The superintendent was brought in specifically to kill native wildlife and promote ranching in the seashore.
Dave Press is an incompetent ecologist who spends most of his time tending to rancher affairs.
Melanie Gunn is the outreach coordinator far too comfortable telling lies to the public with out shame while defending the violations of the ranchers with every other breath she takes.
Nothing will change in Point Reyes until we the people force out the corruption. Let them know they are not welcome.
Sign the petition here.
Point Reyes National Seashore has been exposed for allowing water contamination to go on under their watch...AGAIN! Links provided below
âClick here to read the press release.
Click here to watch the short film.
Click below to download the water study pdf
Shortly after Trump Appointee Kenkel’s arrival at Point Reyes National Seashore came an unprecedented move by any National Park Unit; blasting their email list with an attempt to defend themselves against the truth. It’s a strange and embarrassing thing for a park to do, but even worse is that it was done because they couldn’t actually defend themselves using the truth. If the truth was on their side the news publication would have been forced to retract its statements. So, like Trump, instead of dealing with facts, the park turned to propaganda. Now they are the ones who will have to retract their statements.
Reality simply doesn’t seem to apply to this park service staff. Their own recently published EIS states that all new fencing and any replacement fencing will be wildlife friendly. Instead, one of the first moves by the park service was to install new, even taller, barbed wire fencing. As if that wasn’t bad enough last week new electric fencing was installed. Is electrocution friendly? Or maybe this is the park’s way of keeping visitors from walking onto pasture land even though visitors are allowed to do so. In fact, that’s one of the excuses used to justify the cut rate lease rates these welfare ranchers receive.
The park has always snubbed environmental regulations so as to keep in good standing with the ranchers operating in the park. Kenkel, who comes from a farming background, seems poised to finish the plan of turning Point Reyes into one big ranch, wildlife and citizens be damned. The park he was plucked from promoted ranching and actively killed NATIVE wildlife, matching perfectly with the PRNS’s plan.
It’s hard not to think back on Kevin Lunny, one of the worst lease violators in Point Reyes, meeting with Trump, the most environmentally unfriendly president ever, in the white house, mapping their vision for national parks when you see someone like Kenkel arrive.
All images taken in Point Reyes National Seashore by Skyler Thomas
I read two very different articles this week regarding grass fed beef; The first thoroughly debunked the glorification of “grass fed” as some sort of earth-friendly meat option . The other article discussed removing the cattle operations in Point Reyes. If you someone who currently enjoys eating meat and don’t want to give it up you’ll likely reject any data in article one regardless of merit, so let’s just skip to article two.
A location meant to serve as the poster child of “grass fed”, Point Reyes National Seashore instead provides a focal point for everything wrong with animal agriculture, even when it is "small, local, and organic". The damage, which is both scientifically and visually undeniable, has led to increasing public scrutiny as to why ranchers, paid millions for their land, continue to receive new leases within this national seashore. A few reader comments below the article expressed concern for where these grass fed operations would move to if they didn’t operate in the seashore. To me, this indicates that those with this concern are picturing the grass fed operations in Point Reyes as something they are not.
Look closely at the ground these cattle are "grazing" on
Erase the fantasy of cattle getting fat on grass and wildflowers. The bulk of the year the pastoral zone looks like brown, hammered shit, sometimes even resembling a demilitarized zone. The remaining portion of the year it improves to green, hammered shit. That last, and shortest portion of the year is the one from which the fantasy must be derived. Non-native, annual grasses are reseeded, plastered with manure, and grown briefly before the cattle hammer it back down to nothing. Sure, the cattle may roam the land, but much of that time they are walking on bare soil, manure, and a few species of noxious weeds that even the cattle don’t want. In these months the cattle are mostly fed at concentrated feeding areas with supplemental feed. This is the reality of ranching. This is the effect ranching has on native vegetation. This is the effect ranching has on habitat. This is why the cattle are often found outside their legal grazing boundaries, destroying what little native vegetation remains and polluting the water channels.
