Lack of respect major factor
It has come to the attention of the Citizen that the Environmental Action Committee of Point Reyes Station is sending out emails to its supporters asking them to begin a letter-writing campaign to three newspapers outside of West Marin. The request is to include in the letters the following points, and to send copies to Cicely Muldoon and Jon Jarvis.
- There’s only one opportunity for a marine wilderness experience on the West Coast, and Congress was right to protect Drakes Estero for this purpose for all Americans to enjoy.
- The closure of Drakes Bay Oyster Co. is absolutely fair – a deal is a deal.
- I am grateful for having the oyster shack closed, it is one huge step closer to realizing wilderness protection and management for Drakes Estero.
- The American taxpayers purchased the oyster company in 1972 and have waited over 40 years to enjoy a wilderness experience as long-planned and paid for.
- Drakes Estero is the ecological heart of Point Reyes National Seashore and should be protected from zooming motor boats, invasive species, marine vomit, and plastic debris litter.
- DBOC is a scofflaw company that has thumbed its nose at the California Coastal Act for nearly ten years. It does not belong in our marine wilderness area.
- DBOC was given written notice of the impending closure in late 2004 and the public is not responsible for its business decisions or resulting consequences.
- DBOC has operated 20+ months rent free on our public lands and reaped hundreds of thousands of dollars. What has it done with that money for its employees?
- Wilderness is rare and valuable and must be protected from private commercialization.
- Humboldt Bay is accepting proposals for new oyster leases and DBOC can operate there, but this operation is not appropriate in a national park wilderness area.
Meanwhile, some 25 families face an uncertain future, families with young children in local schools, families that will find it nearly impossible to find housing or jobs where they have lived and worked for some time. Thousands of people have been deprived of a valued local resource which was accessible to all, not merely the elite. It appears cruel at this time to state that, “I am grateful for having the oyster shack closed” without taking into consideration the families who have been directly impacted.
As for the other points, most have been disputed in the lengthy campaign to discredit and attack a local well-respected family. It should be pointed out once again that the attacks began with the NPS accusing the Lunny’s of breaking Federal marine mammal protection laws (falsely) back in 2007, and led by the EAC, accusing our West Marin community of extreme right-wing interests, accusing the oyster farm of causing the marine vomit invasion (false), zooming motor boats (thousands of hours of filming and recording never proved this) and so on. An honest campaign would have gained respect, but instead falsehoods were utilized to further the quest, in the same manner our political campaigns are run.
The severe and often false accusations from NPS and environmental groups created and grew a grass-roots defense. This was a natural and logical response as it is difficult to continue turning the other cheek in response to attacks. This is what so many West Marin residents are angry over.
Having differing opinions on wilderness or sustainable non-polluting aquaculture is perfectly acceptable. The ugly methods used to further this dispute are not.