“National Park Service General Management Plan Amendment (GMPA) Public Comment Analysis”
Summary: In 2017, the National Park Service (NPS) opened its first round of public comments for the General Management Plan Amendment for Point Reyes National Seashore. This initial 37-day public comment period was from October 16, 2017, to November 22, 2017. Following that initial public comment period was a “Public Scoping Comment” period required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This 30-day public comment period from October 31, 2018, to November 30, 2018. Finally, taking public scoping comments into account, the NPS produced its Draft GMPA /Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) during August of 2019. Per NEPA, the NPS held a 45-day public review and comment period, which was open from August 8, 2019, until September 23, 2019.
The NPS’s six proposed management alternatives in the Draft Plan and EIS:
Alternative A – no change in the NPS’s current ranch management
Alternative B (NPS’s “preferred alternative”)–expand ranching; allow diversification, including row crops and more livestock; extend grazing leases to 20 years, and manage elk through lethal methods
Alternative C – like B but remove the Drakes Beach tule elk herd (124 elk) through lethal means
Alternative D – like B but phase out ranching on 7,500 acres and issue grazing leases for 19,000 acres with 20-year terms, and allow some diversification.
Alternative E – phase out dairies but leave cattle ranches, allowing existing dairies to convert to beef. 20-year grazing leases on 26,000 acres. No diversification. No action on Tule Elk.
Alternative F – phase out all dairies and ranches over 5 years. Once ranching is gone, remove the fence that confines the Pierce Point tule elk herd. New elk herds allowed to establish in the park.
Resource Renewal Institute staff and volunteers reviewed, coded, and analyzed every public comment submitted in order to determine public sentiment about each of the alternatives proposed by the NPS, including the NPS Preferred Alternative – Alternative B.
“California Coastal Commission Federal Consistency Determination for Point Reyes General Management Plan Amendment (GMPA) – Public Comment Analysis”
On Thursday, April 22, 2021, the California Coastal Commission (CCC) held a public hearing to consider a Consistency Determination by the National Park Service for the 2020 General Management Plan Amendment for Point Reyes National Seashore and the north district of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, including elk and ranch management actions. The public was invited to participate.
Once again, volunteers with Resource Renewal Institute reviewed, coded, and analyzed all the published comments as of 3/26/21. Comments were separated by the CCC into those from “Individual Members of the Public” (44,936) and those from “Organized Groups” (27). There were 44,962 individual correspondences. 44,940 (99.95%) opposed the NPS GMPA as proposed. Omitting “form letters” (as identified by the CCC), 94.92 (or 412/434 unique pieces of correspondence) opposed the NPS GMPA as proposed.