The above video is an excerpt from the full interview in which George Wuerthner explains the bison situation in Yellowstone National Park. In the course of the interview some disturbing similarities between Point Reyes and Yellowstone became clear...two of them are mentioned in this clip, but there are more.
Turns out that in both locations diseases that stem from the cattle industry have infected some wildlife and now the wildlife are punished for the livestock disease. However, in both cases, the true threat of the disease is overblown as a political manuever by the livestock industry to prevent wildlife from ever expanding or thriving. Furthermore, in both locations, the fear that the public will choose wildlife over cattle once the people see what "could be" motivates the industry to keep both bison and elk contained. In the case of Point Reyes this fear has been realized, as overwhelming public comments show favor for wildlife over livestock, yet the political power of the livestock industry still holds sway.
You can watch the entire interview via the embedded video below. Or listen on Spotify.
As Albert Straus continues to spew his lies at an accelerated pace, I was finally motivated to express some thoughts on the matter.
Rough transcript from the video below:
Do you ever wonder how much different things would be if people in positions of influence were held accountable for their lies? Of course, the most obvious example would be politicians, no matter which political party we're referring to, politicians don't ever seem to be held accountable for their lies.
A close second for me would be the dairy industry, particularly in a time where ranchers resemble politicians much more than whatever traditional image people have in their minds to make them feel better about supporting the atrocities that these people engage in on a daily basis to make their living. And Albert Straus in particular, has been lying at a higher rate than usual.
A frighteningly large amount of the population is all too eager to gobble up those lies for no better reason than these are the lies that they're already familiar with, thus it's comforting to "stay the course", Don't learn, Don't think, don't use your eyes or basic reason. And certainly, these days, you don't have to use science either.
Now, while someone like me attempting to tell the truth could be in danger of being targeted by someone powerful (such as someone who has made a ton of money off of his lies, his manipulation, his rape of the planet, his rape of the American economy...) someone like that might have the power to come after someone like me. "Truth" today is defined by those who have enough money to win in court, no matter what the actual evidence is. Truth itself doesn't even really exist anymore. Science itself is now optional. If you don't like what science has to say, just tell the world that it offends you or that it's against your culture and your background. Now you don't have to accept it anymore. Or you go to one of these new 'pay to publish' journals that will publish any crap as long as you pay. Or there's the livestock industry, the California Cattle Council, et cetera, who if they don't like what actual scientists are coming up with, will pay to have their own research done, and their own findings published.
When people like that are rich, when people like that are powerful, then they can use the court systems to help them. And maybe someone like me, who's trying to tell the truth could get sued for libel or slander, even though I have the evidence to prove that what I'm saying is correct while Albert Straus is allowed to lie, without backing up his claims,
I'm trying to paint the picture of a world where a lie is considered a crime. And the punishment for that crime is decided by the magnitude of the lie. You see, it doesn't seem to matter how much evidence is provided that the ranchers are having a devastating effect on Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, Sonoma, California, in general. It doesn't seem to matter how much evidence we show that they're being heavily subsidized and held up by we, the taxpayers, It doesn't seem to matter how wealthy these people are, they will continue to present themselves as the victims who need help, and it's up to the rest of us to save their industries.
Well, what if any of these people actually had to go to jail when these lies that they have told are proven in a court of law to be the lies that they are? Nothing ever happens to any of these people. So why not just keep on lying? Albert Straus makes his living murdering the planet and committing crimes against sentient creatures, while spinning a web of lies to cover up his actual deeds.
How about those who give these people a platform to spread their lies? Why isn't the Marin Independent Journal held accountable for printing any and all crap that comes out of these ranchers mouths? And the Point Reyes light?...the exact same thing!
Straus and other ranchers love to refer to their way of life as sustainable...What does sustainable even mean? And again, the majority of people out there who eagerly accept that word, embrace that word, I would guess don't actually understand what it means either. What matters more is that it sounds like it's supposed to be something good. And therefore, you get to apply that to what you already want to do and feel better about yourself.
If what Albert Straus does for a living is sustainable I'm sure he will have no problem giving up all the subsidies and other forms of government support that he receives. I'm sure he would have no problem disclosing all of his financials to the public. If what Albert Straus does for a living is so sustainable, then why does the entire agricultural sector of Marin account for only .3% of the county's GOP, while simultaneously using 50% of the land? You need 50% of the land to produce .3% of the GOP?!
