4-29-15 We didn’t get our day in court however, we exposed the fraud, conspiracy and scientific misconduct of the PRNS, NPS, and DOI

Oyster Farmer: ‘We Are Terrified’ Of The Gov’t
Photo of Michael Bastasch
MICHAEL BASTASCH
4:53 PM 04/29/2015
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The National Park Service used falsified data to shut down an 80-year-old oyster company in Point Reyes, Calif, its owner claims.

Drakes Bay Oyster Company operated in Point Reyes for decades until National Park Service officials used falsified data to force Kevin Lunny’s family-run oyster farm to shut down. The experience has left its mark on Lunny: “We Are Terrified,” he told lawmakers during a hearing Thursday.

“Let me be clear, we did not fail as a business,” Lunny said in his prepared testimony. “This was not bad luck. Rather, the Park Service engaged in a taxpayer-funded enterprise of corruption to run our small business out of Point Reyes.”

Lunny made this statement in response to a question by Republican Rep. Raul Labrador asking whether or not Lunny felt like there could be consequences from his testimony against the National Parks Service.

Even Democratic California Rep. Jared Huffman admitted that in the rush to get rid of industry from Point Reyes, government officials and environmentalists “overstated” evidence that Lunny’s farm was harming the environment.

“No one has apologized,” Lunny said.

Drakes Bay Oyster Company is located in Northern California’s Point Reyes National Seashore, where it has been for decades. Point Reyes isn’t your typical national park because it was created to preserve the historic coastline where people have been settled since the Gold Rush. It was never intended to be a major tourist attraction like Yellowstone.

For decades the Park Service had a good relationship with the oyster company, but that all changed in the mid-2000s. All of the sudden, NPS officials started blaming the company for an 80 percent decline in the local harbor seal population. Officials also blamed Lunny’s farm for upsetting the ecological balance of Drakes Estero.
But all of these accusations against Drakes Bay Oyster Company turned out to be completely false. The National Parks Service lacked any scientific data to back up its claims that the company was killing seals and hurting the local environment. In fact, studies done by the U.S. Geological Survey and the California State Health Department showed the Parks Service was completely wrong.

NPS, however, didn’t stop there and kept making false claims against the oyster company.

“The Park Service misrepresented that study,” Lunny said. “They instead attempted to demonstrate harm by substituting data from a sixty-year-old study conducted at the Sea of Japan and attributing it to our farm.”

“For example, in assessing the noise impact of our small outboard motor boats, the Park Service, rather than measuring our boats on our soundscape [as required], instead used the measurements from a seventy-horsepower, 700cc Kawasaki jet ski in New Jersey,” Lunny added.

Lunny appealed to higher ups at the National Park Service for help in the matter and to correct the record on false statements made by the agency, but he got no help from the government.

“The local Park Service staff were not willing to correct the false claims, so we went to the Regional Director,” Lunny said. “No help there. Then we went to the Park Service Director, and finally the Secretary of Interior. No one, at any level, was willing to admit that false science was being used against us, or to at least correct the record and stop the false accusations.”

The Interior Department’s own inspector general even found misconduct by agency officials and that they misrepresented facts. But even so, the inspector general was powerless to stop Parks Service officials from attacking Lunny’s business.

Eventually, Drakes Bay Oyster Farm closed its doors because of the litigation and regulatory actions taken by the federal government.

“What the Park Service did to our family was unconscionable,” Lunny said. “This polluted legacy of false science has tainted our dealings with state and federal agencies, and has resulted in unnecessary regulatory and legal action against our family and our farm.”

11-09-2012 WITHOUT HAVING READ THE COMPLAINT, Genl Counsel for Marine Mammal Commission quoted in press “…ALLEGATIONS ARE ‘PROBABLY NOT TRUE’”

November 9, 2012             

From:  Dr. Corey S. Goodman

To: Todd J. Zinser, Inspector General, Department of Commerce

“….In an article in the November 8, 2012 issue of the The West Marin Citizen (a local weekly newspaper in the West Marin community), entitled “Misconduct charged in Marine Mammal Commission report” and written by Lynn Axelrod, Mike Gosliner, General Counsel, MMC, is quoted from an exchange on November 7 as follows:

He (Gosliner) said ‘…. The allegations are probably not true or have a good alternative explanation.”’….

….Mr. Gosliner quoted from the 1990 Memorandum of Understanding between the MMC and the DOC OIG. 

…. I quoted from the March 29, 2011 MMC Scientific Integrity Policy sent by Dr. Ragen to Dr. Holdren, Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), White House, in response to Dr. Holdren’s directive to all federal departments and agencies for such a policy.  Dr. Ragen’s 2011 letter to Dr. Holdren stated:

…., Mr. Gosliner should not be involved in this investigation.  He admitted that he had little time to read the complaint, but nevertheless told the press that the allegations are “probably not true.”  He also said that the complaint concerned scientific misconduct, when the complaint was filed primarily concerning “misconduct” and “deception.”  Much of the complaint involves the violation of laws, policies, guidelines, and regulations, and deceptive statements to the public and elected officials, and does not involve science per se (that is largely relegated to the appendix).   

In conclusion, I stand by my complaint filed with you on November 7, and remain convinced that neither Executive Director Dr. Ragen, Chair Dr. Boness, or General Counsel Mr. Gosliner should be involved in any way in investigating these allegations.”

