Newsletter Archive

DSC_0284a1a.jpgRock Detail, Pt. Reyes National Seashore, California                                                              (Mike Painter)

New Year’s Eve, 2012

Dear CalUWild friends and supporters—

Between the holidays and Congress in a lame-duck session focusing on the so-called Fiscal Cliff, there’s not much happening right now, so this month’s Update will be short.

We’ll start with two administrative items.

1.)   CalUWild depends on the financial support of its members. Funding from all sources has dropped in the last couple of years, and we’ve adjusted as best we can. But our expenses continue, for telephone, Internet, travel to meetings and slideshows, a few news subscriptions, postage, small salary, and more. Please help CalUWild with a contribution as the year ends, if you haven’t already.

Regular dues are not tax-deductible, as they may support lobbying activities; however, a tax-deductible contribution may be made to Resource Renewal Institute, our fiscal sponsor. For full details, click here and print out the page to send in with your contribution. Thanks.

Many thanks again to everyone who has already contributed for 2012-2013.

2.)   As you know, every 10 years, congressional district boundaries are re-drawn and go into effect with the next Congress. Although we try not to send out extra alerts, it is sometime necessary to send out targeted announcements, so it’s necessary to know the districts in which our members live. We’ve already updated our database for the following cities:

   District 1: Chico, Mt. Shasta, Redding, Weed
   District 2: Arcata, Eureka, Fairfax, Mill Valley, Novato, Petaluma, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sebastopol
   District 4: Lake Tahoe
   District 5: Santa Rosa
   District 12: San Francisco
   District 13: Berkeley, Oakland, Piedmont

To assist in our recordkeeping, all you have to do is click here to send an email. Simply write in the name of your representative for the next Congress. (We’ll know the district number.) Thanks for your help and cooperation!

As we begin a new year with a new Congress and a returning administration, we’ll continue to provide you with the information and tools to protect our wild public lands. As always, thank you for your interest and support.

Happy New Year,

1.   Interior Secretary Salazar Denies
          Oyster Farm Permit Extension
          In Pt. Reyes Seashore Wilderness
          (ACTION ITEM)

2.   Free Days on Public Lands
3.   Wilderness Volunteers Schedule for 2013

4.   Articles and Other Links of Interest


1.   Interior Secretary Salazar Denies
          Oyster Farm Permit Extension
          In Pt. Reyes Seashore Wilderness
          (ACTION ITEM)

On November 29, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that he would not grant a 10-year extension to the Drakes Bay Oyster Company to continue its commercial oyster farming operations in Drakes Estero. The Secretary gave the company 90 days to remove its racks and equipmen.

The Secretary based his decision only on the wilderness intent of Congress and not on any of the other issues involved in the controversy, which include environmental damage caused by the farm, irregularities in Park Service scientific studies, and local sustainable agriculture, among others.

The decision is another step in the protracted and controversial process of fulfilling Congress’s intent when it passed the 1976 Pt. Reyes Wilderness Act.

Whether this is truly the final step remains to be seen, however. Within a few days, the oyster company, assisted by a land-rights organization, responded with a suit against the Secretary and the Park Service, charging that the decision was improperly made because it didn’t comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), among other things. The company reached an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department allowing it to continue operations for 90 days, and in a filing with the court said that given weather and tide conditions, it could take up to 285 work days stretching over 665 calendar days to completely remove all the racks.

It appears we have not seen the end of the saga.

You may read the memo outlining Secty. Salazar’s decision here.

You may send the Secretary a message of thanks by clicking here.

Coverage in the press was widespread:

SF Chronicle

          U.S. evicting Point Reyes oyster farmer

          Drakes Bay Oyster Co. sues feds in fight over farm

New York Times Green Blog

High Country News

          Wilderness trumps sustainable agriculture in Point Reyes

          And a column on Pt. Reyes at 50 by CalUWild friend Susan Ives.

2.   Free Days on Public Lands

As part of the administration’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, the Park Service, BLM, Forest Service, Fish & Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Reclamation have announced the days in 2013 when entrance fees for public lands will be waived:

All agencies will waive fees:
      September 28 for National Public Lands Day;
      November 9-11 for Veterans Day weekend.

The National Park Service will also waive entrance fees:
      January 21 for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day;
      from April 22 to 26 during National Park Week;
      August 25 to celebrate the agency’s 97th birthday.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will also waive entrance fees:
      January 21 for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day;
      from October 13 to 19 for National Wildlife Refuge Week.

The Bureau of Land Management will also waive standard amenity fees:
      January 21 for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The U.S. Forest Service will also waive standard amenity fees:
      January 21 for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day;
      June 8 for Get Outdoors Day.

Mark your calendars!

In other news from the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, you may read its most recent progress report here. The administration plans to continue the Initiative in the second term and focus on urban recreational issues.

3.   Wilderness Volunteers Schedule for 2013

Wilderness Volunteers schedule for 2013 is now on its website. So if you’re interested in a way to explore an area while “giving something back,” we encourage you to take a trip with them!

Check out their full list of service trips here.

4.   Articles and Other Links of Interest

As always, if you’re unable to access an article, send me an email, and I’ll send you a copy.

          New York Times

                Wild Horses Are Running Out of Room, On and Off Range

                ‘Famous’ Wolf Is Killed Outside Yellowstone

                The Child’s Menagerie, looking at the extinction crisis and its effects on the imagination of childhood

          Los Angeles Times

                Report finds it pays-literally-to live near wilderness

                          Direct link to Headwaters Economics report mentioned in the story

                California’s marine reserve network now complete

          National Parks Traveler

                Science, Open Space, and the Future of our National Parks, an interesting essay discussing some of
                the currently ignored or forgotten aspects of the philosophy behind national parks

          NPR blog post

                Ah, Wilderness! Nature Hike Could Unlock Your Imagination, (but we already knew that!)