The Coastal Post - February, 1996

Unsung Heroes


On the weekend of January 13, a car overturned on a curve in Drake's View Estate. People drove by too much in a hurry to notice the teetering upside-down car alongside the road, except one, our dentist, Dr. Crispin of Pt. Reyes Station.

Bolting over to the vehicle, which was rocking back and forth on its roof, he saw that the lady driver was hung upside-down by her seatbelt. Thankfully, the driver's window was down and he reached in and unstrapped her, then pulled the frightened lady to safety via the open window.

This incident never appeared in the Pt. Reyes Light, and so in mentioning it here, I wish to salute Dr. Crispin for his caring, time and energy in doing such an admirable job of rescuing a very appreciative damsel in distress, I'm sure. Good job, Doc!

* * * * *

Martin Pozzi, the president of Marin County Farm Bureau, has been put through the ringer these last few months concerning the possible "Park Boundary Buffer Zone" bill which encompasses ranches from Pt. Reyes Station due north into Sonoma County.

It seems that Republican Young of Alaska, who chairs the congressional committee overseeing this bill, has made it very clear that he will not pass this bill unless the ranchers, who are the land-holders within the proposed boundary, in toto want this bill and that their land use and private property rights are not in any way endangered.

As it turns out, over 60% (and that's a conservative figure) do not want the Park Bill passed, and the primary reason for this is that the bill is inadequately funded. While they could wait years for the funding, the Feds would have them locked into a restrictive and precarious situation.

The Board of Directors of the Farm Bureau, most of which are heavily involved in MALT (Marin Agricultural Land Trust), have been pressuring Marin to more on less rubber stamp that Bill and in all good conscience as the President, he must represent the majority of the consensus of the ranchers within the proposed buffer zone.

Understandably, the MALT/Farm Bureau directors are heavy leaners on Martin, because MALT is running out of funds, and if passed, the proposed bill would fund the organization. Along with Supe Gary Giacomini, they've put a lot of effort into helping Congresswoman Woolsey move the Bill along the bureaucratic course, but alas, the landholders within the proposed zone have the final say, as well they should, since its their lives, land, and future at risk in this situation.

These same ranchers quite agree with Gary Giacomini's previous statement of "killing the bill now and bringing it back when funding is move appropriate for the scope of the task at hand." As one rancher, Jim Spaletta, so succinctly put it, "It's inappropriate to adopt a baby and not have the basic funds to properly nurture it."

I look at the Bob Gallagher Ranch, which has been on the list for a buy-out on the original Park Bill for many years and they still haven't been bought out. It's been a terrible strain on the family, as they are getting up in age. And the worst case scenario is that they are not allowed to be released from the "sometime, somewhere" park acquisition. They are held hostage! And that my friends, is exactly what could happen to some of us in this new Park Zone Buffer Bill. Martin Pozzi has a responsibility and a dedicated commitment to his fellow ranchers and he's doing a fine job trying to represent them. So to Martin Pozzi from many of us in ranching—we salute you and support you in your leadership as Farm Bureau President.

By the time you read this column, it will have already happened. A campaign party was held at Borello Ranch for the common sense candidate, Supervisor Judy Arnold. Invited were the sometimes forgotten of West Marin: the true environmentalists and stewards of the land—the ranchers, a cross-section of business people comprised of B&B; owners, fishermen, carpenters, a contingent from the Mexican population, the young people who would like to live and work in their own community and the environmentally sound, common-sense conservationists who believe in cooperation with in business, not destruction.

P.S. It's good to hear that the Pt. Reyes Business Association is gearing up to be more vocal on issues pertaining to the business community. They've been too long in the closet. With the leadership of President Don Pidd and the positive energy of the Board of Directors, it looks like '96 could be a good year, a lot better than disastrous '95 was. We in the business community applaud your efforts, Don, and should give the Association a lot of support.