I was asked by people in the crowd for a copy of my speech so I uploaded it here.
Phots by Derek Clary
It’s hard to believe it was the summer of 2018 that I began documenting issues in Point Reyes National Seashore…four summers ago.
And it’s hard to believe that those four years have been filled with the discovery of even more shocking and disturbing information.
And I’ve got to say that I am tired...
I’m tired of not even wanting to enter what was once a favorite place to visit because my awakened eyes tell me a depressing story, not an inspiring one. I know too well the extent of suffering taking place.
I’m tired of Park Service staff that sound more like the politicians and lobbyists hired to amend the park’s legislation rather than sounding like wildlife ecologists.
I’m tired of looking out over the pastoral wasteland where once an incredibly biodiverse habitat stood while hearing from the Marin conservation league that it is a marriage of wildlife and agriculture.
Yes, a marriage where one spouse is bulldozed and shot by the other spouse.
I’m tired of hearing the story of small struggling ranch families when in reality over 80% of the ranches on the Point Reyes National Seashore are leased to FOUR families, whose collective land holdings in Marin County total over 24,000 ACRES.
I’m tired of hearing about multi generational families and how important the land is to these so-called stewards while we simultaneously ignore 10,000 years of a culture whose people actually did live with the land for millennia rather than bringing it to its knees in only a couple hundred years.
I’m tired of ‘historical’ meaning a stubborn dedication to a hand-selected, relatively brief, and very destructive period in history. We stay cemented in a past that dooms us rather than evolving, adjusting and doing what is best for the future.
I’m tired of hearing about the economic importance of the ranches even as more state and federal funds are shelled out just to keep the dying industries alive. In the meantime, the preserved portions of the park, the intrinsic value of nature, which costs us nothing, brings in economic spending that dwarfs that of the ranches.
I’m tired of the self-declared most intelligent species on the planet declaring that another mammal species does not need his or her mother after birth for no reason other than economics; an industry that can only exist by stealing pregnancy lactations from a childless mother.
I’m tired of seeing “conserve water” signs in communities that are blindly dedicated to what is about the most intensely water demanding industry you could think of. Take down your signs, Inverness and Point Reyes Station.
I’m tired of the word sustainable being used to describe something shockingly unsustainable.
And I’m tired of locals being intimidated into silence. It is time to rise up. Because the California Coastal Commission isn’t going to do the right thing. The Marin County Board of Supervisors won’t do the right thing. The Marin Conservation League and other so-called conservation groups (consisting of and influenced by ranchers) are not going to do the right thing. Politicians will not do the right thing and a Park Service that ignores its own environmental impact studies, will not do the right thing.
Until we stop letting them off the hook.
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