Interior Secretary Salazar Shuts Down Drake's Bay Oyster Company

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Fed's use false science to shut down California oyster company

This is a story that should be familiar to landowners and farmers in the Skagit Valley --> bogus science used to pursue extreme environmentalist agendas by a government agency and special interest groups. In this case, the National Park Service used a study conducted in Japan in 1955 and another from a designated wilderness area not even close to the location of the oyster farm to base their decision. For those farmers who may consider reaching a deal with any government entity, thinking they are perserving their farmland and way of life, this should give them pause.

Per Mary Katherine Ham, writing for the blog Hot Air,

". . . The Drakes Bay Oyster Company has been in a seven-year fight with the federal government and environmental groups over whether it’s 40-year lease would be renewed this week. The Lunny family, which owns the oyster farm, was among a group of families that sold their ranch lands to the National Parks Service in the 1970s to protect them from developers, with the understanding they would get 40-year-leases renewed in perpetuity. After buying and operating the oyster farm without incident— they were even featured as outstanding environmental stewards by the National Parks Service— the Lunnys learned in 2005 they were accused of bringing environmental damage to an area the NPS and environmentalists were anxious to designate as the nation’s first federally recognized marine wilderness."

On November 30, 2012, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar denied the renewal of the Lunny family permit to continue operating their oyster farm. The Lunny's lost their farm and 30 employees were put out of work.  Once again, radical environmentalists, employing the power of the federal government, have destroyed a viable business and the livelihoods of numerous people to further their perverse agenda.

Please watch this short documentary of about 20 minutes made before Secretary Salazar's decision. Suggest you have your blood pressure meds readily available.

Kevin Lunny and the Drake's Bay Oyster Company filed suit against the federal government on December 3rd in the Northern District of California's District Court.  Named as defendents in the suit were:

  • The National Park Service,
  • Secretary of the Interior Kenneth Salazar,
  • The Department of the Interior,
  • NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis,
  • and various NPS employees.

They key components of the lawsuit were the following allegations. 

  • Defendants failed to comply with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).
  • Defendants violated the Data Quality Act and the APA by publishing and using scientifically flawed and false information as part of the decisionmaking process for DBOC’s Special Use Permit (SUP) application.
  • Defendants violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
  • Defendants violated the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
  • NPS employees interfered with the agency’s lawfully required procedures by providing misleading and false information to decisionmakers and the public.

More information may be found here.

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