January 14, 2014

Ninth circuit denies rehearing in oyster farm case

By Anthony L. Francois Senior Attorney

Drakes Bay Oyster FarmThis morning the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s petition for rehearing, and issued an amended opinion in the case which once again upholds the trial court’s decision to deny the oyster farm an injunction which would prevent the closure of the farm.

The oyster farm will have to consider its next steps as it defends itself against the Park Service and Department of the Interior and fights to stay alive as part of Point Reyes National Seashore’s historic agricultural heritage.  If the federal bureaucracy is able to force the oyster farm out, there is great concern that the ranchers at Point Reyes will be next on the eviction list.

This case has many aspects which contend for most outrageous, but one leading candidate for that label is the fact that the National Seashore itself would not exist if the ranches and farms (including the oyster farm) which have been there for multiple generations had not partnered with the federal government in the first place to preserve the region’s agricultural heritage from development.  The Park Service has shown itself a devious and untrustworthy partner, if it even still deserves that name.

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