General Management Plan Amendment: Final Environmental Impact Statement

The National Park Service (NPS) announces the availability of the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the General Management Plan (GMP) Amendment addressing all lands currently under agricultural lease/permit within Point Reyes National Seashore and the north district of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The GMP Amendment evaluates the long term uses of more than 28,000 acres in coastal Marin County.

The EIS analyzes six alternatives from 20-year agricultural lease/permits with diversification and operational flexibility, to reduced ranching, no dairy ranching, and no ranching alternatives. This EIS also addresses long term tule elk management in the planning area.

The NPS preferred alternative allows existing ranch families to continue beef and dairy operations under lease/permits with terms up to 20 years. Tule elk in the Drakes Beach area would be managed at a stable and viable population threshold compatible with desired conditions for the planning area. The NPS would implement a zoning framework that protects park resources by directing ranching activities to appropriate areas while allowing for operational flexibility and diversification. The preferred alternative best supports the historic resources and cultural landscapes that are integral to the Point Reyes Peninsula Dairy Ranches Historic District and Olema Valley Dairy Ranches Historic District. Opportunities to improve the visitor experience and a framework for managing visitor capacity are also addressed.

Public and agency engagement and feedback have been vital to the development and refinement of this plan. The NPS initiated public scoping in the fall of 2018 and received 1,366 pieces of correspondence during the 30-day comment period. The NPS later received 7,624 pieces correspondence when the draft EIS was released for a 45-day public review and comment period in the summer of 2019. The NPS carefully reviewed, evaluated, and considered the public comments in preparation of this final plan, and responses to the comments are included as an appendix to the final EIS. Additional comment periods or public meetings are not planned or required at this stage of the planning process. No sooner than 30 days after release of the final EIS, the NPS will document the final decision in a Record of Decision signed by the Regional Director.

For more information, please see our GMP Amendment Frequently Asked Questions.

Documents available:

Final Environmental Impact Statement for the General Management Plan Amendment
Final Environmental Impact Statement for the General Management Plan Amendment Appendicies
Draft 20-Year Agricultural Lease/Special Use Permit Template
Draft Succession Policy for Ranch Operations in the Ranchland Zone

Last updated: September 18, 2020

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