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Biden Administration Approves More Commercial Ranching at Pt. Reyes National Seashore

by Opponents Appalled
Despite strong public opposition from park advocates, on September 14 the Biden administration approved a controversial National Park Service plan for continued commercial ranching at California’s Point Reyes National Seashore.
Top Photo: Teresa Harlan, left, Advocate for Indigenous Access to Homelands on Public Lands
Photos by Terry Scussel,
Please credit the photographer

Sixty years ago ranchers on California's North Coast sold land to the National Park Service (NPS) but have continued to operate in Point Reyes National Seashore under various short-term agreements. Now, under a newly approved plan, ranchers can increase livestock beyond the more than 5,000 beef and dairy cattle that currently graze the park. The plan permits mobile slaughter units on the cattle ranches.

On September 12, demonstrators at a rally held in Bear Creek Visitor Center at Pt. Reyes National Seashore carried signs reading “Save the Elk” and "Live Elk Not Livestock in National Parks." Speakers addressed water pollution from cattle waste at levels dangerous to public health, inhumane working and living conditions for ranch workers, and how ranching contributes to climate chaos.

Members of the public have submitted 50,000 comments opposed to continued ranching and the killing of rare native Tule elk. Point Reyes Seashore is the only national park where Tule elk exist. NPS confines the elk behind a fence to prevent them foraging on park land reserved for the cattle, resulting in starvation conditions.

Deb Moskowitz is president of the Resource Renewal Institute, one of three organizations that sued the NPS in 2016. Reacting to the Biden decision she said, “.. the Park Service has turned its back on climate change, social justice, and an opportunity to restore this national treasure.” She added that "The high-profile decision comes amid the worst drought in more than a century and growing protests over the impacts of ranching."

Chance Cutrano, Director of Programs at Resource Renewal Institute said of the Biden decision, “The National Park Service will have to explain this inadequate plan to a federal court judge… This isn’t 1850s. The planet is warming, the Seashore's springs have run dry, and the Point Reyes dairies are shutting down. We can't afford to let politics overshadow science at the Seashore.  When will these decision-makers learn that nature bats last?” 

§Get Rid of Ranchers
by Opponents Appalled
§Save Tule Elk
by Opponents Appalled
§Teresa Harlan
by Opponents Appalled
§Free the Elk
by Opponents Appalled
§Free the Elk
by Opponents Appalled
§NPS listen!
by Opponents Appalled
§Miyoko Schinner
by Opponents Appalled
§Louis Psihoyos
by Opponents Appalled
§Live Elk not Livestock
by Opponents Appalled
§Chance Cutrano
by Opponents Appalled
§406 Dead Elk Fenced from Cattle by NPS
by Opponents Appalled
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