In Defense of Animals,ForELK,TreeSpirit Project, Rancho Compasiónand 50 concerned local citizens produced an eye-catching piece of artwork pictured below 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 species are fenced in and dying at a compound amid conditions of drought 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 out 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 450individuals. 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 on 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 donationHERE!
You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg
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