This photo of a rutting tule elk bull was taken at Point Reyes National Seashore. It’s a great park just an hour’s drive from San Francisco. It’s a happy place for me and nature lovers all over the Bay Area (I’ve visited 30 times just in the past year!)
Point Reyes is also home to a controversial practice for a national park: fencing in tule elk at Tomales Point to keep them from competing with commercial ranches for forage. Tomales Point is poor habitat for the elk, lacking sufficient water and minerals to support a healthy herd. There have been large die-offs in drought years, and elk have been injured or killed trying to escape the fenced in area.
There’s good news though, and you can help! NPS is updating their Tomales Point Area Plan, and they’re proposing removing the tule elk fence to allow all the Point Reyes elk to roam free. The Park Service is soliciting public comments through September 25, 2023. Please submit comments to add your support for removing the tule elk fence from Tomales Point, and register to join the virtual public meeting on September 7 at 5 PM. You can find all the relevant links at https://jacquesfortierart.com/point-reyes-elk/.