Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Judge denies Marin oyster company's bid to stay in business

A federal judge on Monday denied Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s bid to remain in business, upholding Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s decision that shuttered the commercial shellfish operation on the Marin County coast. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled that she lacked jurisdiction to review the decision by Salazar, who declined to renew a 40-year lease that gave oyster farm operator Kevin Lunny the right to operate in Drake’s Estero. The National Park Service, based on Salazar’s decision, ordered Lunny to shut down the business by Feb. 28. The farm harvests 8 million oysters a year, worth about $1.5 million, from a 2,500-acre estuary designated as wilderness in the Point Reyes National Seashore. Lunny filed suit contending that Salazar’s order violated federal rules and was based on faulty science. The judge, who heard oral arguments in her Oakland courtroom on Jan. 25, said that even if she had jurisdiction Lunny’s arguments were unlikely to prevail. Wilderness advocates who sought removal of the oyster farm hailed the decision and said they hoped it will bring the divisive issue to an end...more

The minute Congress designated the Wilderness they were doomed.  No commercial enterprises allowed in Wilderness according to the 1964 Wilderness Act.  Even with special riders, over time they will get you.

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