There are several lessons here:
What did it take to turn a perennial grassland into dirt as seen under the hooves of the cattle in these photos? Fertile soil and native vegetation reduced to sand!! The answer is generations of ranching and mismanagement. One might be tempted to blame the degradation on the high numbers of cattle in enclosed areas, which would be partially true, but keep in mind that these ranches are supposedly small operations. By that argument animal units at other operations only increase from here. Furthermore, the Tule elk are held in a reserve that is known to reach its carry capacity regularly, yet this area of the seashore looks like the garden of eden in comparison to ranch lands. If you want to blame the condition of the pastures on enclosure then how do you explain the far superior habitat of the elk reserve? One would expect animals that reached the carry capacity of their habitat to decimate the land and eat everything in sight in their struggle to survive. The elk reserve once again provided proof that native ungulates are vastly different than introduced livestock.
Last week Point Reyes National Seashore used its email subscription list to send out a feeble and embarrassing attempt to defend themselves from the growing exposure of mismanaging the park. For this blog I'm only only going to focus on one of those points of contention because there is simply too much to cover (stay tuned for the rest). Point 4 in the email contested that the park service never admitted to hundreds of elk perishing of thirst during a major drought.
It's true. The Park Service did not directly say that the elk died of thirst. Instead they provided a strange and confusing combination of quotes that said just about everything except the exact words, âthe elk died of thirst.â
Here are a few example quotes from 2015 articles regarding the last die-off.
"We observed the ponds had gone dry. We are looking into options for carting water in, making sure there is water out there."
"It's reasonable to conclude that the drought conditions, the lack of water, the lack of available forage played a role in the the decline."
"There were no outward signs that something significant was happening that needed to be jumped on."
"The decline was drought related but the mechanism is not known."
Well, that is about as clear as the mud the elk were left trying to drink from. But hey, they are right, they did not ever actually say the elk died of thirst. Well done, park service!
While the park service plays games of exact wording what the public should be aware of is that while they may not have said certain words they repeatedly admitted to knowingly allowing wildlife to die while doing nothing about it.
âUnfortunately, that continues today. â
But while the park service hasn't change since the last die-off the public's awareness of the situation has. Previously, citizens and conservation groups who raised concern on this issue were pacified by the park by telling these people that the park was looking into a plan to bring in water. For example, the group WildCare, who at the time was very vocal about the issue, left the situation satisfied while offering this statement,
âThe park intends to provide supplemental water if needed. They are working on a plan. We are happy with that."
As we know now no action was taken and 50% of the herd perished. Those who are paying close attention also realize that nothing was ever going to happen. This time around people were paying more attention, myself included, and I began to see disturbing similarities between past and present. Many of the statements the Park Service was issuing over the summer and fall of 2020 seemed to be a regurgitation of the same statements as last time.
Before I reveal the upsetting details of present day, let's revisit details of the previous elk die off.
It should be noted that while the Park Service maintained that the elk in the reserve were not dying because of thirst during the drought the elk outside the reserve did not suffer a similar die-off. Nor did any of the cattle on the ranchers operating in the seashore (except, of course, the ones that were intentionally killed at slaughter or the baby male dairy calves that are disposed of shortly after birth).
Despite no animals dying outside the reserve during the drought this still leaves open the possibility that the elk in the reserve died of something other than thirst, such as malnutrition or some other deficiency due to being forced to live within a limited, enclosed area (Side note - poor forage quality is also a consequence of lack of water so really we are splitting hairs on that one). Still, to deny lack of water as a cause of death is awfully convenient considering the deaths happened when the water was all but gone and not at any other time.
Consider the numbers; 254 elk died, approximately 50% of the total herd. That's not a gradual shift in population. That's an extreme drop off in a relatively short period of time. And yet the park service was quoted as saying there were no outward signs of a problem that needed to be addressed while simultaneously claiming they were watching the situation closely. Iâm not sure itâs possible to monitor a situation closely while not noticing a 50% decline of an enclosed herd. Itâs not like these animals are ranging over a massive territory that canât be monitored, in fact thatâs part of the problem, the area is too small. Iâll add that myself and others I've worked with on this project have NEVER run into or spotted a ranger or a docent a single time that Iâve been out monitoring the elk.
