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Contact: Doug Hee, 415-464-5145
Point Reyes National Seashore is currently accepting applications for the Tule Elk Docent Program for the summer of 2008. Tule Elk Docents help promote awareness and protection of the tule elk by helping park visitor’s view, understand, and appreciate the elk during the rut, or mating season. Tule Elk Docents also educate visitors about the various management issues relating to the tule elk and other deer populations in Point Reyes National Seashore and provide general park information and assistance to visitors.
The program runs for 14 weekends from July 4 through September 28, 2008. Docents are asked to commit at least 6 weekend/holiday days averaging 2 days per month during the program. Docents will work 7.5 hours each day. A required training is scheduled for Saturday, June 28 and Sunday, June 29, 2008.
Tule Elk Docents have the opportunity to witness the tule elk rut at Tomales Point in Point Reyes National Seashore. Docents receive training and education about the tule elk and related park resources and enjoy the satisfaction in sharing the spectacle of the rut with park visitors.
Ideal candidates enjoy learning about natural history and sharing this knowledge with others. Good oral communication skills and the ability to work independently are essential. Docents must also be able to tolerate long periods of standing, changing weather conditions, and be able to carry up to 15 pounds of materials (spotting scopes, antlers, backpack) a distance of up to 1 mile. Minimum age is 16 years.
Tule elk, a subspecies of the North American elk, were once more numerous than deer in many parts of this region. Tule elk are native to California and found nowhere else, but by 1870 were considered locally extirpated and nearly extinct. In 1978, ten tule elk were released into part of their historic range at Point Reyes National Seashore after a 100-year absence. Today, hundreds of elk range the park’s fenced 2,600-acre Tomales Point Preserve while about 30 elk range freely elsewhere within the park.
Through contact with the public, docents help to promote awareness and protection of wildlife in addition to educating the public about management issues related to tule elk and other deer populations in the park.
Point Reyes National Seashore is located one hour north of San Francisco on the Marin coast and encompasses over 71,000 acres, including 33,000 acres of wilderness area. Over 2.5 million people visit the park annually. Estuaries, windswept beaches, coastal grasslands, salt marshes, and coniferous forests create a haven of 86 miles of unspoiled and undeveloped coastline. Abundant recreational opportunities include 147 miles of hiking trails, backcountry campgrounds, and numerous beaches.