September 27, 2023Animal Law & Policy ClinicAnimal Law & Policy Clinic Submits Public Comments on Park Service’s Tule Elk Plan
Harvard Law School’s Animal Law & Policy Clinic has submitted public comments to the National Park Service, which support the agencies proposal to remove a fence that has prevented Tule elk in Tomales Point from accessing adequate food and water.
On Monday, Harvard Law School’s Animal Law & Policy Clinic submitted public comments to the National Park Service (NPS), which support the agencies proposal to remove a fence that has prevented Tule elk in Tomales Point from accessing adequate food and water. The comments also call upon the agency to remove polluting ranches and their cows from Point Reyes National Seashore and to continue to provide supplemental water to the Tule elk through, at least, autumn of 2024.
The comments were submitted on behalf of the Clinic’s clients in its ongoing case against the NPS, local residents Jack Gescheidt and Laura Chariton, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund. The primary authors were Harvard Law School student clinicians Hallie Aylesworth and R. Elliot DeRiso.
“Freeing the Tomales Point Tule Elk from their deadly confinement is long overdue. The public is nearly unanimous in its desire to prioritize invaluable nature over commercial interests on national park land, and it’s great that the National Park Service is finally taking action to do so,” said Hallie.
She added: “To me, the Clinic has demonstrated the impact that years of sustained advocacy and coalition-building can achieve. As advocates, we must now turn our attention towards sustaining this momentum until the fence is removed.”
DeRiso, who lived near Point Reyes National Seashore before law school, said that if she had visited Tomales Point, the condition of the Tule elk would have upset her, and she wouldn’t have known what to do. “I was grateful to learn how to get involved and to have an opportunity to advocate on their behalf,” she said.