In removing the historic oyster farm from Drakes Estero, the Park Service misrepresented both science and history.
The Park Service leveled false charges of environmental harm against an upstanding family business, and falsely claimed that its policies required the historic oyster farm to be removed. The agency even falsified scientific information, as reported in Newsweek in January 2015.
The truth about the Drakes Bay Oyster controversy is that this historic oyster farm was part of the working landscape the Seashore was formed to protect. The Lunnys, a third-generation Point Reyes ranching family, purchased the oyster farm in 2004 and have been superb stewards of the land and water. Read more about the Lunny family here.
On Wednesday, April 29, 2015, Kevin Lunny testified at a Congressional hearing entitled “Zero Accountability: The Consequences of Politically Driven Science.” The subcommittee’s press release, which includes portions of Kevin Lunny’s testimony, is here.
Congress Investigates NPS “Culture of Corruption”
Update September 29, 2016: Congressional investigations of mismanagement and sexual harassment in the Park Service recently broadened to include Yosemite National Park. Superintendent Neubacher issued an apology on Monday. Now he has been removed from his position as Superintendent. The NPS on-the-record statement is here.
Congress has investigated NPS misconduct under Director Jarvis several times this year. “After the two previous hearings, quite frankly, I’ve been shocked at the culture of corruption and misconduct that has been allowed to persist at the National Park Service,” said Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), who is calling for Jarvis to resign. Recent disclosures of crimes and cover-ups at the agency include sexual harassment by NPS employees in the Grand Canyon and the suspected destruction of documents relevant to the case of a boy who died at a National Park. Director Jarvis himself was found guilty of skirting ethics regulations and then covering up his actions in the face of an IG investigation. We believe Mr. Jarvis is unfit to lead the agency.
So-Called True Story Is Largely Fiction
In 2015, a book was published called The Oyster War. The book conveys the false narrative promulgated by the Park Service and its allies. Click here to read a review of the book. Click here for a list of errors and distortions.
Cartoons by George Russell
“Drakes Bay Oyster is a great local subject,” says cartoonist George Russell. His editorial cartoons about the Drakes Bay Oyster controversy are widely admired. “My views are expressed in the cartoons. Since I get to draw what I want, I draw what I feel on the subject. It’s always fun to stick up for the underdog, and I think the NPS has been a bit of a bully in this case. The Lunnys are great fighters and it’s great to see that they are taking on the NPS.” To see more George Russell cartoons and read more about the artist, click here.
Oysters Help the Environment
All over the world, oyster-restoration projects are taking place to improve the ecosystem. Native oysters once provided these ecological services, but they have been over-fished. It’s estimated that 85% of the world’s oysters have been lost. Oyster farming and oyster restoration projects are making up for this loss.To read more click here
The Wilderness Illusion
As Drakes Bay Oyster Farm fought to stay in business, a group of anti-oyster-farm activists worked for its demise. Much of the Drakes Bay Oyster controversy was manufactured by this one small group of mostly-paid professional activists whose tactics included spreading false information about the Lunny family’s farming practices. These troublemakers claimed they were advancing the cause of “wilderness.” To read more click here