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.