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Walk For Point Reyes Deer

Citizen Call to Action | July 25, 2008

To the Editor:

Residents of the Bay Area and especially West Marin led the drive to create the Point Reyes National Seashore. For 30 years, a citizens advisory commission nominated by local governments and appointed by the Secretary of the Interior provided a valuable liaison between the public and the Park Service.

However, the commission needed reauthorization in 2002, and both the bush Administration and the National Seashore administration saw a chance to get the public out of their hair.

Three years ago, the commission had worked out a management policy for the park's axis and fallow deer, setting a quota of 350 animals apiece. Having gotten rid of the commission, the park now wants to get rid of the deer too and has already shot about 80 percent of them.

In May, five Bay Area members of Congress, as well as California's lieutenant governor, called on the Park Service to come up with a better way of limiting herd sizes, such as using contraception. The Humane Society of the US provided a cogent argument for taking a more-humane approach to wildlife management and offered to help implement it, but the park dismissed it.

To show Congress and the Park Service we stand together in support of the deer, there will be a peaceful, quarter-mile walk at 1 p.m. Sunday, July 27, from Sacred Heart Church down Bear Valley Road. Please join us.

Kathy Runnion, Nicasio
Christine DeCamp, Point Reyes

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