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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National Fisherman Live: 1/27/15
In this episode:
Assessment: Atlantic menhaden is not overfished
Bering Sea pollock fishery casts off
Dock to Dish opens Florida’s first CSF
Second wave of disaster funds for Alaska
Fisherman lands N.C.’s largest bluefin ever
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is still seeking public review and comment on the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management Conformance Criteria (Version 1.2, September 2011). The public review and comment period, which opened on Dec. 3, 2014, runs through Monday, Feb. 3.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.