To view the chronology, click this link:
The first page covers the history of oyster farming in Drake’s Estero as well as the creation of the farms and ranches in the early 1800’s, through 1962 and the creation of the Point Reyes National Seashore.
The date of the latest update is included in the name of the document.
How did you get involved? Why are you doing this? What do you hope to accomplish? Those are the first three questions people ask me, and they usually ask all three, one right after the other.
Early July 2004, we moved to Point Reyes Station, part of West Marin, on the coast Marin County California, the county just north of San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge. Over my years here, I have come to know ‘community’ for the first time in my life. It began with the coffee hour after Mass on Sundays at Sacred Heart Church where I first met the core of the ‘community’ that I was to come to call my own. It was there I met Kevin and Nancy Lunny, who purchased the old Johnson’s Oyster Company in early 2005. What was to unfold was a story fit for a Carl Hiaasen novel except, you could not make this stuff up.
Over the next six years, I listened to the trials and tribulations of Kevin and Nancy at the coffee hour then would go home and try to recount what I had heard to my husband. My stories would be met with responses ranging from dubiousness to outright disbelief. Answering his questions was near to impossible for the story seemed too fantastic to be true as I attempted to recount it.
As of April of this year, after the fifth major business and family stressors in my new life ‘at the Point’ was finally behind me, I decided I needed to know what the real story was behind Lunny’s Drakes Bay Oyster Company and the National Park Service. I did not know who to believe, what was accurate, or who or what was really behind it all. I just wanted to know what had happened. One thing I do know is my memory fails me if I do not write things down so I started this chronology. Using the internet I found the history of the area, the farms, ranches, dairies and the oyster farm as well as some of the studies, documents, and letters relating to this saga. It grew to nine pages however, I knew much was still missing from what I had been hearing and reading over the years.
Kevin and Nancy Lunny accepted my invitation to meet and tell me their side of the story. My husband asked to attend the meeting. I explained I just wanted to understand what has happened, and the only way for me to do that was to do some research and get it written down as a chronology. On August 1, 2011, we met at the Pine Cone Diner in town at noon setting aside two hours. Nearly four hours later, Frank and I left with our heads overflowing with information and me with a pile of barely legible notes.
Over the next couple of weeks, I realized I also needed to speak with Dr. Corey Goodman. Dr. Goodman is the scientist who, at the request of Marin County Board of SupervisorSteve Kinsey, in 2007 was asked to review the National Park Service scientific report on Drakes Estero and discovered what he called “scientific misconduct”. Many investigations have been conducted since, much documentation is available on line, but I knew I needed to talk to the scientist behind it all. My emailed request for Corey’s contact information to the Lunnys on Friday August 12, led to my forwarding my sparse chronology to him that afternoon and requesting an appointment. I was welcomed into his home two days later. Frank accompanied me for he had his own questions.
“What do you want to accomplish?” was his first question. “I want to understand what has transpired and, if it turns out to be what I think; the first thing I want is Congressional Hearings. It doesn’t seem just what is going on however; I need more information to understand what has happened. If what has happened is unjust, I want to see justice done.” Our one-hour appointment lasted nearly four hours and in the months since, the chronology has grown to nearly 40 pages. It is saved as a PDF document so you can easily do a “Find” for names, dates, documents, whatever you wish. I will continue to add to it as the saga continues.
In order to understand what has transpired, one needs the facts, all of them, without pre-conceived notions or someone else’s agenda clouding the facts.
The public has until November 29, 2011 to post comments on the NPS website. Before you comment, please read the chronology, follow the hyper-links to the sources of information, watch the presentations, then think and decide for yourself what is really going on.
I am working as quickly as I can to provide you with as much pertinent information as possible so that you can make an informed decision and help justice be done through your comments.
Please click this link to see the chronology: