often described as one of the most pristine estuaries on the west coast, Drakes Estero became a battleground over sustainable aquaculture vs. wilderness designation.
Drakes Bay Oyster Company was forced by the Park Service to shut down its 80+ year operation in December 2014.
the site of Drakes Bay Oyster Company, after closure
built in the 1860s and once considered one of the best examples of the area's historic creameries, this neglected building at the former Horick Ranch collapsed in 2008.
site of the collapsed creamery at the former Horick Ranch, after the NPS removed the debris.
roughly 200 acres in size and formally designated by Congress as wilderness -- and surrounded on both sides by working ranches.
the top end of drakes estero -- back in the 1800s, butter and cheese produced from this landscape were shipped to San Francisco by schooner.
abandoned building at Tocaloma, a small settlement acquired by the NPS in the 1970s; the tenants were evicted in 2000.
a working sheep farm across Tomales Bay from the Seashore, producing cheese and wool products.
several working ranches must also now support an increasing number of tule elk, who compete with cattle for forage and can damage fences.
the only working fish dock located directly on the Pacific Ocean between Half Moon Bay and (probably) Eureka, until it was closed by the Park Service after George Nunes, the fisherman who ran it, died in 2005.
Point Reyes was originally established in 1962 to provide public beach access and recreation opportunities.
RCA operated a radio transmitting station at Point Reyes in the 1920s-40s; this cypress allee leads to the art deco Coast Station House, soon to be designated a historic landmark. the Park Service uses the building for office space.
pierce ranch school
at the pierce ranch -- in the 1880s, ranchers planted eucalyptus and/or monterey cypress trees as protective windbreaks around their ranch buildings, to shield from the ever-present fog and wind -- now the trees are reaching the end of their lifespan, and slowly falling apart.
fog on the hills
I've read that Point Reyes is the foggiest piece of land (as opposed to areas out at sea) on earth.
the gallagher (F) ranch
only the cypress windbreak and the ranch road remain
a female elephant seal asleep in the sun at the closed fish dock, amongst some left-behind fencing and concrete.
despite letting the rest of the buildings at the Horick Ranch decay, the NPS has maintained this one, rebuilding the roof and painting the exterior .