and development.