The push is on, friends. The deadline for public comment on Drakes Bay Oyster Company's Special Users Permit in Point Reyes National Park has been extended to December 9th, so please urgently spread the word for support of Drakes Bay Oyster Company. A little background on the controversy can be found here and here, and now is the time for action.
Please go to the Alliance for Local Sustainable Agriculture and read the guidelines for putting together a clear, concise, and comprehensive comment. Take this information and post your comment at the National Park Service's website. Also, it doesn't matter if you're a local of Northern California or a resident of Tuscaloosa. Being the NATIONAL Park Service, everyone's opinion is regarded as equal. Correct in theory but flawed in practice. That's like someone's vote in Alaska contributing to the approval of a nuclear power plant's construction in your backyard. Strange to me, but hopefully we can use it to our advantage rather than detriment. Additionally go to Oysterzone to get a Marin County resident's opinion on the matter (much more extensive than my own).
I don't believe there is much of my opinion on the matter that I haven't shared yet. The NPS has gone on witch-hunts and publicly smeared individuals and organizations before. The Case of The Indian Trader, written by Paul Berkowitz, describes the case of Billy Malone, a former Indian trader at the Hubbell Trading Post in Arizona, who was everything but framed by the NPS. Berkowitz, a former NPS detective, gave a long and eye-opening lecture on his book in Marin County a few weeks ago, and it was quite shocking. The link provided gives a brief but detailed description. Long story short, the NPS and it's "non-profit" cooperating association, the Western National Parks Association, sought to vilify Billy Malone to explain declining Hubbell Trading Post profits (which WNPA was legally allowed to "donate" to the NPS) and to obtain precious Navajo antiquities owned by Malone, valued in the millions. I'm sure that statement would get torn apart as being libelous, but it's really what seems to be the conclusion of the matter. They almost ruined this man's life, and would have if Berkowitz hadn't been assigned the investigation and vindicated Malone.
Former congressman Pete McCloskey, an original author of the 1976 legislation sanctioning Point Reyes National Park as a wilderness, presented at the lecture as well. He stated that when the Point Reyes National Seashore Act was passed, the authors' intention was the Oyster farm always remain part of the park. NPS has misinterpreted this law in its favor to close the farm.
Well, the NPS is pulling another "Case of the Indian Trader" in Point Reyes. The backwards culture of this agency somehow internally justifies its unprofessional approach to Drakes Bay Oyster Company. "Let's juke a couple stats, suppress some relevant findings, and ignore the massive cultural and socioeconomic impact on the community, all so we can make Point Reyes National a wildlife sanctuary." Noble cause corruption. I'm afraid that's not how it's supposed to work. Research is meant to be gathered in an objective manner and a decision be made in the best interest of both the community and environment. NPS has long had the goal of closing DBOC from the start of this environmental impact statement, and it seems as though they will stop at nothing to achieve this goal, even put their integrity in question.
No matter if you are in support of closing Drakes Bay Oyster Company, you have to cringe at the investigation the NPS has conducted. No ethical individual could be presented with all the facts and say "good on-ya, NPS, you're doing the right thing." There has been crass misrepresentation of DBOC's intentions in the area, disregard of important community implications, and dubiously obtained data. And it's not like it's NPS vs. Big Bad Oyster Company. You all know that the Lunnys run a family farm committed to the most sound aquaculture practices available. The closure of DBOC would financially ruin them. It's no longer about pro-oyster vs. pro-park. It's about the irresponsible actions of a governmental agency crushing a local, sustainable, community supported farm. I know I couldn't live with myself if I didn't do all that I could to help save Drakes Bay Oyster Farm.
So please, tell everyone you know to go to the listed sites and voice their opinion in support of Drakes Bay Oyster Company.
The SF Oysternerd