Point Reyes is an amazing park. Just an hour from San Francisco, it’s filled with wildlife, including 80 species of mammals. 45% of North America’s bird species have been spotted in the park.

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 NPS has considered culling the herd. Jim Coda has written very eloquently about these issues. (Some of the linked images are disturbing.)

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. They’re soliciting public comments through September 25, 2023. Here’s how you can help:

  1. Read the overview at https://www.nps.gov/pore/getinvolved/planning-tomales-point-area-plan-public-scoping.htm
  2. Read the details of the alternatives being considered at https://www.nps.gov/pore/getinvolved/upload/planning-tomales-point-area-plan-public-scoping-newsletter-230825.pdf
  3. Until September 25, 2023, submit a public comment at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?documentID=131377. In your own words, tell the Park Service you support Alternative B: take down the fence and stop prioritizing commercial ranching over wildlife within the park.
  4. Register to join the virtual public meeting on Thursday, September 7, at 5 PM to comment live: bit.ly/3P5PtDl
  5. Spread the word to other interested people

You can also sign up for email notifications at https://www.nps.gov/pore/getinvolved/planning-tomales-point-area-plan.htm to get notified of future plan updates and public comment periods.