A General Management Plan Amendment is a document that partially amends an existing General Management Plan (GMP). National Park Service (NPS) policies allow for amending an existing GMP, rather than undertaking a new GMP, to address particular locations or issues. A GMP Amendment is prepared as part of a public planning process.
The planning area for the GMP Amendment covers more than 28,000 acres, including lands currently under agricultural lease/permits (lease/permits) and some adjacent areas within Point Reyes National Seashore (Point Reyes) and the north district of Golden Gate National Recreation Area (Golden Gate).
The Park Service is required by a court-approved settlement agreement (4,799 KB PDF) to complete this plan and issue a record of decision by July 14, 2021. Consistent with the settlement agreement, the GMP Amendment will focus on the park’s highest planning priority, the areas of Point Reyes and Golden Gate where ranching is currently permitted.
The GMP Amendment will replace the 1980 Point Reyes National Seashore GMP (4,015 KB PDF) for lands within the GMP Amendment planning area.
Yes. Under the multi-party settlement agreement, the NPS is required to consider and evaluate the following action alternatives in the GMP Amendment: a no ranching alternative, no dairy ranching alternative, and a reduced ranching alternative. The NOI identifies additional alternatives that would be considered in the planning process.
A proposed action is the initial NPS proposal to address the purpose and need of the plan, and is presented in the NOI to prepare a plan. A preferred alternative is the alternative the NPS determines will best accomplish the purpose and need of the proposed action that meets the NPS mission and responsibility, with consideration to economic, environmental, and technical factors. The preferred alternative will be identified in the draft EIS.
All comments will be sorted into categories of concern statements. These concerns will help guide the alternatives, issues, impact topics, and references to be considered in the GMP Amendment. Numerous comments that repeat the same basic message will be responded to collectively.
No, commenting is not a form of “voting” on an alternative. The amount of comments received on a topic is not a determination of its merit for consideration in the planning process.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement (4,799 KB PDF), the NPS has issued lease/permits to ranchers for terms not to exceed five years from the date the agreement was approved by the court, July 14, 2017. These interim leases provide greater certainty to ranchers than the 1-year authorizations the NPS issued during the Ranch Comprehensive Management Plan process.
The park recognizes this is an ongoing concern to ranch operations. The park will continue to work with park ranchers and the Point Reyes Seashore Ranchers Association throughout the planning process to address management of the tule elk in a manner consistent with the settlement agreement.
In order to adhere to various regulatory requirements and park service mandates, the park’s range program:
First phase: Begin General Management Plan Amendment planning
Second phase: Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the GMP Amendment
Last updated: April 3, 2019