• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

ONE WEEK TO DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!

A generous CounterPuncher has offered a $25,000 matching grant. So for this week only, whatever you can donate will be doubled up to $25,000! If you have the means, please donate! If you already have done so, thank you for your support. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Kick the Cows Out of Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes National Seashore was established in the 1960s by the purchase of private ranches. The public paid fair market value for these lands. Livestock operations were to removed over a 25-grace period. But time and again the ranchers refused to leave OUR property.

Surprisingly Representative Jared Huffman, ordinarily good on environmental issues, has sponsored legislation that would make the previous owners and their cattle permanent residents of OUR property. It is like buying a house, but the previous owners never move out, and a Congressman is going to make it illegal to remove them from your property.

Think about all the beautiful redwood parks scattered up and down California’s coast. Nearly all of these parklands were created by purchasing the land from private property owners, just like we the public bought the ranches that remain in Pont Reyes National Seashore. Now imagine that the previous landowners not only refused to leave our redwood parks but continue to cut down redwoods even after we bought the land and trees for preservation. That is precisely what is going on in Point Reyes National Seashore.

Would Representative Huffman be outraged if loggers were cutting trees in Kent Woods National Monument or Humboldt Redwood SP, or Redwood National Park? I would hope so. But he doesn’t seem to understand that domestic livestock is damaging OUR property and inappropriate in a national park unit.

Privately owned livestock are polluting the streams running through OUR property. Indeed the livestock-polluted waters of Point Reyes National Seashore rank in the top 10 percent of U.S. locations most contaminated by feces indicated by E. coli bacteria.

Privately owned livestock are spreading exotic weeds throughout OUR property. Ranchers plant non-native species for livestock forage, helping to erode the native biodiversity of the park further.

Privately owned livestock are spreading Johne’s, a highly contagious digestive disease that spreads quickly through manure and contaminated water. It has infected park wildlife including Tule elk.

Point Reyes is one of the few places where native Tule elk are found in California. There are approximately 600 elk and yet more than 5000 cows in OUR park.  Is there something wrong with this picture when domestic animals outnumber native wildlife species nearly 10 to 1 in a national park?

When you drive to Point Reyes, you pass dairy and cattle farms almost continuously. There is no shortage of cattle/cows in Marin County nor California as a whole. California is home to more than 5 million cattle-4th highest in the entire country. Why should we allow private individuals to graze domestic livestock, a commodity that is abundance on private lands throughout the state and nation, in a national park unit?

It’s time to remove domestic livestock operations from our property and dedicate Point Reyes National Seashore to the principle it was purposed initially—preservation of native plants and wildlife.

More articles by:

George Wuerthner has published 36 books including Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest Policy. He serves on the board of the Western Watersheds Project.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
October 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Trump as the “Anti-War” President: on Misinformation in American Political Discourse
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Where’s the Beef With Billionaires?
Rob Urie
Capitalism and the Violence of Environmental Decline
Paul Street
Bernie in the Deep Shit: Dismal Dem Debate Reflections
Andrew Levine
What’s So Awful About Foreign Interference?
T.J. Coles
Boris Johnson’s Brexit “Betrayal”: Elect a Clown, Expect a Pie in Your Face
Joseph Natoli
Trump on the March
Ashley Smith
Stop the Normalization of Concentration Camps
Pete Dolack
The Fight to Overturn the Latest Corporate Coup at Pacifica Has Only Begun
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Russophobia at Democratic Party Debate
Chris Gilbert
Forward! A Week of Protest in Catalonia
Daniel Beaumont
Pressing Done Here: Syria, Iraq and “Informed Discussion”
Daniel Warner
Greta the Disturber
M. G. Piety
“Grim Positivism” vs. Truthiness in Biography
John Kendall Hawkins
Journey to the Unknown Interior of (You)
Christopher Fons – Conor McMullen
The Centrism of Elizabeth Warren
Nino Pagliccia
Peace Restored in Ecuador, But is trust?
Rebecca Gordon
Extorting Ukraine is Bad Enough But Trump Has Done Much Worse
Kathleen Wallace
Trump Can’t Survive Where the Bats and Moonlight Laugh
Clark T. Scott
Cross-eyed, Fanged and Horned
Eileen Appelbaum
The PR Campaign to Hide the Real Cause of those Sky-High Surprise Medical Bills
Olivia Alperstein
Nuclear Weapons are an Existential Threat
Colin Todhunter
Asia-Pacific Trade Deal: Trading Away Indian Agriculture?
Sarah Anderson
Where is “Line Worker Barbie”?
Brian Cloughley
Yearning to Breathe Free
Jill Richardson
Why are LGBTQ Rights Even a Debate?
Jesse Jackson
What I Learn While Having Lunch at Cook County Jail
Kathy Kelly
Death, Misery and Bloodshed in Yemen
Maximilian Werner
Leadership Lacking for Wolf Protection
Arshad Khan
The Turkish Gambit
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Rare Wildflower vs. Mining Company
Dianne Woodward
Race Against Time (and For Palestinians)
Norman Ball
Wall Street Sees the Light of Domestic Reindustrialization
Ramzy Baroud
The Last Lifeline: The Real Reason Behind Abbas’ Call for Elections
Binoy Kampmark
African Swine Fever Does Its Worst
Nicky Reid
Screwing Over the Kurds: An All-American Pastime
Louis Proyect
“Our Boys”: a Brutally Honest Film About the Consequences of the Occupation
Coco Das
#OUTNOW
Cesar Chelala
Donald Trump vs. William Shakespeare
Ron Jacobs
Calling the Kettle White: Ishmael Reed Unbound
Stephen Cooper
Scientist vs. Cooper: The Interview, Round 3 
Susan Block
How “Hustlers” Hustles Us
Charles R. Larson
Review: Elif Shafak’s “10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World”
David Yearsley
Sunset Songs
October 17, 2019
Steve Early
The Irishman Cometh: Teamster History Hits the Big Screen (Again)
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail