Tag: Elk

The National Park Service Continues To Try To Stop Attempts By Activists To Bring Thirsty Tule Elk Water; Urgent Action Is Needed To Save Them!

Twenty wildlife and national park protectors recently defied National Park Service (NPS) orders for a second time and risked getting arrested while participating in a bold, carefully planned, nighttime operation, to bring 150 gallons of water to the Tule elk. The move follows the tragic passing of more than 18 Tule elk this year who died in the reserve at Point Reyes National Seashore due to California’s drought.

As previously reported by WAN, the animals are blocked from reaching perennial sources by an eight-foot-tall fence. The action took place before the winter rains came, but were thwarted by the NPS which removed troughs before the thirsty Tule elk could drink.

“The actions of the National Park Service speak loud and clear: private ranching business is favored over public opinion and the lives of native wild animals at Point Reyes National Seashore,” Fleur Dawes of In Defense of Animals said in an email sent to WAN. “Removing water from thirsty and dying rare Tule elk is despicable. Bay Area residents overwhelmingly want these native wild animals protected over private interests. We support the merciful actions of these brave animal activists and urge everyone to take urgent action to save the Tule elk.”

Video recorded by Silver Reaction Media shows a peaceful but physically demanding action with over a dozen animal advocates hauling water hundreds of yards over rough terrain and in coastal fog.

Off-camera, others kept watch, signaling any arrival of sheriff and park rangers. They were quiet, using minimal light, so park visitors, rangers, and live-in ranchers would remain unaware of the groups actions. However, the video shows that rangers discovered the activists, confronted them, and vowed to remove the water.

Concerned citizens had previously delivered fresh drinking water and troughs to the elk, only to have it taken away within days by NPS staff. The NPS’ refusal to provide water for these elk is a disturbing repeat of the similar “forced die-off”  that the agency created in the California drought of 2013-2014, which killed around half of the nation’s largest herd of 540 Tule elk. It has taken years for the herd to recover to just 420 individuals today.

This year, the NPS not only refused to act again but deliberately removed water from hundreds of animals trapped in the unnatural elk reserve enclosure. The needless suffering and deaths of the elk are among the numerous, egregious, anti-wildlife, and pro-industry policies that park rangers are required to enforce at the Seashore. 

Currently, over a third of the Point Reyes Park’s so-called “wilderness area” is occupied by modern industrial animal businesses which supply beef and milk to brands including Clover Sonoma, Straus Family Creamery, Nicasio Valley Cheese Company, and Cowgirl Creamery.

Despite widespread public opposition, in September, the NPS released a management plan that would extend these private beef and dairy leases to ranchers from five-years to 20-years. In addition to expanding industrial operations inside this national park, they  will allow the shooting of native Tule elk.

Ranchers supplying these dairy companies do not own the Point Reyes land that their cattle degrades and pollutes. They sold their properties to the federal government for the equivalent of $350 million in the 1960’s to establish the park, and now lease back the land at under-market rates. Maintenance on the concentrated animal feeding operations is funded by taxpayers.

Thousands of American citizens and dozens of local organizations including In Defense of Animals, ForELK, TreeSpirit Project, Rancho Compasión, Save Point Reyes National Seashore, Resource Renewal Institute, The Center for Biological Diversity, and Western Watersheds Project are lobbying for a plan that would remove all livestock operations from Point Reyes. This plan would restore its creators’ original vision of a truly wild and pristine national park in the San Francisco Bay Area, remove fencing to allow Tule elk to roam free, and improve opportunities for the park’s 1.7 million annual visitors.

The 340+ miles of fencing, erected only at the request of the commercial cattle operations, is a direct contradiction of a national park’s purpose: being one of the few places in America where our priceless heritage of precious few remaining wild animals are safe from threats of hunting, development, and businesses,” stated Jack Gescheidt, of TreeSpirit Project.

People are urged to email their concerns to the California Coastal Commission encouraging them to REJECT the National Park Service’s recommended management plan which expands this National Seashore’s cruel beef and dairy operations at the expense of its wildlife.

E-mail: pointreyesmanagementplan@coastal.ca.gov or sign the In Defense of Animals petition, HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post The National Park Service Continues To Try To Stop Attempts By Activists To Bring Thirsty Tule Elk Water; Urgent Action Is Needed To Save Them! appeared first on World Animal News.

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Call To Action! 300 Demonstrators Protest National Park Service’s Plan To Kill Tule Elk & Expand Ranching In California; Your Help Is Needed Before October 18th

Photos by Tony Seghal, In Defense of Animals

Yesterday, a crowd of 300 people gathered at a large-scale, modern dairy facility operating inside of the Point Reyes National Seashore. The demonstration was in response to the plan by the National Park Service (NPS) to kill Tule elk and expand ranching and other commercial businesses like Airbnbs and animal slaughter inside the San Francisco Bay Area’s only national park.

