Written by Jen Finn
SAN FRANCISCO — The owner of a popular Northern California oyster farm that was recently evicted from a national park said on Tuesday he is filing a lawsuit challenging Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's decision to make the area a designated wilderness.
The 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 of his property.
"We are fighting for our community, our employees and family against a federal bureaucracy," Lunny said during a conference call with reporters.
For decades oystermen have grown the delicacies in what is now federal land. But in 1972, the federal government gave the oyster operation, then owned by someone else, a lease that expired in 40 years.
In 1976 Congress designated the waters of Drakes Estero — where the farm is located — as a potential wilderness area. Salazar's decision returned the area officially to wilderness.
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