“I know the people who put it (The Point Reyes Act) together, at the 40th anniversary I talked to Stewart Udall, the Secretary of Interior . . .The founder's idea had nothing to do with what you’re hearing now from ranchers, that they’d be here forever.” remarked Ken Brower, environmental writer and son of David Brower.
The ranching families at Point Reyes range from middle class to wealthy. Nearly all range livestock outside the seashore on both private and public lands, controlling thousands of acres. Some of the ranchers today never even owned land within the seashore but were leasing from the original owners who sold it to the federal government. Almost immediately after the land was sold, the tenants within the seashore hired lobbyists and attorneys to plead their case to allow them to remain within the seashore perpetually. Because of a lack of public knowledge and organized opposition, these leases have been automatically renewed through year-to-year or longer leasebacks. These lessees have been allowed to remain long after their original leases expired. It is time for the people to demand that private ranching operations within Point Reyes National Seashore be discontinued as current leases come to an end. With the livestock gone, the restored prairie will become the true focus of this special part of the national park system.
Written by Bruce Keegan