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Letter from a Point Reyes National Seashore Visitor

by Ritchie Laymon | August 10, 2007

Just got back from my family reunion in Point Reyes. Even though I told the Audubon Society we were changing location to another California camp-area in protest, we actually stayed in Olema in cabins owned by a friend of the family who is opposed to the fallow/axis-deer slaying.

It appears that most of the residents in this area are in the dark about what's happening. I stopped in at the Visitors Information Center for Point Reyes National Seashore Park and they refused to discuss the matter with me. But they did give me the following wildlife officer to contact, John Dell'Osso.

Unfortunately, my cell phone could not be used in the park because there are no transmission towers. I did call him from various land lines, hoping to find him at his desk, but always got his answering machine. I left messages about my concerns, and expressly mentioned that cattle ranches are positioned all over Point Reyes National Park. Cattle? Native species? What kind of hypocrisy is that?

On one of our ten-mile hikes, I ran into summer workers who were cleaning brush from the trail. The first set we saw said they had not received any notification of the shoot, although they knew it was causing quite a stir in town. In the second set, one of the workers said they had already done some shooting---three deer at a time---but stopped because of the public outcry.

They have reintroduced a certain breed of elk (picture attached) which we encountered at the top of a hill. What happens if they successfully reproduce and start wandering onto the cattle ranches? DeNicola will no doubt be called in to bring their numbers down.

Point Reyes, by the way, is spectacularly beautiful with dozens and dozens of great trails. It's an outrage that this majestic site will be turned into a one-way war zone.

Ritchie Laymon

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