Help Save Tule Elk on Pt. Reyes National Seashore (Deadline May 9, 2022)
May 4, 2022
The National Park Service (NPS) is accepting public comments for the Tomales Point Area Plan, which includes the Tomales Elk Reserve and the abandoned Pierce Point Ranch.
Because of the 8-foot-tall exclusion fence, native tule elk are locked inside the narrow Tomales Point which has few natural supplies of fresh water, and surrounded by Tomales Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Large numbers of elk have died off during recent extreme drought.
The exclusion fence must come down to allow these elk herds room to roam, so they can find adequate water and forage across the National Seashore.
This beautiful coastal park needs to be managed for native wildlife, coastal prairies, and public access, unhindered by fences.
Supplemental water and minerals were supplied to Tomales Elk Reserve elk only after extreme public outcry, protests, and media attention. The fence must come down, and these trapped elk be allowed to roam into the larger Seashore area and find water and food. The free-roaming elk herds did not suffer drought mortality, and apparently have access to better water resources.
The public comment period ends on May 9. Please comment here and make your voice heard.
Points to emphasize in your comment:
· The drought mortality of native elk is unacceptable.
· Removing the fence is better management for wildlife than setting up plastic water tanks and troughs, and trucking water up to the elk reserve.
· Old and downed fencing is hazardous and needs to be removed. Elk become tangled in these fences and die.
· 85% of Tomales Point is in the Philip Burton Wilderness, making NPS management of tule elk herds here much more difficult during times of drought. The fence needs to come down.
· The Pierce Point Ranch was a working dairy until closed in 1978 and made into an interpretive center, free of livestock (see: https://www.nps.gov/places/point-reyes-pierce-point-ranch.htm). Pierce Point Ranch is managed well as a visitor experience that is interpreted as to its dairy history. This should serve as a model for other dairies and beef ranches as their commercial livestock operations are removed from the Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area.