While citizens and park staff debated whether the elk had enough water it seemed that most people were missing the bigger picture. Whether the elk were dying of malnutrition, mineral deficiencies, lack of forage, lack of water, or any other reason, the bottom line was that they were dying and the park was busier making excuses than looking into what exactly was wrong or how to help.
But was there ANY scenario in which the park would help?
On that note we must discuss the Tule elk management plan. If we go back to published statements made by the park service staff during the previous die-off in some interviews they stated that they were looking into options for bringing in water, but they also referenced the management plan, stating they were bound by the âhands-offâ policy of letting nature take its course. In other words, they would be interfering with natural processes if they helped the elk thus they were not allowed to help.
So the reality is that the park service staff were never going to help the elk regardless of what evidence was provided. It didnât matter if it was a copper deficiency, lack of forage, or lack of water, or whatever. The overarching policy was to not help the animals, so why the cat and mouse game? Why tell groups like Wildcard that they were looking into options for bringing in water? Fast forward to 2020, another record setting year of heat, drought conditions and fires. Animals across the state were suffering intensely, even the typically cool, foggy coast of Point Reyes couldn't escape the heat. When the ponds went dry and citizens began finding carcasses the public once again raised their concerns. And the Park Service once again pointed to any issue except the lack of water. â
But alas, thatâs not the point I wanted to make. My point is that if the elk management plan was preventing the park from helping the elk, then why the song and dance about what the actual cause of death was? Nature lovers were out chasing their tails trying to figure out how to convince the park service that the elk needed help when the reality is there was never any hope. Why not just say so? I even had a phone conversation with the park service about this; while we were discussing necropsy results, malnutrition, and other elk theories I said, "But if I understand correctly your elk management plan prevents you from helping the elk regardless, correct?" She said, "Exactly." So I said, "Why not cut to the chase and tell the public they have to deal with the fact that the park wasn't going to help so both parties could move on?" No answer. Well, I have my own theory. Saying, "It is our plan to allow the elk to die" doesn't exactly have a great PR ring to it, does it?
I guess thatâs why we once again started hearing about contingency plans to bring in water.
The park was receiving so much pressure from the public that the park created a page on its website dedicated to this issue hoping to alleviate concerns about the lack of water. It included a FAQ and a map showing available water sources within the elk reserve. Missing from that page or anywhere else on the website was a contingency plan.
During the same phone call mentioned above, the outreach coordinator for PRNS again stated that a contingency plan was in place. So I asked to see a copy of it at which point she changed her statement from the plan âbeing in placeâ to âworking on a planâ. Hmmm. That's interesting. Being in place and being in the works arenât the same, They arenât even similar. And I have, in writing, multiple email conversations the park service had with members of the public telling these people that a plan was already in place. Not being worked on, but already in place. Some of these conversations took place months before my phone call in which it was admitted the plan did not yet actually exist.
What do you call that if not public deception? Also, bear in mind that during the same conversation she had already agreed that no contingency plan (even if it did exist) would be acted on due to the constraints of the elk management plan.
Shortly after this the Park Service updated their water sources page to include a sentence regarding a contingency plan. That was the best we ever got. A one sentence plan. A sentence that came after the fact of being caught not having a plan. A plan stating the park would bring in water troughs IF they deemed it necessary. Thatâs not a plan, thatâs a sentence. A very vague sentence. No science. No specifics as to what exactly determines necessity. Just more lip service. Recall that a supposed contingency plan had been mentioned in interviews from 2015 so the deception of using a non existent plan goes back several years.