The county literally pays millions and millions of dollars into the dairy industry just to keep it afloat and these people taking this money from you have the nerve to turn around and tell you how valuable that industry is. This is so untrue that almost any industry that was given 50% of the land would be more sustainable than what Albert Straus does.
When locations like Point Reyes National Seashore are used as examples, as evidence from the side telling you their lies, and the dairies and Point Reyes National Seashore look like an ecological disaster and that's as good as it gets, people have no choice but to run from reality, put their heads in the sand in order to keep believing what they currently believe. And this is before we even get into the ethical, the moral dilemmas involved in dairy, the fact that this person turns living creatures into perpetual pregnancy machines, reduces the miracle of motherhood to a way of making a buck, that stealing babies from mothers days after they enter the world is just a normal practice... to make peace with that and dismiss it as normal or that it is even good is nothing short of psychopathic.
And this is all so people like Albert Straus can continue to the next lie, which is to tell you that this product, which is the pregnancy lactations of a bovine are what you should be consuming to be a healthy person. A fluid that is meant to turn a baby animal into a 500 pound animal within three months is what you, a human being, should be consuming and consume it your entire life. I mean, you people deserve to be laughed at when you want to embrace such absurdities. It doesn't help that you're not exactly the poster children for what healthy, athletic human beings look like.
I've been wondering what to do with my footage from a trip I took a year ago when I enjoyed some time out and Jenner and the entire drive home. Hours and hours in the car. Non Stop filming was ranch land, which means I was looking at ecological disaster, I was looking at devastation. The only exceptions were where people had had the foresight to create parks, which basically means protecting nature from ranchers, or from loggers, et cetera, et cetera. These people who claim to be stewards of the land are the very people that nature has to be saved from.
But even if that wasn't true, you need not look any further than the fact that you can look left and right out your window continuing at full speed for hours and not see human food being grown, just never ending land being used for cattle.
Now you can turn around and say, "Oh, but cattle are human food." Yeah, sure. The most inefficient form of human food you could come up with. It's ugly. It smells bad. And the amount of food that comes out after that disaster is negligible.
Another word that's thrown around a lot nowadays is viable or non viable. And I think instead of using the word sustainable here, we shouldn't be looking at whether or not something is financially viable. I've heard people argue that veganism is not viable. Nothing is less viable than what I'm seeing out the window, as I drive here. And as an ecologist, as a nature enthusiast, knowing that what you're looking at was once a biodiversity hotspot, full of a wide range of plants and animals, and doesn't help. And again, it doesn't help that the people that consume ridiculous quantities of this type of food, they're supposed to be so great for you are shockingly obese. These people are growing diabetes. They're destroying the planet to grow the next generation of diabetes. Why do men look like they become pregnant as they get older? That doesn't happen with any other species. So don't tell me that it's natural. Now I'm fully aware of how deep indoctrination runs have the desire not to open your eyes, and all the weird mental obstacles that prevent us from opening our eyes. Even my suppose it allies who want to save Point Reyes National Seashore from ranchers have these ridiculous ideas about well, let's let's boycott this dairy in that dairy while going ahead and supporting other forms of dairy. You know, this industry is evil. And even the people who think that they're doing good things still support evil. That tells you how big of a challenge lies ahead. And I've had to stop worrying about whether or not I offend anyone talking about obesity, because 70% of the population is obese. Therefore, there's a 70% chance that obese people are reading or listening to my content, it's time to stop being offended by everything and wake up to the fact that is our meat and dairy consumption increase. Humans stop looking like humans, and begin resembling blimps instead. While having the audacity to claim that we are carnivorous predators on top of the food chain. We are destructive manipulators who enslave other creatures, while simultaneously destroying natural habitat in order to engage in such foolishness. When people like Albert lie, they can't seem to lie without using the words, family, multigenerational sustainable, local, healthy, organic, when it comes to the word organic, let's not forget that the qualifications to meet the criteria of being organic aren't exactly inspiring. Let's also remember that most of these ranchers switched to organic because the industry demanded it, not because they were being altruistic and doing the right thing from the beginning. Hey, stewards of the land. Why weren't you already organic? Why weren't you already models for doing the right thing? If this is what you're about, Why was there so much room for improvement? Oh, right, because you're about profits at the expense of animals and the planet. Until policy steps in and tells you, you need to be better. Wow, so inspiring. And again, the right thing, only compared to the other disaster next to it. Anyway, these are just words. These are mind games, all buzzwords that people like Albert himself, have reduced to meaning nothing. When people like this lie so much and abuse words, this much they lose their meaning. And in fact, they've all adopted new meanings according to what the people in power, like himself want the words to me. When Straus claims that these farming practices work in harmony with nature? Well, to me that is a reflection of the same level of disconnect required to think that stealing babies