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Bianchini Ranch, Point Reyes Station. Photo by Paige Green

MARIN AGRICULTURAL LAND TRUST APPLAUDS NEW DEFENSE OF SUSTAINABLE FARMING AND RANCHING ON POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE

H.R. 6687 protects national model of sustainable food production and land conservation for farmers, environmentalists, and Bay Area nature lovers

For Immediate Release: September 24, 2018
Contact: Haven Bourque, haven@havenbmedia.com (415) 505-3473
High-resolution photos available upon request.

Pt. Reyes Station, Calif. – (September 24, 2018) In a strong move to defend a nationally respected model of balancing farming and food production with environmental stewardship, Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) announced its firm support for new legislation on management of Point Reyes National Seashore (PRNS) and the north district of Golden Gate Recreation Area (GGNRA). Congressman Jared Huffman’s bill H.R. 6687 will allow the continuation of sustainable ranching activities in a region lauded for local food production, carbon farming to fight climate change and economic viability of family farming and ranching.

MALT, which has successfully protected 85 farms and ranches for agricultural operations since its founding in 1980, maintains that H.R 6687 confirms Congress’ longstanding intent that existing sustainable ranching activities within PRNS will continue, and that ranching families will receive the benefit of long-term leases. Together, the PRNS and GGNRA lands represent nearly a fifth of Marin’s agricultural acreage and production, and are critical to the future of agriculture countywide.

“As wildfires and other climate-driven weather events threaten the environmental stability of our immediate region and the planet, proper management of our coastal agricultural lands as supported by Congressman Huffman’s bill is more important than ever,” said MALT Executive Director Jamison Watts. “Well-managed farms and ranches support pollinators, store water, reduce wildfire dangers, and maintain critical habitat for native plants and animals. We recognize that in many regions of the country, environmental conservation and farming are in conflict, but here in Marin County, we have proven that they go hand in hand.”

MALT supports H.R. 6687’s approach as a reflection of its own commitments to permanently preserve Marin County farmland, which is critical to the survival of the region’s unique natural and cultural history. The bill:

  • Clarifies that PRNS’s values include working landscapes, while maintaining environmental standards and the current public planning process.
  • Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to consider working with Native American Tribes historically connected to Tule elk for ceremonies and subsistence as an option for managing Tule Elk herds and minimizing conflicts on agricultural property.
  • Directs the Secretary to complete the PRNS’s general management planning process, including National Environmental Policy Act review, and authorizes issuance of leases or special use permits of 20 years, consistent with the Act’s purposes.

MALT applauds Congressman Huffman’s leadership in reaching across the aisle to protect sustainable farming and ranching in Point Reyes National Seashore.

 

About MALT: Marin Agricultural Land Trust is a member-supported nonprofit organization created in 1980 to permanently preserve Marin County farmland. Some of the Bay Area's most highly acclaimed dairy and meat products and organic crops are produced on farmland protected by MALT, which totals 52,589 acres on 85 family farms and ranches. To learn more about MALT, visit www.malt.org.