Park service requests delay in finalizing ranch plan

07/14/2021

The National Park Service has asked to delay its final decision on the management plan amendment for the Point Reyes National Seashore by 60 days. Seashore spokeswoman Melanie Gunn said Tuesday that the park “continues to work through the administrative process to ensure its planning effort and decisions are responsive to public comments, the park’s resources and needs, as well as our legal obligations.” The plan involves extending ranching leases and culling free-ranging elk—both controversial policies. The request to postpone was supported by the environmental groups that reached a settlement in 2017 requiring the park to amend its management plan, study the environmental impacts and issue a record of decision within four years. Jeff Miller, a conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity, said the groups hope the park will change course under new Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. Court records show the ranchers who participated in the settlement conference oppose the extension, arguing it was last-minute and affects federal assistance. The delay comes as the park faces opposition from environmental and Indigenous activists, and a lawsuit.