U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told a popular oyster farm at Drakes Bay on Thursday to pack up and leave, effectively ending more than a century of shellfish harvesting on the picturesque inlet where Europeans first set foot in California.
Salazar's decision ends a long-running dispute between the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. and the National Park Service over the estuary at Point Reyes National Seashore where Sir Francis Drake landed more than 400 years ago.
The National Park Service intends to turn the 2,700-acre area into the first federally designated marine wilderness area on the West Coast, giving the estuary special protected status as an unaltered ecological region. To do that, Salazar rejected the oyster company's proposal to extend its 40-year lease to harvest shellfish on 1,100 acres of the property.
The decision to shut down the shellfish operation and establish a marine wilderness will have a major impact in rural west Marin County, where many consider the oysters from Drakes Bay a delicacy. The vast coastal area is home to 15 historic dairy farms and cattle ranches, sheepherders and organic farmers who live and work next to, and in some cases on, National Park Service land.
....Lunny's request for an extension had powerful supporters, including Feinstein, Marin County Supervisor Steve Kinsey and former Peninsula Rep. Pete McCloskey, who put up a major fight to keep the operation going.
Park officials had long contended that the oyster company was harming the ecosystem, but Lunny's supporters accused them of selectively presenting information, misrepresenting facts and essentially fudging data in an effort to oust the oyster company.
The complaints gained momentum when the National Academy of Sciences, and the Interior Department's office of the solicitor found major flaws in Park Service reports, including what they termed mistake-ridden and, in some cases, biased work by park scientists.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/U-S-evicting-Point-Reyes-oyster-farmer-4077624.php#ixzz2DhnxseOt
Friday, November 30, 2012
Ken Salazar and enviro nuts kill off 80year old oyster farm.
The government is here to help you become jobless.