Open Letter to the Community
Contact: Don Neubacher, 415-464-5101
Contact: John Dell'Osso, 415-464-5135
The recent incident on July 28, 2004 on Highway One involving National Seashore rangers has been extensively covered by the media and has caused understandable concern among the community members. Because of this concern, we want to provide you an update on the process of completing a review of the incident. We also want to state that we always strive to have a positive relationship with the local communities that we care deeply about and regret the incident occurred.
If you have concerns that you want to share with us, please contact me at 415-464-5101 or John Dell’Osso at 415-464-5135. Many of you have already done so and we want to continue to encourage you to ask any questions that you might have. We feel this is the best way to clearly hear any concerns you have.
Based on the park’s request, a thorough investigation was initiated and is now underway by the Washington Office Investigation Branch of the National Park Service. They are undertaking a deliberate, extensive and detailed review that is independent from our office here at the park to ensure the investigation is objective and provides factual information regarding the incident. Last week, a Special Agent visited Point Reyes to interview all parties willing to discuss the incident. He will be continuing his investigation over the next few weeks. The final report will be reviewed by the Washington Office of the Associate Director of Visitor and Resource Protection and the Pacific West Regional Director in Oakland, California, and will provide the park with information so that any recommended corrective actions can be reviewed and implemented. The internal review process has been established to ensure that all parties are protected, including the rangers and the citizens involved. We want to thank the witnesses that provided information to the investigator.
We hope the community will be patient with the investigative process to ensure a careful examination of the facts. We realize that the lengthy process may be frustrating because some members of the community want quick action, but we hope the fairness in the process will convince you to withhold judgment until all the facts are on the table. We have also been advised from legal council and the Investigation Branch that we cannot discuss this incident until the investigation is completed.
Based on our initial review, we do believe that there are two sides to this confrontation and we want recommendations for action to be based on all the facts. Based on our preliminary review, the rangers did not personally know any of the parties involved or had any previous negative encounters with them, and were responding to threatening behavior.
Again, we hope you will be patient with the process. We believe our rangers are conscientious, well trained and serve the community and park visitors well. As many of you have heard me state, we have a tremendous community and we pledge to review this incident objectively.