from mothers is also a natural process. The very first thing that agriculture does is remove natural habitat to make way for their industry. These ranchers also affect the mindset of people when they are allowed to call native vegetation, invasive vegetation. This shows a complete ecological disconnect. These people who say they're connected to the land, in fact, make their living at war with nature, fighting against nature, and taking every resource that they can, and using it just for themselves. Those of you think this is not true, I challenge you to take a walk through Point Reyes National Seashore ranches, at the best time of year when the color of green can ease your mind into thinking something good is taking place. Well, then I challenge you to take the time to identify those plants that are green on the ranch lands and get back to me with your census of which ones are native or beneficial to native wildlife. You're not going to find them on ranch lands. Unless, of course, it's ranch land where there's no cattle. These ranchers are responsible for the removal of native vegetation, which is the very core of habitat, they are also responsible for the introduction and continued spread of non native invasive species. When you see the damage that these so called Small ranches have, then it is in fact a testament to the opposite of what Albert Straus has written recently saying that this is a sustainable model of farming and ranching to be replicated around the world. Sure, if you want the entire world to look like a bomb went off, Strauss refers to the public at large as a threat, a threat has emerged against us and our way of life. Well, this is quite an example of a special interest group, thinking that what they want is the only thing that matters and referring to actual citizens as a threat, Strauss stooped to new lows by trying to act like he's concerned about local school systems, and that people are going to move away. If the dairies in Point Reyes National Seashore are shut down. You mean all the exploited migrant workers that you guys will also call ins on at the drop of a hat. And each of these quote unquote historic families have incredible land holdings throughout the state that they can already move away to the toll that the dairy industry has taken on Point Reyes National Seashore on California, on the world at large, is finally catching up. Nature can only be so resilient to this level of abuse. Younger generations are realizing it. People who live in Marin County are supposed to be nature lovers. So if people that kill nature for a living move away, I say good riddance, bring in a new generation, who actually want to be stewards of the land, rather than abusing the phrase stewards of the land. When Strauss wants to talk about these families having been there for 100 years, well, don't worry, we will build a museum of horror, paying tribute to the atrocities that you and your families committed, raping nature for personal gain, raping the taxpayer for personal gain for 100 years, a quick Google of Albert Straus, as usual, these dairy farmers always find the one green field that they haven't completely over grazed and photograph at that one time of year that it's green. Oh, here we go. Oh, what are you guys thinking? Finally, a little bit of reality showing? Finally a little bit of reality showing in the background?
Boy, you guys better get that photo off the web. And how about this one? You know, they have the nerve to talk about a small operation, all of that land, all of that land belongs to the cattle. And they're still having to come out with a feed truck. I guess. The grazing isn't cutting it even for a small operation. Using a shocking amount of land for your cattle to graze. You know these ranchers As I've been telling the exact same lies ever since the creation of the seashore ever since the proposal of the seashore and claiming economic ruin to Marin County, well, only the exact opposite of their claims has come true. The money attributed to tourism of the park itself, absolutely, avalanches on top of the ridiculous output of the dairy ranches. And that output is really negated by the amount of money spent just to keep these shitty, unsustainable practices running. So that these guys can go and spend your tax dollars on advertising. That tells you that unsustainable things are sustainable. But now we got to come back to that word sustainable. According to the Oxford dictionary, it means able to be maintained at a certain rate or level. Well, I guess in that case, technically, it's correct, because it can be maintained at a certain level, as long as you don't give the slightest shit about the planet. As long as you don't mind continuing to steal water from nature, trucked in from elsewhere, dump ridiculous amounts of manure onto the land, continue to fight against native plants in introduce invasive plants. Turn what used to be gorgeous, diverse habitat into a field of devastation, and suck American agricultural subsidy programs dry just so that you can turn around and pretend that your non viable business is viable. As long as that fits into your desk position of sustainable, then I guess I can't argue it. I'm sorry. I take it back. You aren't sustainable. Ah, oh, here we go. psychopathic behavior. Hi, I stole you from your mom, so that I could use her body for my financial gain before I slaughter her. And if you're a boy, you will be dead very soon. If you're a girl, you will suffer her fate. You will never know the comfort of your mother. But here suck on my fingers. Because I'm such a good guy. I will pose for a journalistic opportunity, letting the very animal that I'm exploiting suck on my fingers. That was an accurate sorry, let me correct. Albert himself doesn't do this. He has plenty of exploited migrant workers doing this for him on a grand scale. Albert only comes out for the photo ops. I'm going to cut it there for now. But there is much more to cover with evil Elbert and his lines. So there will be a part two. For those of you who are actually willing to dig deeper into this and check on the data. I do have some videos that I recommend. There was a project called sustaining stupidity, part one and part two, which shows the numbers behind what's happening in Marin County.
