Laws & Policies

On this page, you will find the legislation establishing Point Reyes National Seashore and designating Wilderness within the National Seashore, along with documents detailing the Rules and Regulations for the National Seashore. Check out our Park Regulations page in the Plan Your Visit section for an overview of the rules that apply to most visitor activities.


Current Temporary Closures

Point Reyes Beach Temporary Beach Closure - August 1, 2015, through August 2, 2015
A temporary closure of the beach area between the North Beach parking lot and the mouth of Abbotts Lagoon will be in effect to better ensure the survival of federally-threatened western snowy plover nests and chicks within this area during the busy weekend. All public use shall be prohibited. Reproductive monitoring of western snowy plovers at Point Reyes has previously demonstrated that chick mortality is higher on weekend days than weekdays. Disturbance by park visitors in plover breeding areas can separate chicks from the adults, and the chicks may then not be able to forage efficiently, thermoregulate properly, and hide from predators. In 2013, for example, of the 11 newly hatched chicks in the proposed closure area, only 3 survived past the July 4 weekend. At this point of the 2015 breeding season, few chicks have survived to fledging age and additional protection measures are needed to assist in chick survival and the persistence of the Point Reyes western snowy plover population.
Determination of Temporary Beach Closure - signed on July 29, 2015 (24 KB PDF)
Map of Temporary Closure (289 KB PDF)

Woodpecker Trail Closure - From July 14, 2015, until further notice
A temporary closure of the Woodpecker Trail is in effect until further notice in order to complete necessary hazard tree(s) mitigation and potential trail re-route to maintain public health and safety. Due to the presence of these hazardous conditions, use of the trail by anyone is not safe until these hazards are mitigated.
Determination of Temporary Trail Closure - July 14, 2015 (28 KB PDF)

Point Reyes Beach Temporary Pet Restriction - June 4, 2015, through September 30, 2015
A temporary closure of the beach area between 1 mile south of the North Beach parking lot and 0.5 mile north of the South Beach parking lot is in effect to ensure the survival of a federally-threatened western snowy plover nest that is located between North Beach parking lot and South Beach parking lot. All visitors with pets will be restricted from entering the temporary no pet access area from Thursday, June 4th through Wednesday, September 30. Pet restrictions around western snowy plover breeding beaches at Point Reyes are a current practice. Pets add additional disturbance to the plovers due to the similarities pets have with natural predators. Disturbance by pets can lead to nest abandonment, nest failure, adult fatigue, decreased adult fitness, and chick fatality. Pets are normally allowed on the entire beach between North Beach parking lot and South Beach parking lot due to lack of plover nesting activity in the area since 1995, but the recent discovery of a nest in 2015 necessitates the temporary pet restriction action. Now that a nest is present a reduction in pet access needs to be implemented.
Determination of Temporary Pet Restriction - June 4, 2015 (29 KB PDF)
Map of Temporary Closure (267 KB PDF)

The Determinations of Temporary Closures Archive page contains information about temporary closures that are no longer in effect.



Marine Protected Areas are marine or estuarine areas set aside to protect or conserve marine life and habitat. Marine protected areas in the waters adjacent to Point Reyes National Seashore went into effect on May 1, 2010. Visit our Marine Life Protection Act page for more information.


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