Deborah “The Elkster” Goldeen

Program Manager

Deborah has been a lifelong advocate and activist, starting at the age of six when she wrote a Vietnam War protest letter, in black crayon, to the president. Her life of activism and advocacy has included creating a human rights club while in high school, which included producing a school assembly that featured Joan Baez. Along with championing human rights, Deborah’s activism has included cycling advocacy, climate change action, fair and affordable housing advocacy and voter registration. She started her riding program after being asked to step up and save a horse that had almost starved to death. Deborah’s program used rescued horses, giving them a means to pay their way and educating participants about how to properly care for our equine friends. Her program was open to all dedicated horse lovers regardless of ability to pay.

Born into an era and culture that gave us an environmentalist legislative juggernaut resulting in NEPA, the EPA, the endangered species act and the wilderness act, environmental activism has also always been a high priority for Deborah. Thirty five years in the making, the creation of Point Reyes National Seashore has always been a point of pride for Bay Area natives.

Discovering that a third of what was supposed to be a national park was instead federally subsidized, extractive, destructive agriculture was devastating. Working to establish all of the land in our national park as the province of the natural world is now her top priority.

Deborah’s first goal with RRPR is to educate the public: visitors to the park through conversation and leafletting and others through social media, newsletters, op-ed pieces and letters to the editor. Her second is to bring political and economic pressure to bear on the ranchers by moving elected officials and parks service personnel to hold them to national environmental standards and make them pay their fair share of land use costs or forfeit their privilege of being in the park. Ultimately she would like to see the public’s desire for a cattle-free, ranch-free park move from a dream to a reality through whatever political and administrative action needs to be taken.