Speaking of science, there are some major flaws with this management plan. It seems rather unfair to speak of allowing natural processes to take place while animals are unnaturally confined to a relatively small area. Thatâs like a zoo with a policy that when the zoo runs out of food to give the animals that itâs OK to let the prisoners starve to death.
The park has referred to the elk exceeding their carry capacity in the reserve as a justification for letting the elk die, but how many people are aware the Tule elk management plan was written with full knowledge that the elk would routinely reach this carry capacity and suffer die-offs? Morally, I find this upsetting. These arenât animals that just magically disappear when carry capacity is reached, every one of them dies a slow, agonizing death. This isnât a survival of the fittest scenario, this is a case where animals donât even have a fighting chance to improve their situation but are instead doomed by human policy and a giant fence standing between themselves and hope. But morality aside, the management plan is badly flawed scientifically as well, perhaps spelling ultimate doom for this population thanks to human-caused genetic bottlenecking. Letâs look at the Tule elk timeline.
The hands-off policy may sound like a noble attempt to not interfere with nature to some, but contradicting this hands-off management policy I learned of a few examples of hands-on management. After interviewing Dr. Judd Howell, who worked on a study of these very elk for the park service, I learned that contraception was used as a way to keep this elk population down. That seems pretty hands on. In more recent history, the park published a statement that they attempted to rescue an elk from a mud hole in the reserve. That seems pretty hands on. By the way, âmud holeâ is an actual quote. Those are the words used by the Park Service to describe a location that they also had referred to as an adequate water source. I didnât even have to say this for them! Oops. This âmud holeâ, as the park called it, is marked on the map with a big, blue, refreshing-looking dot. â
Which brings us back to my effort to document these water sources. If the average person were to accept the map at face value, indeed it would appear that the reserve is full of plentiful water sources. That worked on quite a few people. Some even wrote to me asking me if Iâd seen the water map since I was âso stupid as to claim there might not be adequate waterâ. On the other hand the park service responded to some citizens who wrote in with concerns stating that the ponds shouldnât be considered an indicator of water availability in the park. To that statement I present a question. If you include the stock ponds on a map titled âavailable water sourcesâ are you not indicating to whomever looks at that map that the ponds ARE water sources, especially when they are marked in blue?â
Let me quickly tell you about some of those water sources, including seeps, springs, and ponds..
One of the first spots investigated was nothing but mud, algae, and elk corpses. Yes, a water source full of elk corpses. Another one makes as available was actually on the ranch side of the fence, of reach of the elk. The next spot was supposed to have flowing water, but instead we found a few puddles covered with some sort of orange film. And so it continued. Often we looked at each other wondering how desperate an animal would have to be to drink from water sources that were disgusting, yet the park service insisted the elk had âplenty of waterâ. Those are the actual words used by the park service so letâs look at what âplentyâ means. Dave Press stated that these were wild animals, adapted to the land that knew how to survive. Thatâs not the impression I got looking at two adult Tule elk rotting in a mud pit. Personally, I donât think thatâs the choice a âwell-adapted wild animal would make if there was plenty of water available elsewhere.
Furthermore, this is the same mud pit the park service attempted to rescue yet another elk from after local wildlife photographer, Matthew Polvorosa Kline and I had documented the other two corpses. Imagine the desperation level of an animal that tries to reach the center of a mud pit that already has two of its own kind rotting in it in the hopes there might still be some sort of moisture.
As we continued to document the water situation one day Matthew and I just stood staring at yet another handful of tiny, disgusting mud puddles where water was supposed to be âflowingâ We contemplated whether there was even enough water in all the puddles to fill a single bucket. âWho is this enough water for?â, said Matt. The two of us were already struggling under the heat of the sun and sympathized with mammals much larger than ourselves that had to deal with these conditions around the clock rather than just for a few hours like ourselves. I donât think there was enough water there for the two of us, much less hundreds of 500 pound elk. Of course if we were compelled to drink the water we would have gotten sick. This filth was something only an animal in dire need would drink from. What consequences came from drinking such foul water, even for wild animals? Certainly there had to be downsides of obtaining moisture this way rather than from a clean water source. The park service stated that a necropsy showed the elk they examined suffered from an unidentified systemic infection. Can a systemic infection not be water-borne? Isn't it highly likely? Was I over sympathizing with wildlife? Not according to Julie Phillips, a Tule elk biologist who tracked and studied these animals for 30 years. âIn all that time I donât recall seeing an elk ever drink from a mudâ.
