Cattle ranchers block water access for rare Tule elk now dying of thirst

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The world’s largest remaining herd of the native rare Tule elk are dying of thirst at the Point Reyes National Seashore after ranchers erected an eight-foot high fence separating the elk from leased dairy and meat farms. The National Park Service built the fences to appease cattle ranchers holding leases in the park.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, there are 445 tule elk; a prime tourist attraction coming to admire the magnificent antlered animals. In 1978, a small herd of 30 tule elk had been reintroduced onto the land – a preserve surrounded by three miles of fencing. Five years ago, the herd was almost all wiped out because of a drought – this year looks to be the same.

On Sunday, In Defense of Animals (IDA), held a demonstration accompanied by ForElk, Tree Spirit Project and Rancho Compassion calling on the National Park Service to remove the fencing. So far, six elk have been found dead after dying of thirst.

“Thirsty elk are currently beset by drought, wildfire smoke, and a heatwave, and caged into the preserve by a fence, which prevents them from accessing alternative water sources. The NPSPS has sided with local ranchers and refuses to provide water for fenced-in elk. The Park has blocked In Defense of Animals and our partners from delivering water to the dying elk.”

Ranchers have 5,600 cows grazing and drinking water which greatly outnumber the elk, but refuse to let the elk share the drinking water, calling the area unsustainable to both the cows and the elk.

Check out the video:

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 in 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, outrightly killed, or, as in this case, killed by design with fences blocking access to water sources. Make the switch today:

3) Donate to our fundraiser to deliver water to Tule elk through the donate button at the top of this alert or directly at our fundraiser on Facebook:

4) Reach out to officials and business owners on social media.

Kamala Harris on Facebook and Twitter

Dianne Feinstein on Facebook and Twitter

Governor Gavin Newsom on Facebook and Twitter

Congressman Jared Huffman on Facebook and Twitter

Point Reyes National Seashore on Facebook and Twitter

California Department of Fish and Wildlife on Facebook and Twitter

Clover Sonoma on Facebook and Twitter

Straus Family Creamery on Facebook and Twitter

Nicasio Valley Cheese Company on Facebook and Twitter

Cowgirl Creamery on Facebook and Twitter

5) Join our event to free the Tule elk:

6) Sign our letter to the following Point Reyes ranchers, California legislators, and State and National Park officials.

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