In the previous post, did anyone notice that the author felt the need to remind his local community that people should be able to discuss their differing opinions in a civilized manner and not need to worry about getting roughed up?
The author is, of course, referring to the constant cloud of intimidation that hangs over Point Reyes and Inverness. As a filmmaker, for five years I've spoken to locals who started spilling the beans before catching themselves, looked over their shoulders, then told me "they better not say anymore."
So, this is the influence of "good people who just want to provide a healthy product to the community"? Ha.
Only a week later, ranchers reacted to the "Coalition to Save Point Reyes", showing their true colors by telling Ken Bouley, who frustratingly is full of facts, that he "better not piss off the wrong people."
Dating back to 2018 and the premiere of "The Shame of Point Reyes", the Dance Palace was threatened to have their support removed if they showed my film while the ranchers went around tearing down signs advertising the film festival.
A year later I was attacked while alone in a parking lot in Point Reyes. Later I would find out in court that this was a premeditated attack, not a random one.
It's interesting how desperately "good people" who live such honorable lives pursuing such a wonderful way of life try to make sure the public don't ever hear or see the truth of what they do.
If ever you needed a reminder that the ranchers are a violent, Trumpster community that hates democracy, I'm sure more examples will be provided.
Is it necessary that I emphasized the person in question is a local resident? You tell me. Although this is a national seashore, the ranchers and ranching advocates usually take the stance of this being a local issue and that the opinions that differ from their own must be from "outsiders".
This national seashore belongs to all the people of the United States of America, not the private businesses operating within at our expense, but that's beside the point. The locals don't agree with the ranchers either and slowly they are emerging from the cloud of fear and intimidation that the ranchers have cast over this community.
This letter to the editor at Point Reyes Light was submitted by a Point Reyes Station resident and is as good as I've seen in a while. I am sharing it here so more people can read the words of Richard Vacha.
"With the delay in negotiations over ranching in the national seashore, I decided it was time I made some public remarks about the issue. A hike out to the Drakes Bay headlands in a winter rainstorm is heartbreaking. Erosion is severe and there is only the most cursory attempt to control it. Overused cattle trails have turned into deeply eroded gullies washing down precious soils that clog up the most sensitive wetlands.
Fencing is haphazard and overgrazed fields are like deserts compared to the mixed meadows and chaparral. The ground is trampled by 2,000-pound cows, ripped up, laid bare, heavily suppressed and cut up by sprawling mazes of old ranch roads. Adjoining off-limits areas show wildly more abundance at all levels of life as the very ground itself begins to relax and heal.
Ranching in the park has never been a truly sustainable practice. The operations depend on constant financial assistance from the government, ever-deferred maintenance, undocumented immigrant labor, substandard housing conditions, subsidized property leases, favorable taxation, overgrazing, toxic runoff and consistent violations of the limits placed on them. It’s no different from average farming practices all over the earth, but this is a national seashore.
Food production as a rationale for keeping the ranches is a red herring, as it was with the oyster farm. With roughly 1 billion acres of farmland in America, the seashore ranches are a drop in the bucket. Too sensitive and remote to farm sustainably, they are marginal agricultural lands at best. Food insecurity for the global human population is not due to a lack of food but to wealth disparity and overpopulation.
