Queue evil laughter – it’s not like this was predictable, or anything:
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Thursday the Drakes Bay Oyster Co.’s operating permit will expire at Point Reyes National Seashore on Friday, returning Drakes Estero to wilderness.
“I’ve taken this matter very seriously,” Salazar said in a written statement. “We’ve undertaken a robust public process to review the matter from all sides, and I have personally visited the park to meet with the company and members of the community.
“I believe it is the right decision for Point Reyes National Seashore and for future generations who will enjoy this treasured landscape.”
[Drake’s owner] Lunny said he is not sure what will happen to the company’s 30 employees and the on-site housing where about half of them live.
Also uncertain is the fate of some 8 million to 10 million oysters that are currently in the water, growing in various stages of development. The oysters would have a market value of about 50 cents each, but the last of them will not be ready to harvest for another two years, Lunny said.
The oyster company — which made about $1.5 million annually — will have to remove its personal property from the lands and waters within 90 days. Salazar has asked the National Park Service to help the employees who are affected by the decision, including assisting with relocation, employment opportunities and training. Drakes Estero has been in commercial oyster production for nearly 100 years.
The oyster farm has a lease allowing it to grow and harvest oysters in Drakes Estero in the Point Reyes National Seashore, a national park. But a 40-year lease that began in 1972 expires Friday. Now the estero will become the only marine wilderness area on the West Coast.
Park officials have maintained they signed a 40-year lease with the Johnson’s Oyster Co. in 1972 with the understanding that the 2,200-acre estero would become a wilderness when it expired this year.
The park service has voiced concern about the oyster operation’s impact on eelgrass, fish, harbor seals and other wildlife and produced data indicating it was causing environmental damage. But Lunny supporters said the park service manipulated facts and figures to portray the oyster operation in a poor light.
Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune lauded the decision.
“We’re thrilled that after three decades this amazing piece of Point Reyes National Seashore will finally receive the protections it deserves,” he said. “Once the oyster factory operations are removed, as originally promised … this estuary will quickly regain its wilderness characteristics and become a safe haven for marine mammals, birds and other sea life.”
There was no published comment from Brune regarding the loss of sales tax revenue or the effect on the now-unemployed employees of the business. We suspect that, had the tough question been asked – which would have gone against The Narrative, and, therefore, an impossibility – the answer would have been, “Let them eat cake.”
Ladies and gentlemen – please welcome our new
Nazi environmental overlords!
But this “victory” is against the wishes of one of the Democratic Party’s senior bullwarks, CA Senator Dianne Feinsteine:
“I am extremely disappointed that Secretary Salazar chose not to renew the operating permit for the Drakes Bay Oyster Company,” Feinstein said. “The National Park Service’s review process has been flawed from the beginning with false and misleading science, which was also used in the Environmental Impact Statement.”
The case divided California’s two Democratic senators, with Feinstein laboring to keep the business alive and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) supporting the environmentalists.
“The secretary’s decision effectively puts this historic California oyster farm out of business,” Feinstein said. “As a result, the farm will be forced to cease operations and 30 Californians will lose their jobs.”
Oooooh – pinko-Lefty catfight: octogenarian multi-millionare gun-control-supporting environmentalist Senator v. septagenarian multi-millionaire gun-control-supporting environmentalist Senator. The winner of this Spy-vs-Spy argument? Certainly not small businesses, local programs relying on sales tax revenue or the 30 former business employees.
One wonders if the National Park Service’s acknowledged “flawed” review process and their use of “false and misleading science” will impact Sem. Feinstein’s views on National Park recreational usage, development of natural resources located on/in National Park lands, or the whole Global Climate Change fraud? Somehow, we doubt it. Despite this poor decision, it still doesn’t fit The Narrative.