For the original letter, click the link below:

CSG to Zinser 11_09_12 response to MMC

11-09-2012 Greenwire: Still no EIS as deadline looms

Now, with only three weeks to go, the Interior Department appears to be in a tight spot. Salazar has the option of granting the farm a new 10-year lease, using the Park Service’s EIS to inform his decision.
The draft EIS found that the farm’s continued operations would negatively affect the surrounding environment. But it suffered substantial criticism for its findings — including a particularly critical report from the National Academy of Sciences — and the final EIS is nowhere to be found.
8. INTERIOR:
Still no EIS on embattled Calif. oyster farm as deadline looms for decision
Emily Yehle, E&E reporter
Published: Friday, November 9, 2012
The National Park Service has not yet issued its final environmental impact statement on a California oyster farm, leaving less than the mandated 30-day review period before Interior Secretary Ken Salazar must decide whether to allow the farm to stay in a potential wilderness area.
Drakes Bay Oyster Co. has been at the center of a roiling controversy for years over its location in the Point Reyes National Seashore. The farm has operated there for more than 70 years, but its 40-year lease with the Park Service is up Nov. 30 (Greenwire, Sept. 13).
Now, with only three weeks to go, the Interior Department appears to be in a tight spot. Salazar has the option of granting the farm a new 10-year lease, using the Park Service’s EIS to inform his decision.
The draft EIS found that the farm’s continued operations would negatively affect the surrounding environment. But it suffered substantial criticism for its findings — including a particularly critical report from the National Academy of Sciences — and the final EIS is nowhere to be found.
Under National Environmental Policy Act guidelines, an agency cannot make a decision on the proposed action until 30 days after the final EIS is released. As of today, 21 days remain until the farm’s lease expires.
But the rules are complicated by the fact that the Park Service could let the farm’s lease expire without making any decision. The farm’s owners have also argued that Salazar doesn’t need to wait for the EIS to issue a new lease.
Ryan Waterman, the farm’s attorney, wrote a letter to Salazar earlier this month arguing that Congress inserted a “general repealing clause” in the 2009 spending bill that authorized the new 10-year lease, allowing Interior to override other conflicting laws including NEPA.
“NPS’s struggle to prepare a legally adequate FEIS for your consideration has been overtaken by the passage of time,” Waterman wrote. “Despite the NPS failure to provide you with a legally adequate FEIS, Section 124 permits you to issue a SUP with the same terms and conditions as the existing authorization.”
Interior spokesman Blake Androff declined to comment on the legal implications of a late EIS, but he indicated that Salazar could still decide either way.
“The matter remains under review, and the Secretary expects to issue a decision in the coming weeks,” he said in an email. “The National Park Service engaged in a public process to collect additional information in an inclusive and transparent manner. This public input will help to inform the Secretary’s decision.”
It is no surprise that the Park Service is late in issuing a final EIS, after the National Academy of Sciences issued a report in August recommending significant changes. The NAS panel found that a lack of evidence made the conclusions in the draft EIS significantly uncertain (Greenwire, Aug. 30).
The panel also criticized the Park Service for using two baselines — one for the “no action” alternative of allowing the farm’s lease to expire, and another for the three “action” alternatives of issuing a new lease.
In other words, the Park Service compared the continued operation of the farm to a theoretical situation where the farm does not exist — and it compared the closing of the farm to the current environmental situation. That made it impossible to compare the effect of the farm’s closure to the effect of its continued operation.
Citing such criticism, the oyster farm has demanded that the Park Service redo the draft EIS altogether (Greenwire, Sept. 18).
 

11-07-2012 Marine Mammal Commission Report on Drakes Estero Tainted By NPS-MMC Misconduct

Marine Mammal Commission Report on Drakes Estero Tainted By NPS-MMC Misconduct  — NPS Effectively “Investigated Itself” with MMC Assistance — EIS Compromised — Complaint Filed with Commerce Department OIG 

“In summary, Dr. Ragen’s conduct was inappropriate and unethical. NPS employees were equally inappropriate, complicit, and active participants throughout a MMC review process that was anything but transparent, inclusive, and independent.  Dr. Ragen established a public process with a veneer of fairness, balance, and independence, while his private activities subordinated that independence to the very entity being investigated and reviewed – the National Park Service.”

From: Corey Goodman <corey.goodman@me.com>

Subject: filing of misconduct complaint with DOC OIG

Date: November 7, 2012 10:29:26 AM PST

November 7, 2012

From:  Dr. Corey S. Goodman

To: Todd J. Zinser, Inspector General, Department of Commerce

Re: Request that DOC OIG investigate allegations that Marine Mammal Commission Exec. Director Dr. Timothy Ragen, in the review and release, and later private reversal of the key conclusion, of his MMC Report on “Mariculture and Harbor Seals in Drakes Estero, California,” violated MMC policies, FOIA, and the MMC Scientific Integrity Policy

Dear Inspector General Zinser,

I request that the Department of Commerce Office of the Inspector General (DOC OIG), initiate an investigation into allegations of misconduct by Dr. Timothy Ragen, Executive Director, Marine Mammal Commission (MMC).  The complaint presented below alleges that Dr. Ragen violated MMC policies, rules, and guidelines, the Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and the MMC Scientific Integrity Policy.  This complaint alleges:

  • Publicly Dr. Ragen claimed to be transparent, inclusive, and to provide equal access, and to be independent, unbiased, and without conflict, but
  • Privately Dr. Ragen was secretive, exclusive, dependent upon NPS, biased, and conflicted, and gave NPS inappropriate access, and veto power including
    • Access to documents not provided to other parties,
    • Ability to critique work of other parties without disclosure or comment, and
    • Power to not respond to questions and not participate in open discussions.

As a result of Dr. Ragen’s inappropriate actions, the MMC Report was:

  • Not an independent review of NPS science as claimed by MMC, and
  • Not a legitimate independent peer review of the draft EIS as claimed by NPS.

Dr. Ragen deceived the public, the press, elected officials, and all parties involved by privately allowing NPS to review itself, while publicly claiming that the MMC Report represented an independent review of the NPS science.

Dr. Ragen espoused the principles of transparency, inclusiveness, and equal access.  He wrote of open discussion, open dialogue, and open exchange. Dr. Ragen failed on every one of those principles.  He failed the MMC.  He failed our community.

Dr. Ragen failed to disclose the inappropriate access relationship granted to NPS.  Dr. Ragen was not transparent.  Dr. Ragen was exclusive, not inclusive.  Dr. Ragen granted special access, not equal access.  Dr. Ragen went to great lengths not to disclose his private bias – apparently breaking FOIA regulations by withholding key communications.

Dr. Ragen allowed the NPS to assert that the MMC Report served as an independent peer review of the NPS harbor seal section of the DEIS when it was anything but independent.  That assertion allowed NPS to omit the harbor seal section of the DEIS from the Atkins Peer Review Report, thereby eliminating the possibility that Atkins scientists would find fault with that section.  By his actions, Dr. Ragen empowered the NPS to secretly review itself, and to deceive the public.

In summary, Dr. Ragen’s conduct was inappropriate and unethical. NPS employees were equally inappropriate, complicit, and active participants throughout a MMC review process that was anything but transparent, inclusive, and independent.  Dr. Ragen established a public process with a veneer of fairness, balance, and independence, while his private activities subordinated that independence to the very entity being investigated and reviewed – the National Park Service.

Five specific allegations are presented here concerning Dr. Ragen’s misconduct and deception involving his oversight of the MMC Report on “Mariculture and Harbor Seals in Drakes Estero, California” on November 22, 2011, and his private (concealed) reversal of the key conclusion from his MMC Report in a letter on June 17, 2012.  It is alleged that:

1)    Dr. Ragen Violated MMC Policies Established for Scientific Review

a.     Did Not Treat All Parties Equally But Had Biased Interactions with NPS

b.    Did Not Conduct an Independent Review of NPS Data and Analysis

2)    Dr. Ragen Changed MMC Terms of Reference Without Disclosure or Discussion

a.     Changed Scope, Title, and Purpose of MMC Report

b.    Accepted Lack of Disclosure of Key Data and Paper by NPS

3)    Dr. Ragen Violated the Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

a.     Failed to Disclose and Release Key Communications

b.    Failed to Provide Basis for Failing to Disclose & Release Key Communications

4)    Dr. Ragen Violated MMC Scientific Integrity Policy

a.     Did Not Follow Open Discussion, Open Dialogue, Open Exchange

b.    Undermined and Avoided Meetings to Discuss Data and Analysis

5)    Dr. Ragen Failed to Properly Disclose Reversal of Key Conclusion of MMC Report

a.     Reversed MMC Support of Key NPS Paper In a ‘Private’ Letter

b.    Concealed Reversal While Claiming Key MMC Conclusion Was Unchanged

According to the MMC Scientific Integrity Policy filed on March 29, 2011 with Dr. John Holdren [Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), White House], the MMC has a cooperative agreement with the DOC OIG regarding investigations of the MMC.  According to that 2011 policy, the DOC OIG agreed to conduct independent investigations of the Executive Director when appropriate given the circumstances.  The serious allegations of misconduct and deception set forth in this complaint against the MMC Executive Director mandate that the DOC OIG undertake this investigation.

The above-cited MMC Report is being relied upon by NPS to help justify a pending Department of the Interior policy decision.  The NPS has announced that in its final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the oyster farm lease renewal at Drakes Estero, it plans to consider Dr. Ragen’s MMC Report as an independent review of NPS science, and as a ‘peer review’ of the EIS section on harbor seal impacts.

As an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), I listened the morning of April 27, 2009, as President Obama spoke to my fellow NAS members at our annual meeting.  It was an historic speech – the first President to address the NAS since President John Kennedy.  President Obama sent a powerful message about the integrity of science.  The President spoke movingly of “restoring science to its rightful place” and the need “to be sure that facts are driving scientific decisions.”  Toward that end, he established scientific integrity policies under the jurisdiction of the White House OSTP.

The 2011 MMC Scientific Integrity Policy states that MMC policies are intended to ensure a culture of scientific integrityand provideindependent expert analysis of scientific, policy, and regulatory issues consistent with the provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.”

Dr. Ragen abandoned the MMC policy filed with the White House at the very time he should have been guided by it.  The Scientific Integrity Policy’s directive of “honest investigation, open discussion, refined understanding, and a firm commitment to evidence” was not followed, nor did Dr. Ragen adhere to the directive that “the Commission actively seeks input from and open dialogue among all parties engaged in all issues

Dr. Ragen was disingenuous to a U.S. Senator, the Marin County Board of Supervisors, independent scientists who became involved at the request of the County Supervisors, a community torn apart by NPS misconduct at Point Reyes, the press seeking the truth, the oyster farmer, and the farm’s 30 workers whose livelihoods rest in the balance.

This case, with all of its details, boils down to the following three questions:

1.    Did Dr. Ragen ignore his principles of transparency, inclusiveness, equal access, fairness, and independence, and sacrifice the impartiality of his MMC Report?

2.    Did Dr. Ragen allow NPS to review NPS – effectively allowing a self-review – while publicly claiming the MMC Report was independent and without bias?

3.    Did Dr. Ragen deceive the public in his MMC Report and his communications?

I end with a note concerning my affiliation.  I have many professional affiliations as scientist, professor, educator, entrepreneur, executive, and venture capitalist.  Those professional affiliations have shaped my life and provide the scientific experience and wisdom – as well as the scientific credentials and reputation (e.g., elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, professor at UCSF) – that I bring to this issue.

In coming forward with this complaint, I do so as independent citizen scientist, and I do so on behalf of truth, scientific integrity, and my commitment to public service at the interface of science and policy.  That commitment is reflected by my service to the National Research Council (I chaired the NRC Board on Life Sciences for six years) and the California Council on Science and Technology (I serve as an elected member).

It is now clear that there were two faces to Dr. Ragen, one public and the other private.  Dr. Ragen deceived the public to believe he was independent, and in so doing, violated his own MMC policies and misled elected officials in an ongoing public policy decision.  There are profound implications in the misconduct described here, not just for the MMC and NPS, but for all Federal agencies that rely upon impartial and scholarly science for policy decisions.  I pledge my full cooperation with your investigation.

Sincerely yours,

Corey S. Goodman, Ph.D.

corey.goodman@me.com

415 663-9495

PO Box 803, Marshall, CA 94940

 

For the supporting Documents Click on the links below:

CSG to Zinser 11_07_12 complaint

CSG to Zinser 11_07_12 appendix

CSG to Muldoon 11_07_12 cover letter

11-01-2012 Huffington Post: Secy Salazar ignores struggle of Hispanic shellfish harvesters jobs at DBOC

Secretary Salazar may wish to honor the first wreck of a Spanish ship in California, the San Augustín, but he has been flagrantly ignoring the struggle of today’s Hispanic food producers and shellfish harvesters to hang on to their jobs at Drakes Bay Oyster Company in Point Reyes National Seashore.

And yet, for more than six years, the jobs of Drakes Bay Oyster Company workers have been in jeopardy, largely because of the questionable science and policies fostered by the bureaucrat who Salazar tapped to be director of the national park service, Jon Jarvis.

Gary Paul Nabhan

Ethnobiologist, conservationist, and essayist

Honoring Achievements of Hispanic Food Producers, But No Engagement With Their Struggles

Posted: 11/01/2012 9:01 am

Earlier this month, when Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar designated 27 new National Landmarks, five of them were meant to honor America’s historic legacy of Hispanic engagement in agriculture and natural resources. While the CésarE.ChávezNational Monument at Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz in Keene, California, rightly honored one of the twentieth century’s greatest advocates for the rights of Hispanic food producers and harvesters in the United States, Hispanics may wonder about Salazar’s inclusion of the Drakes Bay Historic and Archaeological District on the Point ReyesPeninsula. Secretary Salazar may wish to honor the first wreck of a Spanish ship in California, the San Augustín, but he has been flagrantly ignoring the struggle of today’s Hispanic food producers and shellfish harvesters to hang on to their jobs at Drakes Bay Oyster Company in Point Reyes National Seashore.

There are roughly 30 hard-working skilled professionals of Latin American descent who work for Drakes Bay Oyster Company. They will lose their jobs if Secretary Salazar doesn’t take into consideration their current struggle against the irregular policies and practices of the National Park Service, which Salazar oversees.

At a time when unemployment rates among legally-documented but Mexican-born U.S. citizens are running two points above unemployment rates for the American population at large, it’s a shame that Salazar has not even gone to talk with the men and women who propagate and harvest oysters from Drakes Estero. He has been invited to do so at least twice, for the efforts there perfectly fit with the environmental education objectives of his Great Outdoors initiative. And yet, for more than six years, the jobs of Drakes Bay Oyster Company workers have been in jeopardy, largely because of the questionable science and policies fostered by the bureaucrat who Salazar tapped to be director of the national park service, Jon Jarvis.

This struggle has gone for years without clear resolution, and without intervention by Salazar. Regardless of the skill, intelligence and care they bring to their work, these shellfish farmers and harvesters are having their livelihoods disrupted by inherent conflicts in the National Park Service’s own goals for the seashore: to simultaneously protect scenic and wilderness values in the landscape while showcasing traditional food production that has decades if not centuries of Hispanic influence on the very landscape and waters the park service is required to collaboratively manage.

Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s Staff Marine Biologist, Isela Meza, inspects oyster larvae, 300 microns in size, at the oyster farm’s in-house lab, to verify their early growth cycle. She has a degree in Marine Science from one of Mexico’s best oceanography programs in Baja California..
Apparently, the park service does not see the contradiction between honoring Cesar Chavez and evicting today’s Hispanic food producers from a national seashore originally established to celebrate Point Reyes’ working landscape for fishers, farmers and ranchers. Park service policies are now verging on “immigrant removal” of this historic cultural landscape, where the earliest documented cross-cultural encounter between California Indians and Spanish speakers such as Sebastián Viscaino initially took place.

That is regrettable. The national park service and the Obama administration as a whole are missing an extraordinary opportunity to show Americans how working-class Hispanics’ livelihoods are compatible with good environmental stewardship. In fact, the park service should acknowledge just how much our current food security is dependent upon our fair treatment of Spanish-speaking farmworkers, orchard harvesters, oyster growers and fishermen.

Roughly 75 percent of the hand-picked produce, tree fruits and seafood harvested in the U.S. today are brought to us by Latino-born workers, including the 40 percent of California’s shellfish that is produced in Drakes Estero. Our government’s mistreatment and harassment of these Western food producers and harvesters has recently become a national disgrace, if not an international civil rights issue on par with the discrimination against blacks in the South a half-century ago.

Because citizens, documented and undocumented workers with Spanish surnames are being regularly and unjustifiably harassed, an estimated 30 percent of California’s fruits, vegetables and shellfish requiring hand-harvesting will stay on the trees, rot on the ground, or sit uneaten in shallow waters this year. The American Farm Bureau Federation estimates that the reluctance of Spanish-speaking farmworkers and seafood harvesters to enter U.S. fields and bays will cost America’s economy somewhere between $5 and $9 billion in 2012 alone. This is not a good way to demonstrate that national parks can help rather than undermine America’s food security.

The Hispanic aquaculture workers residing in Point Reyes have honorable allegiance to the Lunny family, which manages Drakes Bay Oyster Company, retaining their jobs far longer than the average American worker in food production. Under the Lunnys’ mentorship, many of them have tackled complex skilled jobs such as oyster culture in the laboratory and outplanting under challenging conditions.

These are the kinds of workers that the American food system dreams of attracting: bright, open to new challenges, willing to learn new skills, congenial and dedicated to the community as a whole. If Drakes Bay Oyster Company is closed down by the park service, it will not only affect the 30 skilled workers with years of service to the company, but the entire population of 150 Latinos who live around Point Reyes.

On a daily basis, President Obama is being hammered by Governor Romney for failing to create more jobs or stopping the loss of existing employment in rural communities. One can only wonder why Secretary Salazar hasn’t personally stepped into Point Reyes to talk with las familias Acebes, Gomez, Gonzalez, Guzman, Hernandez, Lopez, Manza, Martinez, Mata, Meza, Olea, Pablo, Robledo, Salgado and Soto, for they will be devastated if he makes the wrong decision. Secretary Salazar may also be on the wrong side of history if he maintains that sustainable food production is inherently antithetical to healthy national parks. He will have made the same mistake that government agencies made 40 years ago by initially ignoring the concerns voiced by Cesar Chavez, concerns we now know have stood the test of time. Let us hope that Salazar chooses to personally come to Drakes Estero to listen and see the situation on the ground. He needs to step up and resolve a conflict that has gone on far too long, for it is one that could potentially hurt his own people while tarnishing Obama’s reputation with Spanish-speaking voters.

Gary Paul Nabhan served on the Congressionally-appointed National Park System Advisory Board under two Presidents. A MacArthur Fellow, he is co-editor of the book People, Plants and Protected Areas and author of Coming Home to Eat. A pioneer in the local food movement, he is also an orchard-keeper in Southern Arizona, cultivating over 35 varieties of heirloom fruits and nut trees introduced by Spanish-speaking farmers during the Mission era.

11-01-2012 NPS misses critical deadline re dEIS which is legally inadequate per NAS

NPS missed a critical NEPA deadline last week. 

DBOC has not been informed why or what NPS now plans to do.  NPS has not communicated with Kevin and Nancy Lunny regarding how they will now proceed.

DBOC’s attorney, Ryan Waterman, wrote Secretary Salazar on November 1, 2012:

 “The National Park Service (NPS) has failed to meet a critical National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) public review deadline.  As a result, the NPS cannot publish a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Drakes Bay Oyster Company Special Use Permit (DBOC SUP) that provides even the minimum period of public review prior to November 30, 2012.”

Secretary Salazar, in that letter, was also told that:

 “By letter on September 17, 2012, we also documented legal inadequacies identified by the National Research Council of the National Academies of Sciences in the Draft EIS (DEIS) for the DBOC SUP, which make the DEIS so inadequate as to preclude meaningful analysis pursuant to NEPA regulations.  These inadequacies also prohibit NPS from proceeding to finalize the DEIS into a FEIS, but instead, require revision and republication of the DEIS (an exercise that also cannot be completed prior to November 30, 2012).”

In April 2008, NPS and DBOC executed a special agreement – a Memorandum of Understanding –  signed by then-NPS Regional Director, Jon Jarvis, that gave DBOC a “seat at the table” in any ensuing NEPA process.  However, NPS unilaterally ignored that commitment throughout this process.  Now, in light of the NPS to meet its own deadlines, DBOC is in the dark as to what is happening and the letter just sent provides Secretary Salazar with a proposal for approving our pending permit application.

For the full text of the The DBOC letter to the Secretary, from their attorney, Click the link below:

2012-11-01 Correspondence to Hon Secretary Ken Salazar

11-01-2012 Salazar honors Spanish Ship wreck, ignores Hispanic workers at DBOC

Secretary Salazar may wish to honor the first wreck of a Spanish ship in California, the San Augustín, but he has been flagrantly ignoring the struggle of today’s Hispanic food producers and shellfish harvesters to hang on to their jobs at Drakes Bay Oyster Company in Point Reyes National Seashore.

And yet, for more than six years, the jobs of Drakes Bay Oyster Company workers have been in jeopardy, largely because of the questionable science and policies fostered by the bureaucrat who Salazar tapped to be director of the national park service, Jon Jarvis.

Gary Paul Nabhan

Gary Paul Nabhan served on the Congressionally-appointed National Park System Advisory Board under two Presidents. A MacArthur Fellow, he is co-editor of the book People, Plants and Protected Areas and author of Coming Home to Eat. A pioneer in the local food movement, he is also an orchard-keeper in Southern Arizona, cultivating over 35 varieties of heirloom fruits and nut trees introduced by Spanish-speaking farmers during the Mission era.

Ethnobiologist, conservationist, and essayist

Honoring Achievements of Hispanic Food Producers, But No Engagement With Their Struggles

Posted: 11/01/2012 9:01 am

Earlier this month, when Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar designated 27 new National Landmarks, five of them were meant to honor America’s historic legacy of Hispanic engagement in agriculture and natural resources. While the César E. Chávez National Monument at Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz in Keene, California, rightly honored one of the twentieth century’s greatest advocates for the rights of Hispanic food producers and harvesters in the United States, Hispanics may wonder about Salazar’s inclusion of the Drakes Bay Historic and Archaeological District on the Point Reyes Peninsula. Secretary Salazar may wish to honor the first wreck of a Spanish ship in California, the San Augustín, but he has been flagrantly ignoring the struggle of today’s Hispanic food producers and shellfish harvesters to hang on to their jobs at Drakes Bay Oyster Company in Point Reyes National Seashore.

There are roughly 30 hard-working skilled professionals of Latin American descent who work for Drakes Bay Oyster Company. They will lose their jobs if Secretary Salazar doesn’t take into consideration their current struggle against the irregular policies and practices of the National Park Service, which Salazar oversees.

At a time when unemployment rates among legally-documented but Mexican-born U.S. citizens are running two points above unemployment rates for the American population at large, it’s a shame that Salazar has not even gone to talk with the men and women who propagate and harvest oysters from Drakes Estero. He has been invited to do so at least twice, for the efforts there perfectly fit with the environmental education objectives of his Great Outdoors initiative. And yet, for more than six years, the jobs of Drakes Bay Oyster Company workers have been in jeopardy, largely because of the questionable science and policies fostered by the bureaucrat who Salazar tapped to be director of the national park service, Jon Jarvis.

This struggle has gone for years without clear resolution, and without intervention by Salazar. Regardless of the skill, intelligence and care they bring to their work, these shellfish farmers and harvesters are having their livelihoods disrupted by inherent conflicts in the National Park Service’s own goals for the seashore: to simultaneously protect scenic and wilderness values in the landscape while showcasing traditional food production that has decades if not centuries of Hispanic influence on the very landscape and waters the park service is required to collaboratively manage.

2012-11-01-oyster.jpg

Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s Staff Marine Biologist, Isela Meza, inspects oyster larvae, 300 microns in size, at the oyster farm’s in-house lab, to verify their early growth cycle. She has a degree in Marine Science from one of Mexico’s best oceanography programs in Baja California..
Apparently, the park service does not see the contradiction between honoring Cesar Chavez and evicting today’s Hispanic food producers from a national seashore originally established to celebrate Point Reyes’ working landscape for fishers, farmers and ranchers. Park service policies are now verging on “immigrant removal” of this historic cultural landscape, where the earliest documented cross-cultural encounter between California Indians and Spanish speakers such as Sebastián Viscaino initially took place.

That is regrettable. The national park service and the Obama administration as a whole are missing an extraordinary opportunity to show Americans how working-class Hispanics’ livelihoods are compatible with good environmental stewardship. In fact, the park service should acknowledge just how much our current food security is dependent upon our fair treatment of Spanish-speaking farmworkers, orchard harvesters, oyster growers and fishermen.

Roughly 75 percent of the hand-picked produce, tree fruits and seafood harvested in the U.S. today are brought to us by Latino-born workers, including the 40 percent of California’s shellfish that is produced in Drakes Estero. Our government’s mistreatment and harassment of these Western food producers and harvesters has recently become a national disgrace, if not an international civil rights issue on par with the discrimination against blacks in the South a half-century ago.

Because citizens, documented and undocumented workers with Spanish surnames are being regularly and unjustifiably harassed, an estimated 30 percent of California’s fruits, vegetables and shellfish requiring hand-harvesting will stay on the trees, rot on the ground, or sit uneaten in shallow waters this year. The American Farm Bureau Federation estimates that the reluctance of Spanish-speaking farmworkers and seafood harvesters to enter U.S. fields and bays will cost America’s economy somewhere between $5 and $9 billion in 2012 alone. This is not a good way to demonstrate that national parks can help rather than undermine America’s food security.

The Hispanic aquaculture workers residing in Point Reyes have honorable allegiance to the Lunny family, which manages Drakes Bay Oyster Company, retaining their jobs far longer than the average American worker in food production. Under the Lunnys’ mentorship, many of them have tackled complex skilled jobs such as oyster culture in the laboratory and outplanting under challenging conditions.

These are the kinds of workers that the American food system dreams of attracting: bright, open to new challenges, willing to learn new skills, congenial and dedicated to the community as a whole. If Drakes Bay Oyster Company is closed down by the park service, it will not only affect the 30 skilled workers with years of service to the company, but the entire population of 150 Latinos who live around Point Reyes.

On a daily basis, President Obama is being hammered by Governor Romney for failing to create more jobs or stopping the loss of existing employment in rural communities. One can only wonder why Secretary Salazar hasn’t personally stepped into Point Reyes to talk with las familias Acebes, Gomez, Gonzalez, Guzman, Hernandez, Lopez, Manza, Martinez, Mata, Meza, Olea, Pablo, Robledo, Salgado and Soto, for they will be devastated if he makes the wrong decision. Secretary Salazar may also be on the wrong side of history if he maintains that sustainable food production is inherently antithetical to healthy national parks. He will have made the same mistake that government agencies made 40 years ago by initially ignoring the concerns voiced by Cesar Chavez, concerns we now know have stood the test of time. Let us hope that Salazar chooses to personally come to Drakes Estero to listen and see the situation on the ground. He needs to step up and resolve a conflict that has gone on far too long, for it is one that could potentially hurt his own people while tarnishing Obama’s reputation with Spanish-speaking voters.

Gary Paul Nabhan served on the Congressionally-appointed National Park System Advisory Board under two Presidents. A MacArthur Fellow, he is co-editor of the book People, Plants and Protected Areas and author of Coming Home to Eat. A pioneer in the local food movement, he is also an orchard-keeper in Southern Arizona, cultivating over 35 varieties of heirloom fruits and nut trees introduced by Spanish-speaking farmers during the Mission era.

#dboyster

10-30-2012 VIDEO ILLUSTRATES NATIONAL PARK SERVICE MISCONDUCT

NPS Spends Tax Payer Millions to Wipe Out Oyster Farmer at Drakes Estero

The November 30 deadline for Interior Secretary Salazar’s decision on extension of lease puts pressure on National Park Service (NPS) to defend bogus science.

An independent film crew following the NPS efforts to shut down Drakes Bay Oyster Farm in Point Reyes California has produced a short video on the saga.

In a campaign to drive a small family oyster farm out of business, the National Park Service and environmental groups have leveled many charges of serious environmental harm against the Drakes Bay Oyster Company in MarinCounty.   A video produced by an independent production crew sheds light on the false data and misconduct an independent scientist, who is himself an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, discovered upon investigation and the effect this campaign has had on this family farm.

 

EITHER CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW OR COPY AND PASTE THIS LINK INTO YOUR WEB BROWSER TO WATCH THE VIDEO

(some browsers block clicking on the link to view the video, Firefox is incompatible with vimeo, recommend you use Google Chrome or Internet Explorer):

http://vimeo.com/52331881

WHAT YOU CAN DO: contact Ken Salazar and TELL HIM TO REJECT THE FAILED dEIS and renew the current leases. (contact information provided below) 

Other people and organizations to contact information on most, also provided below.

Department of the Interior Acting Inspector General, Mary Kendall

Director of the National Park Service Jon Jarvis

Superintendent of the Point Reyes National Seashore Cicely Muldoon

Governor Jerry Brown, California

Senator Dianne Feinstein

Senator Barbara Boxer

House Committee on Government Oversight and Government Reform

Congressman Darrel Issa

Senator David Vitter

Senator James Inhofe

Television and Radio Stations both national and local

Newspapers national, state, and local

Below, please find the website addresses and contact information for the people suggested to be contacted above.

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Ken Salazar and others at the Department of the Interior 

http://www.doi.gov/whoweare/keyofficials.cfm

Mailing Address:
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
WashingtonDC20240

Phone:             (202) 208-3100
E-Mail: feedback@ios.doi.gov

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Department of the Interior Inspector General   

http://www.doi.gov

Due to security concerns, our website will be unavailable until transition to the Department of the Interior web domain occurs. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and are working to speed up the transition. The following contact information is provided to assist you.

To report fraud, waste, or mismanagement, or other concerns regarding Department of the Interior programs or employees, you may use the OIG Telephone Hotline, Fax, or contact us by U.S. Mail at the address below.

Toll free:              1-800-424-5081      

DC Area:              202-208-5300      

Fax: 703-487-5402

OIG REPORT REQUESTS or GENERAL INFORMATION

To request information regarding reports or other OIG activity, contact our Headquarters Office by phone, fax, or the following address:

Department of the Interior

Office of Inspector General

1849 C Street, NW, MS 4428

Washington DC 20240

Phone:             202-208-5745      

Fax: 202-208-6062

Email: info@doioig.gov

 FOIA REQUESTS

To submit Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests you may contact our FOIA Office or mail the request to our above Headquarters address. You may also submit a request through the Department of the Interior FOIA office at http://www.doi.gov/foia/

Phone:             703-487-5436      

Fax: 703-487-5406

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 National Park Service Mailing addresses and phone numbers

http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/contactinformation.htm

Headquarters
Jon Jarvis, Director
Peggy O’Dell, Deputy Director, Operations
Mickey Fearn, Deputy Director, Communications and Community Assistance
Bruce Sheaffer, Comptroller
Stephanie Toothman, Associate Director, Cultural Resources
Julia Washburn, Associate Director, Interpretation and Education
Bert Frost, Associate Director, Natural Resource Stewardship and Science
Steve Whitesell, Associate Director, Park Planning, Facilities, and Lands
Rich Weideman, Assistant Director, Partnerships and Civic Engagement
Steve Shackelton, Associate Director, Visitor and Resource Protection
Lena McDowall, Associate Director, Business Services
Jerry Simpson, Associate Director, Workforce Management
Sue Hawkins, Acting Assistant Director, Information Resources
Teresa Chambers, Chief, United States Park Police

Address
National Park Service
1849 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20240

Phone
(202) 208-3818

Regional Offices

Pacific West Region
Christine Lehnertz, Regional Director
National Park Service
333 Bush Street, Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94104-2828
(415) 623-2100

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Point Reyes National Seashore

http://www.nps.gov/pore/contacts.htm

 By Mail

Point Reyes National Seashore
1 Bear Valley Rd.
Point Reyes Station, CA94956

By Phone
Visitor Information
415-464-5100       x2
663-8522 x2 (local toll-free from 663- or 669- prefix in 415 area code)

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Governor Jerry Brown

http://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php

You may contact Governor Jerry Brown by mail at:

Mailing address:

Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone:             (916) 445-2841      
Fax: (916) 558-3160

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Senator Dianne Feinstein

https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me

United States Senate

331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C.20510

Phone:             (202) 224-3841
Fax: (202) 228-3954
TTY/TDD:             (202) 224-2501

Click here to email me.

Important Note: Due to ongoing security concerns, mail delivery procedures have been implemented in the U.S. Congress which may significantly delay the delivery of mail and packages to my office.  You may consider sending correspondence via e-mail.  Thank you for your patience during these delays.

San Francisco
One Post Street, Suite 2450
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone:             (415) 393-0707
Fax: (415) 393-0710

The following counties are served by the San Francisco office: Alameda, Butte, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Marin, Mendocino, Modoc, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo, Yuba

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Senator Barbara Boxer

http://www.boxer.senate.gov/en/contact/offices/washington.cfm

Office of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
112 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
            (202) 224-3553      

 

Bay Area Office:

70 Washington Street, Suite 203
Oakland, CA 94607
            (510) 286-8537      
(202) 224-0454 fax

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 House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

For a list of all the members go to

 http://oversight.house.gov/committee-members/

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA 49th District) from http://www.congress.org/bio/id/40137

Contact Rep. Darrell Issa.

Website: issa.house.gov

Washington, D.C. Office:

2347 RayburnHouseOfficeBuilding,
District of Columbia 20515-0549
Phone:             (202) 225-3906
Fax: (202) 225-3303

Vista Office: (more district offices)

1800 Thibodo Road, #310
Vista, California 92081
Phone:             (760) 599-5000
Fax: (760) 599-1178

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 Senator David Vitter

http://www.vitter.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ConstituentServices.OfficeLocations

Contact Sen. David Vitter via Web Form.

Website: vitter.senate.gov

 Washington, D.C. Office:

516 Hart Senate Office Building,
District of Columbia 20510-1803
Phone:             (202) 224-4623
Fax: (202) 228-5061

Lafayette Office: (more district offices)

800 Lafayette Street, Suite 1200
Lafayette, Louisiana 70501
Phone:             (337) 262-6898
Fax: (337) 262-6373

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Senator James Inhofe

 http://inhofe.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.OfficeLocations

Contact – Office Locations

 

Washington, DC Office:205 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510 -3603
Main:             (202) 224-4721
Fax: (202) 228-0380
Map this | Directions To

 

Tulsa, OK Office:1924 S. Utica Avenue
Suite 530
Tulsa, OK 74104 -6511
Main:             (918) 748-5111
Fax: (918) 748-5119
Map this | Directions To

 

Oklahoma City, OK Office:1900 NW Expressway St
Suite 1210
Oklahoma City, OK 73118
Main:             (405) 608-4381
Fax: (405) 608-4120
Map this | Directions To

 

McAlester, OK Office:215 E Choctaw Ave
Suite 106
McAlester, OK 74501
Main:             (918) 426-0933
Fax: (918) 426-0935
Map this | Directions To

 

Enid, OK Office:302 N Independence
Suite 104
Enid, OK 73701
Main:             (580) 234-5105
Fax: (580) 234-5094
Map this | Directions To

 

#dboyster

 

10-25-2012 Follow-up letter to Salazar from Lunny re Salazar’s pending visit

10-25-2012

Follow up letter to Salazar regarding his pending visit to Point Reyes, coupling it with his America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) program and a visit to Drakes Bay Oyster Company:

“What better way to celebrate and showcase the America’s Great Outdoors than to have you – the Secretary of the Interior – join us and co-present the rich history, culture and ecological diversity to a grade school group? We have numerous requests from schools pending and, working with your office, we could arrange your schedule to participate in such a briefing and presentation. It would be an extraordinary joint celebration of your America’s Great Outdoors program, the Point Reyes National Seashore’s 50th Anniversary, and our historic oyster farm.

We look forward to hosting you at the farm during your upcoming visit, when you will see for yourself these beautifully co-existing coastal resources and will personally meet our workers, the touring school children and our family.”

For the Full text of the letter, click the link below:

2012 10 25 Letter to Secretary Salazar

09-13-2012 Lunny invites Salazar to visit DBOC on his announced visit to Point Reyes

09-13-2012

Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced on 09-12-2012 his intent to visit Point Reyes. Kevin and Nancy Lunny extended an invitation to him to visit Drakes Bay Oyster Farm while in Point Reyes.

“In light of the collapse of the seriously flawed Environmental Impact Statement process, your visit becomes even more important before you make a decision [regarding the renewal of the lease].

For the full text of their letter, click the link below:

2012 09 13 DBOC Invitation to Secretary Salazar

08-07-2012 Cause of Action Complaint Filed

08-07-2012

Cause of Action Complaint

RE: Complaint about information Quality.

“Information disseminated by NPS in the DEIS and Atkins Peer Review Report fails to conform to minimum information-quality standards established by the OMB Guidelines, DOI Guidelines, and Director’s Order #11B. This inaccurate, nontransparent, and deliberately misleading information is reasonably likely to cause severe harm to the Lunnys—who may be forced to close their family business, Drakes Bay Oyster Company (hereinafter “DBOC”)—and Dr. Goodman, who is a user of the information provided in these publications and adversely affected by the scientifically invalid data and methods used therein.”

For the full text of the complaint, click on the link below:

DQA Complaint to NPS 07-07-2012

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