The owners of the Drakes Bay Oyster Co at Point Reyes National Seashore announced they will fight the decision by the federal government to shut down their commercial aquaculture operation. Amid controversy, Interior Secretary Salazar had declined to renew the company’s 40-year lease, which expired in November. Under federal law enacted in 1976 the area is to be permanently protected as a wilderness.
“Our family business is not going to sit back and let the government steam roll our community, which has been incredibly supportive of us,” owner Kevin Lunny said in a written statement issued by Cause of Action. “We are exploring possible responses to the National Park Service and will be taking legal action against them soon.”
Cause of Action, a 14-month old Washington DC-based nonprofit “government accountability” organization has taken up Lunny’s cause pro bono.
Meet Dan Epstein, who heads Cause for Action: From Greenwire: “At 29, Epstein is an unlikely figure to head a Washington nonprofit, with a résumé made up of internships, a stint at the conservative Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and three years on the House oversight panel both when Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) was the ranking member and when he became chairman last year. Cause of Action chooses cases that tell a “captivating story,” Epstein said. That strategy is exemplified in the group’s decision to become involved in the controversy over whether the Interior Department should allow a California oyster farm to continue operating in a potential wilderness area.”