Monday, August 08, 2016

Rivals aren’t on the same page on Point Reyes ranches

By Phyllis Faber and Sam Dolcini

As lifelong environmentalists and supporters of agriculture in Marin, we were disappointed that in his July 26 column, Dick Spotswood stated that 4th District candidates Dennis Rodoni and Dominic Grossi both oppose the cattle-ranch lawsuit against the National Park Service, but he didn’t clarify some of their differences.

Grossi spent over five years as president of the Marin County Farm Bureau, six years on the Marin Agricultural Land Trust board and has strongly championed the continuation of agriculture in the Point Reyes National Seashore. His support of our local food movement to provide fresh, healthy food to our Marin residents has been long term, as evidenced by his strong support of the Agriculture Institute of Marin and its project to build a permanent, year-round farmers market at the Civic Center in San Rafael.

On the other hand, Dennis Rodoni’s support of agriculture in the park has been tenuous. He has said so publicly, in an article he wrote for High Country News — “Parks for the People — not Profit.” In his article, he criticized not only the Drakes Bay Oyster Co., but took U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein to task for working to support the oyster farm’s effort to extend its lease.

It doesn’t take much to extend that view to include the seashore ranchers who also operate in the park trying to make a living and feed their families.

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