By John Ramos
For several years during the drought, environmentalists criticized the National Park service for its management of a Tule Elk reserve at Tomales Point in western Marin County. But recently, a change was announced to the management plan that has the entire region up in arms.
On June 9th, the National Park Service sent out a press release that shocked everyone in the fight over the Tule Elk Reserve at Tomales Point, announcing a proposed change to the general plan: “The proposed action would include removal of the tule elk fence and temporary water systems installed during the most recent drought.” It seems no one on either side saw that coming.
“Sudden announcement, blindsided all of us–delightfully so–that the Park Service is proposing finally removing this fence. Out of the blue…had no idea that was coming,” said Jack Gescheidt, an elk activist and consultant for In Defense of Animals.
During the drought, roughly a third of the elk in the reserve died from thirst or deprivation. Activists, including Gescheidt, demanded the fence be removed to allow the elk to roam freely into the pasture lands of the adjacent cattle ranches.
“Hundreds of elk have died inside this so-called ‘reserve,'” he said, “It’s a reserve that is actually lethal to elk contained within it when it’s hot and dry, which it increasingly is because of climate crisis.”