by Matthew Fingerett
According to the NPS, in 2017 the number of Tule elk at Point Reyes was roughly 660, split between Tomales Point, Drakes Beach, and areas around Limantour Road.
The National Park Service’s mission statement includes the claim that it “cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.” However, the preferred plan of the NPS regarding the Tule elk in no way benefits natural and cultural resource conservation. The preferred plan of the NPS includes culling the already low population by encouraging shooting Tule elk that cross into areas specifically designated for ranching.
In this case, it appears the only partners to the NPS are those in the dairy or cattle grazing business. In 2017 the NPS settled a lawsuit whereby it became a requirement for the NPS to plan for any impacts as a result of cattle ranching, which includes over 26,000 acres of land at Point Reyes. It does not appear that the NPS is honoring this requirement.