What does the park service have to say about this, they have some scientific basis to contend with scientists such as Judd and Julie, right? In fact it was Judd Howell who suggested that I ask where the peer-reviewed papers were. Where was the science to back up their statements? Where were the studies? Without any of this the park is simply stating opinions. So I askedâ¦
"Plenty of Water"
In my phone conversation with Melanie Gunn she criticized the citizens who attempted to bring in water for the elk saying, âYou canât just do that, thereâs a lot of biology involved here.â I responded, âSpeaking of biology, can you tell me about some of the studies the park has conducted on this topic since the last drought? Or any current and ongoing studies of the elk?â She conceded she wasnât aware of any.
Nevertheless the park is comfortable telling the public the elk have "plenty of water". So via email I asked, âHow much water does an adult Tule elk require?â They didnât have an answer.
Let that sink in. This is the only National Park with Tule elk. These people have a rare, endemic species at their fingertips. If anyone should be an authority on this topic it should be the park service. But no. No data. Not even following the previous disastrous drought. At that time Dave Press had been quoted that the die-off was a good research opportunity and that they would have their ears to the ground more now. Instead, nothing. I would think one would have to know what plenty of water actually means before confidently telling the public there was plenty of water.
But cattle, thatâs a different story. We certainly know how much water they need, donât we? 30 gallons a day! Some estimates say up to 50 gallons a day in high heat conditions. So during this heat wave, while Tule elk died trying to find water in mud pits, on the other side of the fence the cattle were enjoying access to multiple ponds, all still full of water, the smallest of which was much larger than the only remaining, disgusting pond in the entire elk reserve. But not only that, troughs and other watering stations could be seen scattered across all the pastures, providing the cattle access to even more water. Adding insult to injury the park even allowed the ranchers to begin pumping water out of natural water sources such as Kehoe Creek and Abbottâs Lagoon. It was unbelievable to witness a park callously claim that the wildlife had plenty yet conditions were extreme enough that the ranchers were allowed to take even more water from that habitat for themselves.
I guess the park didnât have time to study the elk while they were busy writing permits that tried to give scientific backing to claims that adding another poop holding pond to a ranch wouldnât negatively affect the environment. â
A Few Last Details...
I feel I would be remiss not to mention a few more things. A citizen shared an ongoing conversation with the parkâs outreach coordinator, Melanie Gunn. The citizen had been watching my videos about the elk and wasnât convinced by parkâs assurance that the elk had water. Eventually Melanie told the citizen that park staff had just been out monitoring the water locations and had updated the water map accordingly. Except there was no new water map. The citizen tried to explain that it was the old map, but Melanie argued it wasnât, going so far as to say, âStaff were in the field last week confirming these water sources and the map was updated accordingly.â Thatâs pretty specific, to attach the action of updating a map along with the event of staff being in the field confirming the water sources. The reality was the map hadnât been updated and it wasnât until the citizen said to provide a copy of the new map along with the old one that Melanie conceded it was the same map. Sure, that could be chalked up to just a mistake, but it was a pretty specific statement. If the citizen hadnât known better wouldnât this have been just another example of pacifying the public.
Then there were the necropsies...or maybe there werenât. In September ABC Channel 7 was in the park investigating the Tule elk story when park ranger Christine Beekman stated that two necropsies had been performed showing that the elk had died of malnutrition, not dehydration. She also told this to Lisa Levinson of In Defense of Animals. However, when Dawn Rogers of Ranch Compassion asked for the necropsy results Dave Press told her that no necropsies had been done and that they donât generally do necropsies. Yet on the phone Melanie told me about another elk found later in September that they did perform a necropsy on with the help of California Fish and Wildlife. She went on to tell me they perform a necropsy every chance they get, but itâs difficult to get to the body in time. By my count there is one necropsy, the one Melanie told me about on the phone. The conclusion was that the elk suffered from malnutrition. What do you know?! The result was the same as the result that had been given for the other necropsies...you know, the ones that didnât exist. Further complicating the necropsy issue is another email exchange with a citizen asking about the necropsies. The request begins in November to which Melanie replies they are working on getting the information. Come December the citizen asks again and Melanie delays again, but she refers to the multiple necropsies. To date the citizen has not received the requested information, but I am left with new questions. How many necroposies were there total. And how did the park make a publicly declared determination of malnutrition if they are still gathering the information?
I suppose you could chalk all this up to mistakes...again.. Very, specific mistakes that sure seem to happen a lot with this park service.
#pointreyes #pointreyesnationalseashore #tuleelk #deception #droght #thirst
Two things happened around the same time a few months ago; Melanie Gunn stated that they would kill the elk no matter what and Craig Kenkel was named as the new Point Reyes Superintendent. Kenkel comes from a park that promotes farming while actively killing native wildlife, both within the park’s boundaries. Point Reyes promotes ranching and seeks to kill native wildlife. Seems like a perfect fit to carry out their pro-ranching, anti-wildlife agenda.
So back to Gunn, who makes a living defending ranching in the seashore. In a phone call she stated that even if the elk fence came down and even if the ranchers were gone they would have to kill the elk anyway because they couldn’t be allowed to populate to such an extent that they might expand beyond the seashore’s boundaries. Why? Because there was nothing to control their population. Personally, I already find it sad, disturbing even, that our park service would argue to prevent life for fear of life actually succeeding someday. Maybe one day years from now, in the fantasy situation of new ranchers being in the seashore, the elk population might get large enough that a solution needs to be found...well, wouldn’t it be nice if we had a park staff that spent those years seeking a solution rather than adopting a policy of killing wildlife now so we don’t even have to think about future management?
This leads to the other issue I have with what she said, and by the way, if you are having a hard time believing she said what she said (as I did often times during the phone call) she repeated it in an email, so it's in writing as well. Anyway, her justification of not letting the elk population go unculled is because there’s nothing to manage their populations if that happened. Mind you, this is in a seashore that tolerates around 5,000 massive cattle, but let’s be sure not to see what happens with 5,000 elk. Well, there will never be a shortage of humans chomping at the bit for an excuse to kill animals so of course, there would be an option, in fact the Tule elk populations outside the seashore are hunted now. Yes. But what this is really referring to is the lack of native predators to naturally manage the elk population. Now, why do you think we have a shortage of native predators. The answer is in two parts, with one underlying theme; animal agriculture. There is the killing of wildlife by ranchers themselves and there’s killing of wildlife by Wildlife Services, a government organization under the department of agriculture that kills millions of wild animals every year, mostly for the sake of agriculture.
Now remind me, who is calling for elk to be killed in the seashore? The ranchers. Why can’t elk live outside the seashore? Ranchers.
Enter the new superintendent Craig Kenkel, who comes from a park in Iowa that was actively killing native deer with the help of none other than the aforementioned Wildlife Services while simultaneously promoting farming, both within the park’s boundaries. Hmmm, Point Reyes is promoting ranching and proposing to kill wildlife and their new superintendent comes from a place that promotes farming and kills wildlife. What a convenient fit. Note, these were native deer, not invasive deer. I’m sure there are many of you obediently repeating the popular excuse of “The population needed to be controlled,” or “they were pests”, but again, this is happening in a place that simultaneously promoted livestock in the same park. Again, we have a situation where a national park isn’t pursuing the reintroduction of threatened species of native predator that desperately needs habitat, nooo we’re just gonna shoot the deer ourselves and promote agriculture in a park.
4% of mammal biomass on the planet consists of wild animals while 60% is domestic livestock. The rest is us. There’s no room to claim we need to kill wild animals and promote agricultural animals ANYWHERE, much less a national park.
I wonder if Kenkel will get to stay in Point Reyes for 25 years like John Sansing, the last rancher / superintendent responsible for shifting park management away from wildlife preservation and extending rancher leases. In case you didn’t know, park superintendents are supposed to shift locations regularly to avoid local influence, but Sansing didn’t want to leave and the ranchers didn’t want him to leave so he didn’t right up to his retirement.
Kenkel grew up on a farm and in the Point Reyes Light article interview he stated “farming is in my DNA”. Well, that’s great news, if Point Reyes National Seashore was a farm. Working a farm and preserving the wild are not the same. In fact they are the opposite. Despite the efforts of the ranching community in Marin to promote ranching as being harmonious with nature, the reality is that it is a direct competition with nature….the fact that the iconic and beloved Tule Elk are going to be killed for no other reason than to satisfy the demands of ranchers should be all the proof you need.
Let me read one of the article headlines about Kenkel’s last park. “National Park Land Up for Grabs for Those Willing to Farm It”. How nice. A little background comes along with that. - obviously this is an older article, but I quote, “President Donald Trump has proposed nearly $500 million in budget cuts to national parks in 2020. But more than $11 billion in repairs or maintenance across the system have already been postponed for more than a year because of budget constraints.”
But this is being stated as a reason for why we need farming.
“Leasing the land to farmers could potentially address some of those needs”.
That’s like having someone chop off your legs, the ‘you’ in this case being nature, then having that same person offer for you to lease a pair of crappy, duck-taped crutches to solve the problem of no longer having legs...and you are supposed to thank that person responsible for you being without legs in the first place.
Back to Point Reyes. I had just finished a multi day hike in the Limantour area of Point Reyes National Seashore and was uplifted by the experience of wandering through the land witnessing Tule elk and other animals utilizing a variation in habitats, unlike Tomales Point, which is pretty much all the same. My friend compared it to being on a Safari...we felt alone in a peaceful realm while being privileged enough to witness magnificent creatures among us. At the same time I thought how sad it was that we were so excited to see a handful of animals. There should have been animals everywhere. This is where we are as a society, where we can drive for hours through California and never once see a wild animal on the hills adjacent to the highways while not thinking anything of it. Absence of biodiversity is normal. Presence of livestock is normal.
A large number of people watching this are calling me crazy, or a hippie, or something. We can’t just have wild animals running around! We can’t have wolves and mountain lions! What would happen! These are the words of the ignorant masses detached from nature. The people who need to be educated and taught to have a greater appreciation and understanding of earth’s inhabitants. But they shouldn’t be the words of the park service, charged with preserving and protecting what little of the wild we have left. We need a park service attempting to bridge that gap, not a park service increasing the gap.
#shameofpointreyes #pointreyes #melaniegunn #craigkenkel #pointreyesnationalseashore #elk #deathofaseashore
A new series that gives you a quick rundown on issues regarding Point Reyes National Seashore. Watch each episode at this link
Corpses, barbed wire, abandoned fencing. What the Actual F$%@!?
The latest episode of the Adequate Water Series is here
Continuing from the last episode of the adequate water series we expand on the theme that blocking access to water is only one of the problems fencing poses to wildlife.
And we see an increasing amount of evidence that the park service manages the park in a neglectful and even embarrassing manner.
The entire series can be watched here
#pointreyes #pointreyesnationalseashore #melaniegunn #nationalseashore #embarrassing #nationalparks #neglect #morality #ethics #fencing #tulelek #fencehazard #wildlife #animals #elk #endangered #nationalpark #california #sf #bayarea #bayareawildlife #californiawildlife
Sadly, the lack of water in the elk reserve wasn't the only obstacle to discover facing the elk and other wildlife suffering under the current park management. And sadly, this is only part 1. . #pointreyes #fencing #barbedwire
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