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Contact: Melanie Gunn, 415-464-5131
POINT REYES STATION, Calif. – The National Park Service (NPS) is updating its management planning for the Tomales Point area of Point Reyes National Seashore. Development of a new 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.
NPS initiated civic engagement for the Tomales Point Area Plan with a 30-day public comment period beginning March 31, 2022, with the original comment period extended for seven days until May 9, 2022. NPS received more than 4,000 pieces of correspondence during this time. With this announcement, NPS has posted a summary report of these comments and all correspondence on the park's Tomales Point Area Plan public comment web page.
Based on the review of public comments and internal scoping, NPS has identified a proposed action for the Tomales Point Area Plan. The proposed action would include removal of the tule elk fence and temporary water systems installed during the most recent drought, evaluation of opportunities to improve recreational uses and visitor experience at the historic Pierce Point Ranch and within the Congressionally designated wilderness, and approaches to best protect natural and cultural resources. 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 proposed action will be presented for public review and comment later this summer as part of an environmental assessment for the Tomales Point Area Plan. The identification of a proposed action is a not a final decision on the plan. The NPS will make a final decision after review of public and agency comments received on the environmental assessment.
NPS will continue to collaborate with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria to incorporate Tribal views and traditional ecological knowledge into the management of Tomales Point. The proposal to remove the tule elk fence, if selected for implementation, would result in a transition of the elk population at Tomales Point to a free-ranging herd.
A final decision on the Tomales Point Area Plan is expected in the summer 2024. Once completed, the plan will replace the 1998 Tule Elk Management Plan for this area and provide updated management direction for the preservation of park resources, indications of the type and intensity of allowed development, identification of visitor carrying capacities, and guidance for visitor use at Tomales Point. This planning is separate from the recent General Management Plan Amendment, which addressed leased lands for ranching in the park and the management of elk on those lands.
For more information and to sign-up for email updates, please visit the park's Tomales Point Area Plan web page go.nps.gov/pore/tpap.
- NPS -
Last updated: June 23, 2023