Tomales Point Area Plan

An aerial photo of a narrow grass-covered peninsula with beige cliffs rising above the ocean in the lower left. A narrow bay separates the peninsula from the mainland, which stretches into the distance.
Aerial photograph of Tomales Point.

NPS Photo / Anela Kopshever


The National Park Service (NPS) is updating its management planning for the Tomales Point area of Point Reyes National Seashore with the Tomales Point Area Plan environmental assessment. Development of this plan is based on the severity and frequency of two historic droughts in Marin County over the last decade and impacts to tule elk and other resources within the Tule Elk Reserve at Tomales Point. Current management guidance for this area did not anticipate these drought conditions or consider climate change. The planning area includes the 2,900-acre Tomales Point Tule Elk Reserve and more than 85% of the planning area is within the Phillip Burton Wilderness. The park will collaborate with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria to incorporate tribal views and traditional ecological knowledge throughout this process. A final decision for the Tomales Point Area Plan is anticipated in the summer of 2024.

How is this website arranged? Below the sign up information, the next section is public scoping, then two sections summarize the initial civic engagement of this plan. Further below is background information, news releases, and the project timeline. Scroll to the end of the page for contact information and a citizen's guide to environmental planning.


Sign Up

Members of the public play an important role in the Tomales Point Area Plan. Please sign up to receive email notifications and updates about the planning process. Signing up is a quick three step process:

  • On the first page, enter your email address and click on the "Submit" button.
  • On the second page, click on the check box to agree to the privacy policy and click on the "Submit" button.
  • On the third page, scroll to the bottom of the list of options and select "Point Reyes National Seashore | Planning" and click on the "Submit" button.

Public Scoping Comment Period

Please see our Tomales Point Area Plan Public Scoping page for details on the 31-day public comment period from August 25, 2023, to September 25, 2023.


Initial Public Comments

Please see our Tomales Point Area Plan Initial Public Comments page to read the correspondence received during the initial 40-day public comment period from March 31, 2022, to May 9, 2022.


Initial Public Comment Period

Please see our Tomales Point Area Plan Initial Public Comment Period page for details on the initial 40-day public comment period from March 31, 2022, to May 9, 2022.


Background Information

Please see our Tomales Point Area Plan Background Information page for information relevant to this planning process.


News Releases

Please see our Tomales Point Area Plan News Releases page for all news releases related to this plan.


Project Timeline

  • Civic engagement with initial public comment period: spring 2022
  • Public scoping and initiation of an environmental assessment (EA), 31-day public comment period and meeting: summer 2023
  • NPS develops the EA for the Tomales Point Area Plan
  • EA released for 30-day public review & comment period, including public meeting: spring 2024
  • Final decision: summer 2024

Events in bold above are opportunities for public engagement.



Does the proposed Tomales Point Area Plan address beef and dairy ranching at Point Reyes National Seashore?
No. The recent General Management Plan Amendment (GMPA) addresses beef and dairy ranching in Point Reyes National Seashore and the north district of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and the management of free ranging tule elk in those areas. The GMPA is currently in litigation. The Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, Resource Renewal Institute, the National Park Service, and the rancher intervenor groups are continuing with the confidential mediation process initiated in the summer of 2022. The parties will update the court as to the status of the mediation on or before October 20, 2023.

Does the Tomales Point Area Plan address the free ranging tule elk in the Limantour and Drakes Beach areas of Point Reyes National Seashore?
No. The Tomales Point Area Plan will address the management of tule elk in the fenced herd at Tomales Point. Tule elk in the active ranching areas of the park will be managed by the General Management Plan Amendment (currently in litigation and mediation discussions, see above). Tule elk in the Limantour area of the park will continue to be managed by the 1998 Tule Elk Management Plan.

What does the National Park Service (NPS) do with public comments on the proposed Tomales Point Area Plan?
All public comments are read, considered, and used to inform the planning process. Comments are sorted into categories of concern statements. Comments that repeat the same basic message are grouped collectively. The concern statements help guide the alternatives, issues, impact topics, and references that are considered in the Tomales Point Area Plan. Although public comment informs the planning process, commenting is not a form of voting on or choosing an alternative. The National Park Service will make a final decision based on the alternative with the best combination of strategies to protect both natural and cultural resources, achieves desired conditions for the planning area, is consistent with National Park Service management policies, and furthers park purposes as expressed in the enabling legislation and legislative history for Point Reyes National Seashore.

If you have additional questions regarding the Tomales Point Area Plan, please call Outreach Coordinator Melanie Gunn at 415-464-5131.

The Citizen's Guide to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is a useful resource for those that are not familiar with NEPA or Council on Environmental Quality Regulations. This 37-page guide, published in December 2007 and revised in January 2021, describes the NEPA process and provides information on how citizens can get involved.

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Last updated: February 9, 2024

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Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


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