Ranchers claim a historical legacy, but isn’t it obvious that the real legacy and history belongs with the Miwok and the wild animals who were here first? The Miwok were the true stewards of the land. If you grew up thinking that farms are a picture of a healthy landscape, you are biased. Take a closer look and you’ll see it is not so good. The ranches have inflicted more damage in 150 years than the Miwok did in their 10,000 years.
And Native peoples didn’t just go poof and disappear. Their land was taken. Removal by taxation was one of the great tricks played on the remaining few who hadn’t died from our diseases, though legalized genocide was the rule in much of early California. Many of the ranch structures are built atop ancient sites that have never been properly studied.
We have a grave responsibility to protect the earth. This is our true legacy. We should be proud and protective of the simplest of concepts for this park: clean water, clean land, intact ecosystems and the freedom to wander in unspoiled, well-protected wildness. But current administrators of the seashore ignore obvious violations. Recently, when staff were shown photographs of cows in off-limits wetlands, their reaction was anger that the photographer might have trespassed in sensitive areas and they claimed that creeping sand dunes were making it hard to keep fences up. I’ve hiked that area for over 20 years, and I’ve never seen any effective effort to contain the cows.
Profitability apparently precludes maintenance and responsible farming. And how is it possible that administrators were unaware of failed septic systems on the ranches, one draining directly into a cow pond, or the garbage and machinery dumps in hidden ravines? On top of this outrageous neglect is credible evidence that the ranches cost the park at least a million dollars a year to maintain.
Then there are the tule elk. I consider them to be a distraction, even though they have brought a global spotlight to the environmental violations. It is simply two agencies pursuing contradictory goals without coordinating the inevitable results. The preservation side attempts to forestall the disaster of our impact on the land, while the ranching lobby exerts its will through the park administration. Without extreme culling practices, the elk will expand and conflict with cattle. Simple as that. They are inherently incompatible.
In another 10 or 20 years, I expect the ranches to be gone, or at least seriously cut back to sustainable but financially unviable levels. They just don’t make sense anymore. And no matter how soon they are shut down, it will take many decades of persistent work to restore the damaged land. I apologize to all those who have a stake in the ranches, but no one is owed a living. In America, we go out and find something that needs doing and we do it. But we must do it as responsibly as possible, tending the world for long-term abundance. That is true freedom.
In a small community like ours, respect for each other is what makes us who we are and life good. However much I disagree with others, I try to treat them with respect, and I hope for the same in return. If you are among those who like to imagine punching someone you disagree with, just ask yourself first: Who am I and who do I become if I start down that road? The essence of American democracy is the right to express an opinion in a peaceful society. "
Richard Vacha is a Point Reyes Station resident and the founder of the Point Reyes Tracking School.
The vast expanse of these ranches that have reduced a once biodiverse paradise into fields of death makes me wonder what a recovery program could do. Keep in mind I'm only driving by ONE of the massive ranches in this clip.
In Point Reyes, even those who fancy themselves to be wildlife advocates have drank too much rancher Joonaid over the decades. Those who have been indoctrinated with rancher lies will repeat the fable that ranchers were promised to be able to stay in the seashore. This is simply untrue as the video below details.
Gordon Bennett was pressured into silence from the ranching community back when he was actively reporting their violations. So what has caused him to suddenly become noisy again, but this time advocating for ranchers?
The announcement from the park service proposing to take down the elk fence has many people excited, but is it good news? Is it even a real possibility or just another way to distract citizens from continuing their pressure on the park service?
Filmmaker Skyler Thomas explains all the concerns associated with this announcement.
With admitted cynicism, there's a good chance the fence coming down means the elk will go from starving to death to being shot. In Point Reyes National Seashore, as long as the ranchers remain, the elk will always face different versions of death.
Re: NPS’s Water Quality Strategy; Agenda Item CD-0006-20 (NPS, Point Reyes
GMPA); Hearing on September 8, 2022
Dear California Coastal Commission:
I have a question for the California Coastal Commission. Why is there a sense that the ranchers (and park service staff) are owed another chance? Just answer that question. What is this foregone conclusion based on? It seems predetermined that we the public always owe ranchers, no matter what it is they have done and no matter how long they have been doing it.
