Too many myths about ranching in West Marin
From my perspective, it appears that lax oversight by public agencies led to the dangerous levels of water contamination from ranches at Point Reyes National Seashore. Don’t blame the messengers — the environmental groups commissioned the independent water testing because the National Park Service and regional water quality board failed to test for a decade.
Last month, in a public hearing about the pending 20-year ranch leases, the California Coastal Commission insisted that the NPS deal with the chronic water quality problems and report back to the state by next year. Meanwhile, ranching proponents — including the IJ editorial board — forecast dire economic consequences should the ranching be phased out. Analysis and evidence are needed to support those claims.
Another mythical assertion is that West Marin would be overrun by subdivisions were it not for the ranchers. This ignores the fact that Marin County instated agricultural zoning (one house per 60 acres) 50 years ago. Activists like Martin Griffin put the kibosh on sprawl by opposing construction of a freeway along the Marin Coast, as well as an ill-conceived pipeline to bring Russian River water from Sonoma County to Marin to supply suburban development.
Marin can still find its milk, cheese and beef when the ranchers move out of the public’s seashore. A number of the families at Point Reyes bought thousands of acres outside the national park, thanks to the public money they received when they sold their land to the park service some 50 years ago.
Those ranchers have been refreshed by the Marin Agricultural Land Trust using Measure A money in recent years. MALT has paid ranchers millions for conservation easements even though development is precluded by the county’s agricultural zoning.
The public has limited access to parklands and no access to the private lands that our tax dollars support.
— Susan Ives, Mill Valley
Very few people support changing Drake High name
I oppose the name change of Sir Francis Drake High School. My three sons graduated from Drake and they also oppose the name change as well as their many friends who attended and graduated from Drake.
I know of no parents who support the change. You would think Tam Union School District and school Principal Liz Seabury would factor in that their support of this “cancel culture” will, in the end, only hurt the students.
The only way to salvage this is to demand that all residences paying public funds in the district vote on the name change in the next county election.
— John Beckerley, San Geronimo
Court decision on life terms for youth misguided
As members of the Huckleberry Youth Programs Board of Directors, we are saddened by the Supreme Court’s recent 6-3 decision to reject limits on life terms for youth.
This decision marks the first time in almost two decades the high court has deviated from rules establishing more leniency for juvenile…