4/30/15 E&E Daily INTERIOR: ‘We’re terrified,’ rancher tells lawmakers about Park Service

Kevin Lunny, co-owner of Drakes Bay Oyster Co., described his dispute with the National Park Service in harrowing detail. The rancher and business owner claimed that the agency had undertaken a “taxpayer-funded enterprise of corruption to run a small business out of” Point Reyes, Calif.
“Let me be clear: We did not fail as a business. This was not bad luck,” Lunny said. “Our family experienced the worst of what a motivated federal agency can do to a small business.”
E&E Daily
INTERIOR:
‘We’re terrified,’ rancher tells lawmakers about Park Service
Kevin Bogardus, E&E reporter
Published: Thursday, April 30, 2015
House lawmakers yesterday chewed on the years-long battle over the fate of a former California oyster farm as they delved into the alleged abuse of government-funded science.
Kevin Lunny, co-owner of Drakes Bay Oyster Co., described his dispute with the National Park Service in harrowing detail. The rancher and business owner claimed that the agency had undertaken a “taxpayer-funded enterprise of corruption to run a small business out of” Point Reyes, Calif.
“Let me be clear: We did not fail as a business. This was not bad luck,” Lunny said. “Our family experienced the worst of what a motivated federal agency can do to a small business.”
Lunny was testifying before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. The hearing was called to examine allegations of federal agencies using “politically driven science,” according to the subpanel’s notice.
Under a settlement agreement announced last year with the Interior Department, Lunny had to close down his oyster farm after losing a protracted legal fight over its operation in a potential wilderness area (E&ENews PM, Oct. 6, 2014). The farm had harvested oysters for decades in Drakes Bay. Lunny bought the farm in 2005.
At yesterday’s hearing, Lunny said he was subject to misrepresentations and attacks by the Park Service during his fight to renew his oyster farm lease, which had expired in 2012. He described a federal environmental impact statement on the oyster farm as “weaponized.”
Lunny still operates a ranch in the area and claimed that the Park Service now has been isolating ranchers. Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) asked Lunny if there would be “negative consequences” for him from testifying before the subcommittee.
“We’re terrified. Ranchers that are sitting behind me are terrified because we are challenging the Park Service very seriously. They did lie. They did falsify science,” Lunny said.
The Park Service has tried to repair its ties with ranchers in the area after the bitter fight over the oyster farm (Greenwire, June 4, 2014).
The Interior inspector general in 2008 found that a scientist employed by Point Reyes National Seashore misstated data on the environmental impacts of mariculture to hurt the oyster farm (Greenwire, July 23, 2008).
Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) said he has known Lunny for years and that he is “a good and decent guy.” The congressman noted that the battle over Drakes Bay, which is based in his congressional district, has “strained relationships that we are still working very hard to put back together.”
“Re-litigating these old accusations from a matter that has been closed at a time when this community is really trying to move on is not helpful or productive,” Huffman said.  [the case was never litigated, the Lunny’s asked for an injunction to remain open while a lawsuit could be pursued]
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), chairman of the subcommittee, said the hearing was an examination of science manipulated by agencies for their own purposes.
“This will be an honest assessment of how the system has failed,” Gohmert said.
Lawmakers also heard from witnesses on how the Fish and Wildlife Service’s faulty counting of whooping cranes led to drawn-out litigation for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. In addition, the panel heard that recovery efforts in Bastrop County, Texas, from a wildfire were delayed because of protections for the Houston toad, an endangered species.
Democrats sought to pivot the hearing toward discussion of attacks on science, including on those researching climate change.
“In a hearing about politically driven science, climate denial is the ultimate case study,” said Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee.
At one point, Gohmert responded forcefully to suggestions that the hearing was unfairly going after science.
“The purpose of the hearing was to hear from real people, mammals called human beings that have been harmed by the federal government,” said the subcommittee chairman.
Toward the close of yesterday’s hearing, Gohmert said his subpanel would continue to look into alleged wrongdoing by federal agencies.
“You can expect more hearings to get to the bottom of what our government has been doing to our people,” Gohmert said.

4/29/15 Daily Caller: NATIONAL PARK SERVICE EMPLOYEES LIED TO PUT HISTORIC OYSTER COMPANY OUT OF BUSINESS

CLICK THIS LINK  http://naturalresources.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=398357

AND THEN CLICK ON THE “WATCH THE ARCHIVED HEARING WEBCAST ” LINK ON THAT PAGE.

Oversight Hearing on “Zero Accountability: The Consequences of Politically Driven Science.”

The House Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations held a hearing yesterday, 4/29/15 at 2 PM and one of the issues they looked at is the misuse of science by the NPS in Drakes Estero.  Kevin Lunny was called to testify as a witness.

 

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE EMPLOYEES LIED TO PUT HISTORIC OYSTER COMPANY OUT OF BUSINESS
04-29-2015 5:42 pm – Michael Bastasch – Daily Caller
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.”

————————-
SOURCE: http://dailycaller.com/2015/04/29/oyster-farmer-we-are-terrified-of-the-govt/

08/04/2014 Oyster Farming is the “Wilderness”

AN EMAIL FROM A COLLEAGUE IN CONNECTICUT TODAY.

(Click on the link and then click to watch the video):

 

Oyster farming is the “Wilderness”………

Check this out – http://www.rhodyoysters.com/

Went there last weekend – “Farm to Table (his own Oyster Farm and his own Vegetable Farm)”. Now the Number 1 Restaurant in Rhode Island.

Get the message…………………… its sustainability.

Bruce McGown

CEO InterWeave.biz

 

 

 

 

08-21-14 GreenBiz wants examples of govt leaders actions to protect natural resources & my response

In a post today in Green Biz, Lizzie Needham, Associate Community Manager at GreenBiz Group, Top Contributor wrote

 

Dear GreenBiz Group Member,

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, deforestation accounts for 10 percent of global emissions—a big number when you consider that this equates to around 3.0 billion tons of CO2 per year. Tensie Whelan, President of the Rainforest Alliance, fights to reduce deforestation by advocating for biodiversity protection and sustainable agricultural systems.

In her recent GreenBiz interview, Whelan claims that we are seeing exponential progress, particularly within the business world, but crucial action still lags. Whelan’s interview also reminds us that while business cooperation makes a difference, impactful natural resource protection transformations rely on government support. You can read Whelan’s full interview here: http://grn.bz/1uYujYX

Do any members have unique or impressive examples of government leaders taking significant action to protect natural resources?

I responded:

  • I have an example of government doing exactly the opposite in removing Drakes Bay Oyster Farm from the Point Reyes National Seashore in California. The DOI, the NPS, and the CCC have committed their own style of deforestation by misinterpreting the law, re-writing history, and trampling California State’s Rights in so doing. Worse, the beacons of environmental preservation cannot see the forest for the trees in that they are now stating the opposite of their position in the establishment of the Point Reyes National Seashore in 1962, the opposite of their position in the passing of the Wilderness Act in 1976. Even the then PRNS Superintendent, Don Neubacher has done a 180 on his position in his letter Oakland Bank in 1998 where he stated he had every intention of continuing the oyster farm after it’s lease expired in 2012. It is as if they cannot see the forest for the trees! DBOC is a locally produced, sustainable, renewable source of protein production – 40% of CA oysters are produced there and they were the LAST oyster cannery in CA. Oyster Bay Wildlife Refuge on Long Island has a commercial oyster farm that produces 90% of New York’s oysters

    If then why not now?
    If there why not here in CA?

    There is still hope with the lawsuit filed by the other oyster companies and businesses in the area who depend on Drakes Bay Oysters to stay in business.

    For the legal documents, legitimate scientific reports and more go to http://www.OysterZone.org or http://savedrakesbay.com/core/

  • Oyster farming and wilderness are not mutually exclusive.

08-14-14 DBOC’s Opposition to Ca Coastal Commission Motion for New Trial

Please find attached the following documents filed in Marin Superior Court today:
 
–          Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s Opposition to Motion for New Trial; 8.14.14+Final+Opposition+to+Motion+for+New+Trial+120pm
 
–          Declaration of Phyllis Faber ISO Drakes Bay Opposition to Motion for A New Trial; 8.14.14+Faber+decl+ISO+opp+to+new+trial+motion
 
–          Declaration of Larry Giambastiani ISO Drakes Bay; 8.14.14+Decl+of+Larry+Giambastiani
 
–          Declaration of Peter Prows ISO Drakes Bay’s Opposition to Commission’s Motion for New Trial; 8.14.14+Prows+decl+ISO+opp+to+new+trial+motion

11-22-96 The Letter from Neubacher to the Bank of Oakland, attesting to the NPS’s intention to renew the lease.

If then, why not now?

 

“….As stated previously, the NPS would like the planned improvements to occur at Johnsons. In fact, the NPS has worked with Marin County planners to insure the facilities attain county approval. Moreover, the Park’s General Management Plan also approved the continued use of the oyster company operation at Johnson on Drakes Estero….”

