Safeguarding Sustainability Through Long-Term Leases

After “decades of Congressional support for beef and dairy ranching on lands,” the National Park Service released a “record of decision” on September 13, 2021, declaring that “ranching remains an appropriate use of park lands.” The decision allows the federal government to continue to lease lands to ranchers for up to 20 years, with environmental and other conditions in place. Up to five dairies also operate in the park.

The GMP Amendment updates management guidance for approximately 28,000 acres of the more than 86,000 acres of national park system lands managed by Point Reyes, including all lands currently leased for beef and dairy ranching, referred to as the planning area.

NPS issued a record of decision (ROD) for the General Management Plan (GMP) Amendment and environmental impact statement (EIS) addressing the future management of all lands currently under agricultural lease/permit within Point Reyes National Seashore and the north district of Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the management of free-range tule elk in those areas.

The ROD identifies the alternative selected for implementation and concludes the environmental review process. The selected action serves as a blueprint to guide the NPS’s management of lands, resources, development, and visitor use in the 28,000 acre planning area.

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