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Individual's Letter to the Sierra Club

Don Foreman Editor,

Here's why I, for one, didn't renew my membership in the Sierra Club this year.

Without determining how the membership feels, our club's leadership has endorsed the National Park Service's plans to completely exterminate the 850 Fallow and 350 Axis Deer from the Point Reyes National Seashore because they are "not natives".

After being here for over a half century, these beautiful animals have become a fully naturalized part of this park's ecosystem. At present population levels they present no measurable threat to the environment or any other species. But as with the native blacktail deer, if these animals ever do become so populous that their numbers need controlling, the herds should be managed, not exterminated. Modern dart-gun administered contraceptive techniques are but one of the tools available for this purpose.

We cannot return to some pre-columbian Garden of Eden. This "natives only" mentality is a bit of bureaucratic ideology that makes no sense at all; particularly for public lands near civilization. Wild mustangs, honey bees, cows and Sierra Club back-packers are also not native to this part of the world, but they are with us whether we like it or not.

Richard Kirschman
Dogtown, California

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