1976 GGNRA Citizen’s Advisory Comm. Chairman, Frank C. Boerger statement recommended keeping Oyster Farm

Statement of Frank C. Boerger,

Chairman, Golden Gate National Recreation Area Citizen’s Advisory Commission


15 person Commission appointed in January 1975 by Secretary of Interior in accordance with the law establishing the Recreation Area.

…met regularly since establishment of commission to “discuss the planning for the development and the preservation of the Park Service Areas in the San Francisco Bay region, including the Point Reyes National Seashore.”

“…completed a position paper on the subject which I have attached to this testimony; it is requested that this statement be made a part of the record of this hearing.”

“….The balancing of the various interests represented by our recommendations was derived from a series of public hearings and subcommittee task force meetings. The compromises presented have won acceptance from representatives of each sector of the public that expressed concern….”


“….The intrinsic values of the natural, historic and scenic resources of both the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and point Reyes National Seashore are remarkable. These values offer opportunities to people everywhere, but their importance is multiplied many times by the unusual proximity of the parklands to the five million people of the San Francisco Bay region.”


“….An important factor in considering wilderness for the seashore was the intent of the commission that desirable existing uses be allowed to continue…..”

“….Two wilderness units are recommended for the northern half of the Seashore. They are separated by an area that includes the “pastoral zone” (designated in the enabling legislation to continue to accommodate ranching activities) and the access roads that serve most of the Seashore’s popular beaches. The first unit includes…Drakes and Limantour Esteros, and the lands that connect those features.”


“Two activities presently carried on within the seashore existed prior to its establishment as a park and have since been considered desirable by both the public and park managers. Because they both entail use of motorized equipment, specific provision should be made in wilderness legislation to allow the following uses to continue unrestrained by wilderness designation:

1 Ranching operations on that portion of the “pastoral zone” that falls within the proposed wilderness…..

2 Operation of Johnson’s Oyster Farm including the use of motorboats and the repair and construction of oyster racks and other activities in conformance with the terms of the existing 1,000 acre lease from the State of California.”

For the pages from the hearing pertaining to the above statements click on the link below:

Pages from PRNS wilderness hearings senate 1976


The final bill designated Drakes Estero as only “potential wilderness”.

The Interior Department told Congress that Drakes Estero could not be full wilderness until California gave up its rights there–which it has NOT done.

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