Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Top Court Turns Away Appeal of Oyster Farm in Wilderness Area

The Supreme Court on Monday turned away an appeal from a California oyster farm that has been ordered by the government to cease operations on federal land. Drakes Bay Oyster Co. had received an order in 2012 to shut down from then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar after its 40-year contract with the federal Park Service expired at the end of November 2012. The farm's owner, Kevin Lunny, has continued his operation while appealing in federal court. But the high court's denial of the case likely spells the imminent closure of Drakes Bay Oyster Co., which produces about a third of California's oysters. The court specifically denied the farm's request to continue operating while a trial on the merits of the case proceeds. Now that the court has denied that appeal, the trial will proceed in the U.S. District Court in Oakland, Calif. Mr. Lunny said his business will continue its fight to stay open. Congress designated much of the Point Reyes Preserve in Northern California, on which the farm is based, as federally protected wilderness in 1976. It is one of numerous businesses operating on federal lands in the West that in recent years have clashed with federal regulators over orders to cease or reduce operations, often with pressure from environmental groups...more

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