Thanks so much for your coverage of our public lands, Point Reyes (“Death by Design,” June 30)! It is so valuable for me to find local coverage of the Seashore. Great to see a paper with independent integrity!
Catherine L. Portman, Woodland
Myths of Point Reyes
I appreciate the letter from Dr. John W. Cruz on July 7 regarding the horrors of elk culling in Point Reyes National Seashore. I agree with him that it’s high time to restore Point Reyes.
Where Dr. Cruz writes “The agreements that were made 60 years ago were from a different era … and it’s time to start buying out the ranchers,” I point out that there were no agreements, ever, that ranching should stay in perpetuity in our national park. In fact, the reservations of use were explicitly time-bound—25 years or life—and the lease agreements are legally cancelable by the Interior Secretary at any time.
Furthermore, the ranches were already bought by the public, for the time-adjusted amount of almost $400 million, plus the mentioned period of continued occupancy. It’s a testament to the thickness of the fog of obfuscation generated by the interested parties that such basic facts are misapprehended even by people distinctly interested in the health of the park.
Other persistent myths are that the ranches in Point Reyes are good stewards of the land in Point Reyes—they are documented as significant sources of air and water pollution, soil depletion and erosion, invasive species, etc.—that they preserve and honor history there—they are modern, industrial-scale operations which obscure and disrespect the much older Coast Miwok history—and more. These and other myths are detailed in a recent webinar from the Coalition to Save Point Reyes National Seashore that can be found at savepointreyesnationalseashore.com.
Ken Bouley, Inverness
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