Letter of the Day: Oyster wars

  • File - In this Nov. 21, 2012 file photo, workers on a scow bring in a load of freshly harvested oysters at Drakes Bay Oyster Company in Point Reyes National Seashore, Calif. A popular Northern California oyster farm is attempting to block Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's decision to make the area a designated wilderness and evict the company. A lawsuit filed by Kevin Lunny, owner of Drakes Bay Oyster Co. along Point Reyes National Seashore, claims Salazar and others failed to comply with national environmental law, violated his constitutional rights and are illegally taking millions of dollars off his property.(AP Photo/Eric Risberg, file)

Oyster wars

EDITOR: Before Thomas F. Feeney ("Liberal policies," Letters, Tuesday) goes out to do battle with the federal government, he might want to consider a few facts. Drakes Bay Oyster Co. has been noncompliant in its permit since the day Kevin Lunny purchased it. The California Coastal Commission issued a cease-and-desist order on the same day a federal judge found his case to have no merit.

In fact, the federal government has been Lunny's biggest benefactor. He has operated a multi-million dollar operation on national park land since 2005 for less than the cost of a single overnight campsite in the park. This includes 1,140 acres of tideland and five acres with a house on shore. He has framed this as a cause for his workers without mentioning the millions he stands to make with the help of notorious right-wing legal, public relations and political operatives. This could have serious ramifications for all public lands if he prevails.

Many people have had to move from houses with termed-out leases the park bought 40 years ago. I can assure Feeney of one thing: If the workers' plight were the central issue, it would not be the cause that it's become.



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