Let’s be very clear about something. Over the last several decades as Point Reyes National Seashore made headlines for its water contamination, as ranching violations and shocking abuses to the land were revealed by citizens (not the park service) the ranchers themselves were NOT oblivious to these issues. These were not oversights. These were not accidents. On the contrary the ranchers were heavily engaged in their ongoing marketing campaign of being stewards of the land…small, local, organic, responsible, loyal, etc.
If any of those descriptive marketing words just mentioned in the paragraph above actually applied to the reality of these ranchers, then none of these violations would exist. Maybe some small issues here and there, but we are instead talking about violations that make one scratch their heads in disbelief. Responsible stewards would be out testing their own water and voluntarily contacting the CCC, Park Service, the county, etc. to find ways to make improvements rather than waiting to be shamed by citizens who took it on themselves to show the reality of the situation. No, these are instead people who chose the path of getting away with as much as they can as long as they can. This behavior is that of spoiled, entitled children who have never been spanked. The ranchers behave as though they operate with impunity, and with good reason, for indeed it seems that they do.
Reading historical documents over the last four years I noticed that the ranchers often refer to themselves as “loyal”. The “loyal dairy ranchers of Marin.” What does that mean, anyway, loyal? Loyal to who? These people engage in a for-profit business that hurts the land, water, plants, taxpayers, and animals all to put money in their own pockets. They are loyal to themselves and themselves alone.
We should be discussing reparations. We should be discussing how much money the ranchers will pay back to the citizens while they pack up and finally leave. We should be discussing how quickly they should be forced to exit to any of their multiple other ranches waiting for them outside the seashore. We should be discussing how much of the restoration process the ranchers will fit the bill for once nature finally has a chance to heal in their absence.
But instead we are discussing whether or not to put any limitations on their next reward. Yes, we continue to reward the spoiled child and, like a parent in denial, claim that things will get better. Or even worse, claim that nothing is wrong.
Perhaps worse than the ranchers themselves are those who supposedly manage the ranchers. Yes, for those who have forgotten, the ranchers are lessees under the management of lessers and the lessers are the Point Reyes National Seashore Park Service. In this case we can summarize “management” as turning a blind eye to violations while making excuses for the violators. The violations that are so egregious that they make the news are NOT the only violations. No, there is a seemingly bottomless pit of them as I have discovered by perusing documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act and there are numerous more waiting to be found although the park service is illegally refusing to release these. As for the violations that I have read, these appear to have all gone unpunished other than receiving a phone call.
I’d like to share one moment from my 2.5 hour phone interview with the Park Service's outreach coordinator, Melanie Gunn. After questioning Melanie about some of these violations (and she even volunteered to tell me about other ones) her response was, “You have to remember how long these people have been here and that they still think this is their land.” Tell me, whose job is it to make sure the lessee is aware that they are the lessee? Correct, that would be the manager. But this manager would rather make excuses for the tenant rather than evict the tenant. Heck, this manager won’t even make the tenant pay for punching holes in the wall of the rental unit.
As for the embarrassing excuse itself, are we really supposed to believe that after receiving a multi-million dollar payout and then signing new leases and operating permits each and every time these permits and leases need to be renewed, that these people actually think they still own the land? These same people who pay lobbyists to get their LEASES extend don’t know that they are lessees? How pathetic of an excuse is that? And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is the sort of excuse that the park service comes up with. Yes, the very people you are pretending we can trust to do better in future.
‘Better.’ What does that mean? Considering that the water quality is already the worst in the state we can only go up, right? Considering that everyone who has ever worked for the Department of the Interior in some capacity has looked at Point Reyes and said to me, “This is the most abused, mismanaged land I have ever seen,” I guess we can only go up. Hurray, how inspiring! The bar has been set so low by the ranchers and their buddies, the defunct Park Service, that it will actually be hard to do worse. So in a few years, if indeed any improvements do take place, perhaps this National Seashore will only be the second most polluted location on the west coast and only a few more threatened species will have disappeared. Let’s all cheer for the victory.
Put your fear of or loyalty to the ranchers aside for a moment and take a good look at who you are giving your blessing to.
While droves of wildlife die in horrific ways the park service constantly tells the public that they are actively monitoring the situation. The last several years are riddled with published quotes from the park service assuring the public how actively they monitor and manage Point Reyes. So if they already have been actively monitoring, on what grounds does the CCC, or anyone, think the park service can improve? They already claim to be putting in the work. Mind you, that every violation I read about in the FOIA papers was initially reported by a citizen. A birder, a hiker, etc. NOT the “actively monitoring park service”. Even the violations so terrible that you can read about them in the news weren’t found by the park service.
