In Marin / CONVERSATION
I’m looking forward to the day
when most of the ranchers in
Point Reyes National Seashore
have 20-year leases, which is
key to their survival.
How will the county come up with funding
to buy the golf course from TPL? The county
will buy this property with only $1.4 million of
general budget money. So out of the county’s
general fund, that’s all we’ll spend to acquire
this almost $9 million property. The other
sources of funds include $2.5 million from
Measure A, the open space acquisition sales tax
fund, and almost $5 million from state bond
measures, as well as from California Fish and
Wildlife and other such groups. We believe
there is enough interest in this property to
close the deal. Both the county administrator’s office and the county parks department
wouldn’t have recommended entering into this
agreement unless they thought there would be
funding out there. It has never been the county’s intent to fund this acquisition entirely from
county taxpayer funds.
The other big issue in West Marin is the
environmentalists’ lawsuit involving dairy
ranchers on Point Reyes National Seashore.
What’s the status of that? Well, the lawsuit
has been settled. Part of the agreement with
the National Park Service and the ranchers was that the general plan needed to be
amended and updated to reflect stipulations
from the court. Those stipulations lie anywhere between a no ranching alternative to
ranching being allowed to continue as it is.
That planning process kicked off in fall of
2017 and there have been t wo public meetings so far, which provided valuable input for
moving the process forward. But the process
involves the National Environmental Policy
Act, or NEPA, so it could take considerable
time. Currently ranchers have four- and five-year leases, which gives everyone time to work
things out. I didn’t play a role in the settlement; it was a collaborative effort where all
the lawyers sat in a room and worked things
out. But I’m looking for ward to the day when
STEPS FOR A
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