Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Editorial: Backlash to Point Reyes oyster farm ouster sends a message to D.C.

KEN SALAZAR is far from the most popular man in Marin right now. The secretary of the U.S. Interior Department announced last week that the lease for the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. will not be renewed, ending 100 years of oyster farming in Drakes Estero. His decision, while not a surprise, triggered a flood of local reaction that has mostly taken him to task. The IJ has received more than 45 letters to the editor on the issue. They are running about 80 percent in favor of the oyster farm getting a longer lease on life. There also have been hundreds of comments posted on IJ stories online. The outrage in Marin is genuine, but we don't expect Salazar to change his mind, despite the reaction here and the lawsuit filed this week by Kevin Lunny, owner of Drakes Bay Oyster Co., and his supporters. Salazar and other federal officials knew this was a no-win situation, that the government would be sued regardless of his decision. They would rather deal with a lawsuit by an oyster farmer than with one by major environmental and conservation groups. That doesn't make his decision right. It just makes it political...more

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