Dear Lunny family and friends,
The National Grange has sent a letter to Pres. Obama in support of the farm.
For those not aware of the National Grange, it is the oldest agricultural organization in the United States.
(their national building is across from the White House).
Yannick A. Phillips
Sonoma Valley Grange
Here is the letter: (click the link below to see the letter on National Grange Letterhead or read the letter below it)
Dear President Obama:
On behalf of the National Grange and the nearly 160,000 members we represent, I write to you today to ask
for your support and help in keeping a small but vital family farm alive by reversing the November 28,
2012 decision of former Interior Secretary Salazar not to renew the Drake’s Bay Oyster Farm’s special-use
permit. The farm has been owned by the Lunny family in the Pt. Reyes area of California for almost 100
years. This little farm produces almost 50% of all oysters in California. This farm and other such oyster
farms have environmental benefits for the ecosystem and that is why the federal government presently
spends millions of taxpayer dollars to help restore oysters and shellfish in numerous areas in the United
States as filter feeders of our waters.
At the National Grange, we pride ourselves in supporting farmers and their quest to feed our citizens
nationwide. A farm is not simply another business on Main Street; it is a business that keeps people
nourished and has vital importance to every American. We understand that law and policy cannot always
satisfy all parties that are directly or indirectly involved, but in this case, the law and policy that formed the
basis of the agency’s discretion seem to have trumped over common sense for the core community of Pt.
Reyes. In essence, former Secretary Salazar decided to put a small, sustainable family farm out of business
in order to allow the farm’s property to revert to “wilderness,” even though other adjacent farmers and
ranchers are allowed to continue operating in that same area.
In addition, law and policy seem to have trumped the overseen ramifications that will occur throughout
California- a state greatly strapped for money- beyond the outskirts of the small community of Pt. Reyes.
Though far from California, we in D.C. can envision the considerable negative consequences that will
unfold should Secretary Salazar’s decision stand. As just one example, the agricultural runoff into the
Drakes Estero from the remaining agricultural operations that were spared from Secretary Salazar’s
decision will not be filtered once the oysters are forcibly removed by the National Park Service. In
addition, California will now have to import a greater number of oysters from foreign nations such as
China. We ask that you urgently consider overturning former Secretary Salazar’s misguided decision and
help bring back a more peaceful and integrated decision that highlights sustainable, environmentally
friendly and low carbon footprint agriculture rather than tossing it aside. The wilderness area of Pt. Reyes
and the Lunny’s sustainable, small family farm can certainly co-exist, as they have done for nearly 100
years. Thank you for your consideration.