For Immediate Release – November 30, 2021
- In Defense of Animals, Lisa Levinson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-879-6879
- The TreeSpirit Project, Jack Gescheidt, jack@TreeSpiritProject.com, 415-488-4200
- Turtle Island Restoration Network, Scott Webb, email@example.com, 707-921-8211
- Western Watersheds Project, Laura Cunningham, firstname.lastname@example.org, 775-513-1280
The National Park Service Doubles Down on Polluting Cattle Operations at Point Reyes National Seashore — and Shooting Wild Tule Elk. Activists Rally to Call Them Out
POINT REYES, Calif. (Dec 4, 2021) — In Defense of Animals, TreeSpirit Project, Turtle Island Restoration Network and Western Watersheds Project are joining forces to rally in response to the National Park Service’s (NPS) General Management Plan adopted this September that doubles down on its shocking, pro-cattle industry, anti-wildlife policies at Point Reyes National Seashore — which have killed over 406 of the park’s rare, iconic Tule elk.
The general public will join the wildlife advocates and environmental activists for this biggest-ever public demonstration at 12-2:15 p.m. on Saturday, December 4, 2021, at San Francisco’s Crissy Field, to expose the financial and political corruption driving the NPS’s betrayal of its mission to protect the wild animals and wild lands inside this unique California coastal national park.
Watch Alexandra Paul urges San Franciscans to join the rally.
“Half of the Point Reyes park’s fewer than 590 iconic Tule elk are trapped inside a fenced, drought-stricken “Reserve” where they die by the hundreds, all at the request of private cattle operations merely leasing public land in this public park. The public doesn’t know these ugly truths, so we’re gonna tell them, and they’ll be outraged like we are,” said Jack Gescheidt of In Defense of Animals and TreeSpirit Project.
“The NPS’ new General Management Plan continues and extends its Tule elk-killing, wildlife-harming and ecologically devastating policies, giving cattle businesses new 20-year lease extensions — and now for the first time authorizes shooting some Tule elk to death. That’s what’s in store for beautiful, wild elk in one of the park’s two other herds outside the deadly Reserve,” said Fleur Dawes, Communication Director for In Defense of Animals. “This is horrific, unacceptable, and we will not stand idly by.”
A horrific example is being set at Point Reyes during the climate crisis, with its beef and dairy ranches generating more greenhouse gases (plus more soil, water, and marine pollution) than the Seashore’s 2,000,000 annual visitors’ vehicle tailpipe emissions.
The anticipated hundreds of demonstrators at Crissy Field, near the Golden Gate Bridge, will create a huge, 406-elk graveyard to dramatize this alarming number of rare Tule elk killed in in just the last decade by NPS policies trapping elk behind fences, away from adequate food and water in a national park.
Hundreds of eye-catching posters have appeared around San Francisco and Marin County, posted by concerned hikers, environmentalists, biologists, conservationists, and national park-goers.
By the NPS’s most recent annual count, 152 elk died from 2020 to 2021. This year’s (2021 to 2022) Tule elk death toll has yet to be announced, and is expected to be delayed, as it was last year, because of the public relations fallout that results.
The NPSs new General Management Plan grants cattle operations 20-year leases at half-market value rates. Taxpayers are unwittingly subsidizing the very industries destroying the park, and wreaking havoc on the climate.
“We should not be supplying American tax dollars toward unsustainable welfare ranching that pollutes the only national seashore on the Pacific Ocean. Our government should be working for us, not the few elites responsible for the degradation of vulnerable coastal and riparian habitat,” said Turtle Island Restoration Network’s Advocacy and Policy Manager, Scott Webb.
The NPS is betraying the public’s trust, and its charter mission to prioritize wild animals and wild lands in an American national park. They are systematically killing the few hundred remaining wild Tule elk in its care — along with other wild animals who are forced off the 28,000 acres of land given over to the resource-intensive and extractive cattle industry.
“Point Reyes National Seashore was formed to protect and restore this beautiful coastline and its adjacent marine waters, which are a biodiversity hotspot not only for Tule elk, but also for rare plants and butterflies, coho salmon, steelhead trout, the California red-legged frog, elephant seals, whales, river otters, bobcats, snowy plovers, and much more,” said Laura Cunningham, California Director at Western Watersheds Project. “Now is the time to restore the Seashore, and not continue to trash the legacy of thousands of years of Coast Miwok caretaking of these coastal prairies and ocean habitats.”
In Defense of Animals, TreeSpirit Project, Turtle Island Restoration Network, Western Watersheds Project and other animal, wildlife, and national park activists will continue to advocate for the removal of the 8-foot-high, 3-mile-long Tule Elk Reserve fence that lethally confines Tule elk, plus hundreds of miles of additional ranch fencing which restricts the public’s access to their national seashore. The only solution is to remove all private, commercial cattle businesses from this unique, precious national park.
In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization based in Marin, California, with over 250,000 supporters and a 38-year history of fighting for animals, people, and the environment through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi.www.idausa.org/elk
The TreeSpirit Project raises awareness of the crucial role of forest, wildlife and the natural world in the lives of humans. Thousands of people have taken part in fine art community photographs that give people an actual experience of this interconnection beyond the virtual internet. https://treespiritproject.com
Turtle Island Restoration Network is a global ocean conservation nonprofit based in Olema, California, whose mission is to inspire and mobilize people worldwide to protect marine biodiversity and the oceans that sustain all life on Earth. http://www.SeaTurtles.org
Western Watersheds Project is a conservation nonprofit working to protect watersheds and wildlife in the American West. Since 1993 we’ve been uncompromising in our commitment addressing public lands livestock problems. https://www.westernwatersheds.org
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