I’ve been documenting the damage caused by the ranchers and the suffering of the wildlife in Point Reyes National Seashore for the last four years. Never once have I encountered a park service staff member out in the field. Not once. Not even using my zoom lens to scan the horizon for anyone. Not once. Nor have any of my colleagues. How’s that even possible? One would think it must happen at least once, if not to me, then to someone else since the park service is out there actively monitoring. No, the park service staff only appear when it is time to police the citizens of the United States when those citizens have the gall to hold protests about what is taking place in the park that THEY own, not the ranchers.
So, CCC, somehow you expect the park service to do a better job even though they claim they have already been doing a great job. You expect the ranchers to do a better job even though they are currently hailed as “models for agriculture and nature coexisting.” Both parties involved already claim to be doing a great job, in fact, to hear their public comments, nothing is even wrong.
This blind hope that things will improve is a farce. The mindset that they deserve another chance to improve is a farce. Even giving this proposed plan a moment of consideration indicates that the CCC bows to the power of the ranchers and the politicians the ranchers control, the same way the park service does.
With that in mind let me share another moment from my conversation with Melanie Gunn. I said, “How can you expect the behavior to improve if you don’t ever hold them accountable?” She replied, “We have tried, but when we try to come down on the ranchers the politicians come down on us.”
And there you have it. The bottom line. This isn’t about whether or not the ranchers will improve or whether the park service will improve, this is about the fact that the ranchers, supposedly harmless little families, do in fact control politics. This isn’t about science. This isn’t about the water quality tests. This isn’t about conducting studies on native species populations. This isn’t about measuring residual dry matter on ranch land or making sure that more massive landfills aren’t dug in the future. This is about people who have too much power and have abused that power for too long. Please, CCC, be a source of inspiration for those still fighting the good fight. The evidence against the ranchers is overwhelming. The damage is overwhelming. The historical evidence that nothing will improve is overwhelming (and even if it did improve it would still be bad for the land and water and wildlife). You, CCC, can show the public that you care to restore health to the land of Point Reyes National Seashore simply by using the science and data in front of you to do what it is that data says you should do. Politicians and ranchers be damned, DO THE RIGHT THING!
#CCC #californiacoastalcommission #water #waterquality #pointreyes #ranchers #california #dairy #marincounty #pointreyesnationalseashore
Does it matter what his credentials are? Does it matter what the history books say? Does it matter what physical evidence is set before your eyes? Probably not if your morals are dictated by selfish gluttony. But here's the data for those willing to learn.
#dairy #ranching #regeneration #regenerativegrazing #ranchingmyths #juddhowell #drhowell #thecostofmeat #suffering #coexistence #watchinghumans #skylerthomas #thecoexistenceinitiative
Itâs strange to hear people state that Marinâs ranches should receive public funding because they are sustainable businesses worthy of saving. This always struck me as an oxymoron. Sustainable businesses shouldnât rely on outside funding.
In contrast to being self-sufficient, these ranches receive federal subsidies, state grants, state and federal bailouts, the use of incredible amounts of land, and grandfathered water rights for the land (which essentially means they get to use copious amounts of water for their businesses without paying for it while operating in a drought state). As if all that wasnât enough, these ranches also apparently need multi-million dollar conservation easements to help them keep operating (enter MALT and Measure A).
At what point do you finally realize you are using the definition of UNSUSTAINABLE to describe sustainable businesses?
If in fact these businesses are struggling I gotta ask, how many generations are required for these people to finally figure out a good business model? Why is it our responsibility to bail them out? What other businesses do you know like that?
The reality is that these businesses were never sustainable, but they had access to plentiful resources thus they could operate in an unsustainable manner and still be profitable. Mother earth has finally reached the point of not being able to handle the constant abuse and therefore these businesses need even more financial help (trucking in water, drought disaster relief, etc.). Maybe instead of continuing to spend tax dollars keeping businesses that hurt the planet going it's finally time to look at what should replace those ranches.
#sustainable #ranches #unsustainable #economicdrain #ranching #landabuse #cattle #animalagriculture #MALT #MeasureA #conservation #conservationeasement #ranching #marincounty #cattle #livestock
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