Tule Elk at Pt. Reyes National Seashore

TULE ELK AT PT. REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE

Photo by Christine Hansen

Photo © Martha Ture, Mt. Tamalpais Photography mttamalpaisphotos.com

The National Park Service (NPS) has initiated a public comment process for their Tomales Point Area Plan and Environmental Assessment at Point Reyes National Seashore that analyzes three alternatives, identifies a preferred alternative, and incorporates feedback from previous public comment opportunities.

This plan will update the management guidance of this wilderness-designated peninsula, including the management of the Tule Elk herd in this region of the park. These elk are currently confined to the Point, held behind 8-foot fences that were erected in 1978 by the Park Service to separate this herd from the public land used by ranchers for cattle.

The “preferred alternative” outlined in the Tomales Point Area Plan Environmental Assessment would right a wrong begun in 1978 with the annexation of the Tomales Point elk herd, and the construction of the fence that holds them captive.  The Tule Elk on Tomales Point cannot escape their enclosed peninsula, and are thus at the mercy of water and forage availability within that restricted territory. This needs to change.

Please help WildCare support the National Park Service’s “preferred alternative,” which includes the removal of the fence to allow the Tomales Point elk herd to expand their territory to areas that offer consistent sources of forage and water. Adding your name to our petition strengthens our argument that our supporters, and wildlife advocates everywhere, agree that the fence should be removed.

Once you’ve signed our petition, you’ll be given instructions to submit your comments to NPS advocating for the removal of the fence and the release of the Tomales Point elk herd. We strongly encourage all wildlife advocates to do so.

The public comment period will run until June 5, 2024.

WildCare's Petition In Support of Removing the Tomales Point Elk Fence

Tomales Point Area Plan

Attn: Superintendent Craig Kenkel

Point Reyes National Seashore
1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

Dear Superintendant Kenkel:

As a supporter of WildCare and a person who cares about wildlife in California, I am writing to express my support of the National Park Service's preferred alternative, Alternative B, in the Tomales Point Area Plan.

This plan would right a wrong begun in 1978 with the annexation of the Tomales Point elk herd, and the construction of the fence that holds them captive.  The Tule Elk on Tomales Point cannot escape their enclosed peninsula, and are thus at the mercy of water and forage availability within that restricted territory. This needs to change.

WildCare has advocated strongly for supplemental water and forage to be provided to the elk herd since 2015, but removing the fence and allowing the elk to find water and food beyond Tomales Point is the only humane way to deal with these once-endangered wild animals.

152 Tule Elk died in the “Tule Elk reserve” from 2019 to 2020. It is unconscionable to keep a group of animals captive and then attempt to maintain a hands-off management approach. WildCare’s efforts, and the work of many other wildlife advocates over the years, have resulted in NPS periodically providing supplemental water and minerals for the elk, but the situation on the peninsula continues to deteriorate.

I strongly support the Tomales Point Area Plan's Alternative B that includes removal of the fence to allow the Tomales Point elk herd to expand their territory to areas that offer consistent sources of forage and water.

Thank you for your consideration,

Sincerely,

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