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Letter of the Day: Oyster farm choices

  • Francisco Manzo, left, and Francisco Lopez process oysters at the Drakes Bay Oyster Farm facility near Inverness, on Thursday, November 29, 2012. U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said he will shut down the oyster farm at Point Reyes National Seashore, designating the site as a wilderness area. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

<b>Oyster farm choices</b>

EDITOR: I have been following the letters vilifying the federal government for upholding the Wilderness Act in the case of Kevin Lunny's "claim" to maintaining and expanding his operations in Drakes Bay.

Lunny received bad legal advice from the outset, and I am amazed that he's going forward with an appeal. This issue isn't about whose science is the good science. It's about setting a bad precedent for future activities in national parks.

Across America there are many private inholdings in national parks. If Interior Secretary Ken Salazar ignores a provision in the Wilderness Act to accommodate this man's operation, it will probably unleash a rash of development proposals in other parks. Can you imagine while you're hiking coming upon a private golf course in Zion National Park? A private airport in Yellowstone? How about a strip mall on the shores of Crater Lake?

On the other hand, if Salazar chooses to grant an extension on the lease, shouldn't it be put out to bid? It would be a new contract under a new set of laws. My guess is Lunny wouldn't be able to meet the market value of such a unique development opportunity.

JOANNE DRANGINIS

Santa Rosa


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