300 locals protested the killing of California’s wild Tule elk to further expand private ranching at Point Reyes National Seashore. Photos: In Defense of Animals/ForELK/Rancho Compasión

“We are devastated by the disappointing news,” Diana Oppenheim, of ForElk said in a statement sent to WAN. “This plan is incredibly reckless, cruel, and anti-wildlife.”

Despite overwhelming opposition to commercial ranching in Point Reyes National Seashore, the NPS recommended “Alternative B,” allowing the shooting of native Tule elk, who only recently recovered from near extinction, expanding ranching and dairy operations, and extending their private leases from 5 to 20 years.

The recommendation by the NPS of Alternative B is the exact opposite of what the public wants. In the Park Service’s own survey, 91% of 7,624 respondents wanted native Tule elk protected and cattle ranching removed from Point Reyes.

The announcement comes amid a growing furor over a mass-die-off of Tule elk who are trapped without enough water in the Park. Local activists previously delivered fresh drinking water to troughs for the elk, only to have it promptly taken away by NPS staff.

Tragically, locals have already discovered 15 dead elk in the park and the drought is expected to last for months.

Blocked from accessing water by cattle ranchers, fifteen elk have died from thirst and malnutrition in Point Reyes National Seashore in recent weeks. CREDIT: Matthew Polvorosa Kline polvorosakline.com

This is a repeat of similar “forced die-off” by thirst and starvation that the agency created in 2013-2014, killing over 254 elk in a herd of 540. Unfathomably, the agency did nothing as half of the herd died, trapped behind fencing preventing them from reaching water and food that were available elsewhere in the park. The fencing of wildlife in a national park unit was erected at the request of the commercial cattle operations.

The NPS recommended plan also allows all ranchers to kill and “process” farmed animals on site, to add even more cows, and introduce other species to the Seashore including goats, sheep, and chickens.

Even with a cap on animal herd sizes, this will exacerbate lethal conflicts between ranchers and Tule elk, in addition to other wild species that will predate domesticated animals living in the park.

“The NPS is going to shoot elk and allow more cows in Point Reyes National Seashore to prop up private, for-profit ranches and dairies that were paid millions of dollars and supposed to vacate the park years ago,” said Jack Gescheidt, of TreeSpirit Project. “The Seashore has a charter to favor wildlife over commercial enterprises, not the other way around.”

Over a third of the Point Reyes park’s so-called “wilderness area” is occupied by modern industrial animal businesses. Taxpayers pay for the maintenance on these concentrated animal feeding operations which supply beef and milk to brands including: Clover Sonoma, Straus Family Creamery, Nicasio Valley Cheese Company, and Cowgirl Creamery. 

The public has been led to believe that these smaller companies mitigate the environmental harm that larger meat and dairy operations do, not realizing they actually contribute as much or more greenhouse gases, and greater land and water inputs.

“It is no secret that animal factories, commonly mislabeled ‘agriculture,’ are the world’s greatest contributor to air, soil, water, and ocean pollution, yet NPS is ensuring this continues at Point Reyes,” continued Gescheidt.

Local entrepreneur Miyoko Schinner of Miyoko’s Creamery told demonstrators and farmworkers to give themselves a better lifestyle by participating in the future of food, not its dying past. The award-winning plant-based cheese producer explained how she has grown her business to be twice as profitable as all the dairies on the Seashore combined, employs three times as many people, and has done so without harming wildlife or cows, or taking taxpayer subsidies.

Thousands of American citizens and dozens of local organizations including: In Defense of Animals, ForELK, TreeSpirit Project, Rancho Compasión, Save Point Reyes National Seashore, Resource Renewal Institute, The Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, Peace 4 Animals and WAN supportAlternative F” as does over 7,600 citizens surveyed.

“Alternative F” would phase out private ranches over five years, remove fencing to allow Tule elk to roam free, and improve opportunities for the park’s 1.7 million annual visitors.

“There are more cattle in all of Point Reyes than there are Tule elk left in the world,” stated Fleur Dawes, of In Defense of Animals. “It’s ridiculous that ranchers are getting taxpayer handouts to exploit and pollute public wildlands. Tule elk are trapped and dying of thirst in the park because of ranchers. Now, they will shoot this endemic California species. We have just days left until NPS Regional Director Woody Smeck signs the Tule elk death sentence. Please act now to save what’s left of our Seashore.”

The Seashore’s “death warrant” is scheduled to be signed on October 18th, one month after the National Park Service released its Final Environmental Impact Statement.

The public is encouraged to help stop the atrocious “Alternative B” from being signed and finalized before October 18th.

In Defense of Animals is requesting that people contact three officials that can use their influence to oppose “Alternative B” on the Environmental Impact Statement for the Point Reyes National Seashore. 

