Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Legal Filing Seeks to Halt Ranching Expansion, Elk Eviction at Point Reyes National Seashore

The Resource Renewal Institute, Center for Biological Diversity and Western Watersheds Project filed for a preliminary injunction in federal court Friday to block the National Park Service from pursuing a ranching expansion and elk-removal plan until the agency updates the park’s “general management plan” and assesses the environmental impacts of commercial dairy and cattle grazing at Point Reyes National Seashore. In February 2016 the conservation groups filed a lawsuit seeking federal court review of the Park Service’s decades-long violation of its duty to manage Point Reyes National Seashore under a valid general management plan, and challenging the continued approvals of dairy and cattle-grazing leases without conducting a full environmental review of their impacts. The lawsuit does not ask the court to stop ranching at the seashore, nor will the court decide the future of ranching at Point Reyes. By law that must be decided through a general management plan and an environmental impact statement that gives opportunities for public input. “The Park Service cannot simply predetermine that ranching should continue long-term at the national seashore without any public input or environmental study,” said Jeff Miller of the Center for Biological Diversity. “The public should be asking why the Park Service is wasting scarce taxpayer dollars on a ranching expansion plan while refusing to conduct an open evaluation of future management directions for the seashore and the role, if any, that commercial ranching should play.”...more

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