A planning effort is under way at Point Reyes National Seashore in California to manage some 28,000 acres of beef and cattle ranches overseen by the seashore.
The need for such a plan arose in November 2012 when then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar issued a memorandum authorizing the NPS to pursue long-term lease/permits for dairy and beef ranching operations.
Within the eventual management plan, the Park Service hopes to:
* Articulate a clear vision for ranching on existing ranch lands administered by Point Reyes National Seashore.
* Implement the Secretary of the Interior’s direction to pursue issuance of lease/permits with terms up to 20-years.
* Address concerns related to tule elk impacts to existing ranch operations.
* Provide clear guidance and streamline processes for park and regulatory review of
proposed ranching activities, including best management practices that promote
protection of park resources.
“Ranching is integral to our history and to our future here at Point Reyes National Seashore,” said Park Superintendent Cicely Muldoon on Monday in announcing the planning effort. “For more than 50 years, ranchers and the park have been working together. This plan is an opportunity to build on that past, address current issues, and strengthen our shared stewardship of these lands. This plan will set a strong foundation for ranching now and into the future.”
The first step in the ranch planning process is initiation of public scoping. Scoping, which will run from April 21 – June 2, 2014, invites the public to comment so concerns are identified early and the analysis is focused on the issues raised.
As part of scoping, all are invited to attend public meetings during the first week of May. The open house-style meetings will be identical in format, and are designed to gather public comments:
Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 5-7 p.m. Dance Palace Community Center 503 B Street, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 5-7 p.m. Bay Model Visitor Center 2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965
Comments may be also be submitted online or by letter. Written comments may be mailed or hand delivered to “Ranch CMP c/o Superintendent, Point Reyes National Seashore, 1 Bear Valley Road, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956.”
The NPS anticipates completion of the planning process in fall 2015.