Comment for the elk before Sept. 23: Point Reyes deal is for ranchers

Comment for the elk before Sept. 23: Point Reyes deal is for ranchers

Restore Point Reyes National Seashore writes on its website:

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement and General Management Plan Amendment for ranching at Point Reyes National Seashore is a rare opportunity for the public to have a voice in the future management our national park. How you would like this national park to be managed and why? Send your comments to the National Park Service by September 23.

NPS’s “Preferred Alternative B” is a wholesale giveaway of our public land. It prioritizes ranching over recreation, wildlife and protecting natural resources. In sum, it commits our national seashore to commercial cattle grazing for decades to come.

Economics and climate change threaten the Seashore ranches’ viability. There’s a surplus of milk, prices are falling, and both beef and dairy consumption is declining. To shore up the ranchers, the NPS wants to grant 20-year leases and allow them to “diversify” by growing and processing crops and adding more livestock–pigs, chickens, goats, and sheep–to their operations. Their plan calls for shooting any Tule elk that “trespass” on the ranch lands.

Alternative B would:

  • Create a new zoning framework—the “Ranchland Zone”—encompassing one-third—more than 26,000 acres–of Point Reyes Seashore and 7,000 acres in the Golden Gate Recreation Area. This would permanently commit these park lands to private ranching.
  • Manage the elk herd using lethal removal methods. The NPS proposes to kill all elk that enter “public“ ranch lands. No new elk herds would be allowed to establish in the planning area. This sacrifices native wildlife living in a national park to private, for-profit ranching.
  • Allow grazing for “approximately” 5,500 cattle—2,400 beef cattle and 3,130 dairy animals. Cattle graze at the Seashore 24-7 every day of the year. The land is never allowed to rest and recover. Cattle manure is inadequately managed, runs off into waterways and spreads disease. Public access to recreation is curtailed-when one-third of the park is devoted to ranching.
  • Issue grazing leases of up to a 20 years to Seashore ranchers for beef and dairy operations, despite well-documented damage to grasslands, birds, native plants and wildlife; pollution affecting freshwater and and marine habitats; and methane and other greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to the climate crisis. The 2019 United Nations report on climate change points to dangerously high temperatures, drought, and extreme weather events and calls for reforming agricultural practices, specifically reducing cattle.

Ranching is unsustainable. We need a new vision for the Seashore.

The preferred alternative:

  • No ranching.
  • Phase out cattle. Disallow domestic livestock in the park.
  • Prioritize biodiversity. Do not kill wildlife to accommodate commercial interests.
  • Restore the Seashore’s Pastoral Zone for wildlife habitat, native plant communities, scientific research and education.
  • Repurpose historic ranch buildings for scientific research, interpretation and public education.

Read the NPS’s Draft General Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement for Ranching at Point Reyes

To comment on the draft plan, go to: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=333&projectID=74313&documentID=97154
Comment period ends September 23, 2019.

Before Sept. 3 hearing, write to Gov. Inslee and Fish + Wildlife about the wolves

Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

The Western Washington Wolf Coalition wrote on its Facebook page last Friday, Aug. 16:

“This morning in King County Superior Court wolf advocates were successful at getting an injunction to stop the slaughter of the OPPT pack.

“However, in what can only be called an act of retribution by Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, THIS MORNING — WHILE ADVOCATES WERE IN COURT — had their sharpshooters kill four of the five remaining wolves of the OPPT pack. Your tax dollars at work.”

It’s a time for grieving these beautiful animals and for speaking up for them to people in power. Please write to Gov. Jay Inslee and to the Fish and Wildlife Commission at commission@dfw.wa.gov and/or (360) 902-2267 before a Sept. 3 special meeting to let them know how you want wolves in Washington to be treated. Please do not curse or use abusive language, as that actually hurts the wolves’ cause.

60 seconds for the wolves

Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

Should officials in Washington state sacrifice native wolves to appease a single rancher? If your answer is no, please visit www.animalsinaction.org/WAwolves for information, to donate money and to follow what’s happening.

Please add your information to a prewritten message to the Washington Dept of Fish and Wildlife. Also add your information to the following prewritten message to send Gov. Inslee. You can edit/tailor both messages.

“Dear Governor Inslee,

A single ranching family is subverting your state’s wolf protection and management programs. The complaints of the Diamond M Ranch have led to the killing of 18 wolves in the Colville National Forest in recent years.  If the ranching operation continues to graze cattle on this national forest, which offers poor grazing opportunities for cattle but ideal habitat for wolves, there will continue to be conflicts between ranchers and wolves.  It’s entirely predictable.

We hope you will issue a directive to stop the killing of the Old Profanity Territory wolves.  We also hope you will not lift the ban on killing wolves until this resource conflict in the Colville National Forest is resolved.  The ranchers have other grazing lands they can use that won’t produce these recurring conflicts.

Governor Inslee, you have made protecting the environment the centerpiece of your two terms as governor and also in your campaign for the Democratic nomination for President.  The wolves are part of our environment, and deserve a more protective response from Washington’s government.  We can do a better job of managing conflicts between wolves and ranchers, but it must start in the Colville National Forest.”

And here’s an add that Animal Wellness Action ran in The Seattle Times: