The Oyster War

The Oyster War

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It all began simply enough. In 1976 the Point Reyes Wilderness Act was passed with broad support, giving more than 33, 000 acres of forest, grassland and shoreline the highest possible environmental protection in America. Those lands were to include a rare marine sanctuary, the Drakes Estuary, as qpotential wilderness.a€ Located in that estuary was a small, struggling oyster farm. In existence for more than eighty years, it was accused of doing environmental harm. In 2005 the farm was given notice by the National Parks Service that its lease on the property, due to expire in 2012, would not be renewed. The intention was to allow this area to be restored and to be a viable part of the wilderness preserve. Kevin Lunny, a local rancher, bought the oyster farm in 2005 and renamed it The Drakes Bay Oyster Company. He refused to acknowledge the term of the lease, nor did he intend to abide by it, and thus began a protracted battle in the courts and in the court of public opinion over the future of the estuary. Environmentalists, local activists, national politicians, scientists, and the Department of the Interior all joined the battle, which began as a matter of localIt all began simply enough.

Title:The Oyster War
Author:Summer Brennan
Publisher:Counterpoint - 2015-08-01


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