You can say, “I oppose expanded ranching and shooting of Tule elk at Point Reyes National Seashore, recommended in “Alternative B” of the Environmental Impact Statement. Can you stop this travesty? Please urge further inquiry, such as water quality tests and a supplemental environmental impact report on drought and wildfires, before National Park Service Regional Director Woody Smeck signs this disastrous plan.”

Please Call: California Coastal Commission, Executive Director, John Ainsworth, (415) 904-5202, John.Ainsworth@coastal.ca.gov

California Governor Gavin Newsom, (916) 445-2841, gavin@gavinnewsom.com

California Congressman Adam Schiff, (818) 450-2900, https://schiff.house.gov/contact

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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Urgent Call To Action To Help Save 450 Dying Tule Elk In The Bay Area That Are Being Deprived Of Water By Ranchers

In Defense of Animals, ForELK, TreeSpirit Project, Rancho Compasión and 50 concerned local citizens produced an eye-catching artwork at Point Reyes National Seashore on Sunday, September 13th, in an effort to free trapped Tule elk. The world’s largest remaining herd of the rare California native animal are fenced and dying in a compound amid drought conditions and nearby wildfires which have created a choking haze of smoke across the entire West Coast.

The National Park Service (NPS) has repeatedly refused to intervene to ensure more lives are not lost, prompting local activists to deliver water to the elk. Tragically, between 2012 and 2014, 254 Tule elk of a herd of 542 died from lack of access to adequate water and forage.

“The growing number of dead Tule elk has many local people extremely concerned,” said Fleur Dawes, of In Defense of Animals in an email sent to WAN. “As locals hear what is happening to the elk at the Seashore, more and more people want to take part and stop a repeat of the mass deaths and address the ranching problem.”

“It’s tragic that 58 years after the park was established to protect the elk, dairy and beef ranchers are getting away with their murder. Ranchers want fewer elk so they can expand their taxpayer-subsidized beef and cheese production in the park. The NPS, Congressman Jared Huffman and Senator Diane Feinstein are letting these rare animals die of thirst in a barbaric ‘cull,’ because of lobbying by the powerful animal agriculture industry,” continued Fleur. “We’re calling on Senator Kamala Harris and Representative Adam Schiff to step in to free the elk and restore the National Seashore. We encourage concerned citizens to take action at www.idausa.org/elk.

Tule elk were once nearly wiped out by hunting and ranching, but were brought to Point Reyes by the NPS in the late 1970s. Since then, the herd has become the largest in the state at just 450 individuals. Even though they’re federally protected, the elk are still in danger because of ranchers.

On a rescue mission, brave activists risked their freedom to deliver water to elk while cows beyond the fence have free access to perennial streams. Although this water will save some elk, it’s only a stop-gap solution.

In Defense of Animals and other organizations are calling on the National Park Service to truly preserve Tule elk by removing the fences and the ranches that go with them.

What you can do:

There are many ways in which you can help the Tule elk at Point Reyes:

1) Please take a moment to call the following California legislators, State and National Park officials, and Point Reyes ranchers. Urge them to take down the Tomales Point Elk Reserve fence, provide Tule elk free access to fresh water, and transition away from private ranching in public parkland.

United States Senator, Dianne Feinstein, (415) 393-0707

United States Senator, Kamala Harris, (202) 224-3553

California Secretary for Natural Resources, Wade Crowfoot, (916) 653-5656

California Governor, Gavin Newsom, (916) 445-2841

California Congressman, Jared Huffman, (202) 225-5161

California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Elk and Pronghorn Division, Kristin Denryter, (916) 801-0649

Point Reyes National Seashore, Acting Superintendent Carey Feierabend, (415) 464-5102

National Park Service, Pacific Regional Director, Woody Smeck, (415) 623-2100

National Park Service, Wildlife Ecologist, Dave Press, (415) 858-9667

Clover Sonoma Chairman & CEO Marcus Benedetti, (800) 237-3315

Albert Straus, founder and CEO of Straus Family Creamery, (707) 776-2887

Rick Lafranchi, Managing Partner, Nicasio Valley Cheese Company, (415) 662-6200

Sue Conley Co-Founder, Cowgirl Creamery, (415) 580-2435

2) Buying and eating the products of meat ranchers and dairy farmers hurts and kills wild animals such as Tule elk. As our human population grows and consumes ever-more meat and dairy, wild animals are ruthlessly pushed out, killed, or, as in this case, killed by design with fences blocking access to water sources. Make the switch HERE!

3) Donate to IDA’s fundraiser to deliver water to the Tule elk HERE!

4) Sign IDA’s letter to the following Point Reyes ranchers, California legislators, and State and National Park officials HERE! Your comments will be immediately delivered to the Government officials mentioned above.

Content courtesy of In Defense of Animals. Help them continue fighting for animals, people, and the environment by making a donation HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post Urgent Call To Action To Help Save 450 Dying Tule Elk In The Bay Area That Are Being Deprived Of Water By Ranchers appeared first on World Animal News.

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