Wailing Wall for Fallow Deer, Point Reyes Station, CA
Community Members Express Outrage at National Park Service Program
April 18, 2008
On Friday April 11, a 'Wailing Wall' was created on the historic Grandi building
in Point Reyes Station, to protest the National Park Service's program to exterminate
the Fallow and Axis Deer herds from the Point Reyes National Seashore. The NPS
labels the deer 'non-native' yet they have been naturalized in the area for almost
a century. The deer have lived in the Point Reyes and Olema Valley area long before
the Point Reyes National Seashore was established, and have been loved by both
visitors and residents alike for decades.
Over the last 3 years, thousands of people have expressed their outrage through
multiple venues including petitions, newspaper polls, letters to the editor,
articles, photo-journals, as well as letters and calls to our elected officials and
the National Park Service. Despite the resounding outcry, the NPS has pushed this
program through with military-like force.
80% of the people polled by the Marin IJ newspaper voted against this program.
The public was told by the NPS that the extermination program would be carried out
over the next 15 years and include non-lethal management and opportunities for
public discussion along the way. Instead, within the last 6 months, most of the deer
have been killed by the NPS and their hired contractor White Buffalo, Inc. Violence
and brutality is their method and use of helicopters, radio tracking collars,
baiting, nets, high-powered weapons, beating, stabbing and plastic bag suffocation
is the means.
Out of an estimated population of 1100 Fallow (a.k.a. 'White') Deer said to be
present in the park (an average of 1 deer per 30 acres), 800 to 900 of these have
been killed. The entire Axis Deer herd of 250 have already been slaughtered
as well. A small herd of Fallow deer are living on the private property of the
Vedanta Retreat in Olema. The deer at the retreat are very vulnerable to being
killed as the NPS and Anthony DeNicola of White Buffalo, Inc. have had access there
to collar and track the deer for their experimental contraception program.
Viewing this 'Wailing Wall' gives one a sense of the abuses that have been
inflicted upon the innocent animals as well as upon the people in the greater
community through the violence of this program. The wall demonstrates the
frustration of the people brought on by not being heard and by the Park Service's
unwillingness to alter its ill-conceived program that has been cloaked in secrecy
and falsified 'science'. It is clear that the majority voice of the citizens has
been against this program and has wanted the lives of these magnificent animals
to be protected.
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