Click on the link below to see a copy of the actual letter from then Superintendent Don Neubacher to the Bank of Oakland

 

1996-11-22 Neubacher ltr to Bank of Oakland

07-31-14 The Absurdity of the Removal of DBOC from the earth, or the dillema of feeding 7 Billion today, 9 Billion by 2050

On the last day for retail sales a ceremony was held at DBOC at which a number of people were asked to speak. I was honored to be one of the speakers. Below is the transcript of the speech I gave after introducing myself, informing all of how I came to be involved, and a little about my involvement through this “blog”.

 

New York State’s only remaining commercial oyster farm operates on the OYSTER BAY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, producing 90% of the State’s oyster harvest. The State of New York has designated the Oyster Bay area as a Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat. …. If there, WHY NOT HERE?!

http://oysterbaytown.com/places-to-go-things-to-do/

cover of Nat’l Geographic, May 2014

THE NEW FOOD REVOLUTION –

To feed our hungry planet, we must change the way we farm – and the way we think.

By Jonathan Foley

DIRECTOR OF the Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota.

“When we think about threats to the environment, we tend to picture cars and smokestacks, not dinner. But the truth is, our need for food poses one of the biggest dangers to the planet.”  from pg 35 of the hard copy

·        Agriculture is among the greatest contributors to global warming, emitting more greenhouse gases than all our cars, trucks, trains, and airplanes combined—largely from
o   methane released by cattle and rice farms,
o   nitrous oxide from fertilized fields, and
o   carbon dioxide from the cutting of rain forests to grow crops or raise livestock.
o   Farming is the thirstiest user of our precious water supplies
o   Runoff from fertilizers and manure makes Farming a major polluter
o   The spread of prosperity across the world, especially in China and India, is driving an increased demand for meat, eggs, and dairy, boosting pressure to grow more corn and soybeans to feed more cattle, pigs, and chickens.
o   As we’ve cleared areas of grassland and forest for farms, we’ve lost crucial habitat, making agriculture a major driver of wildlife extinction.
·
·        If these trends continue, the double whammy of population growth and richer diets will require us to roughly double the amount of crops we grow by 2050.
The author and his team proposed 5 steps to solve the world’s food dilemma.” I have taken his steps and included the validity of the argument to keep DBOC

1.    Freeze Agriculture’s Footprint…. Avoiding further deforestation must be a top priority.

o   OYSTER FARMING REQUIRES NO DEFORESTATION

2.   Grow More on Farms We’ve Got…. high-tech, precision farming systems, and borrowing from organic farming, could boost yields in several times over.

o   LEAVE DRAKES BAY OYSTER FARM RIGHT WHERE IT IS,

o   It doesn’t require high tech farming systems,

o   It is already 100% organic,

3.   Use Resources More Efficiently….. Organic farming can also greatly reduce the use of water and chemicals

       o   Oyster Farming requires neither fertilizers nor chemicals, and uses no added fresh water!

4.   Shift Diets…. Finding more efficient ways to grow meat and shifting to less meat-intensive diets…could free up substantial amounts of food  Curtailing the use of food crops for biofuels could also enhance food availability.

      o   Retaining a sustainable, renewable, ecologically and environmentally beneficial source of food production – OYSTER FARMING – will do that.  AND No one’s using oysters for bio-fuels!

5.  Reduce Waste.  25 % of the world’s food calories … are lost or wasted before they can be consumed. Tackling waste would be one of THE most effective options for boosting food availability.

o   Oysters come in individually, nature wrapped packages,

o   buy what you need, eat what you bought!

o   Even the shells are useful

§  whole they provide habitat restoration 

§  crushed they can be used

§  organic fertilizer

§  ground cover

Oyster production is the winner in solving the world food shortage dilema.

George Washington is purported to have said “Our country is an experiment” and he gave it 20 years.

I give this Wilderness Without Oysters experiment 20 years. It will be put back for both reasons environmental and necessity. We’ll have 9 Billion mouths to feed.

It will be too late for the Lunnys, their workers and families as well as all the ranchers and dairies on this peninsula – for the water filtration system provided by the oysters having been removed will leave them as the major polluter of the estero, and soon, they too, will HAVE to go, unless CONGRESS INTERVENES.

 

CONGRESS: YOU HAVE ALREADY REQUESTED INSTALLATION OF MORE OYSTER FARMS ON ALL OUR COASTS

CONGRESS: Don’t let this Empty Environmental Experiment ruin the lives of all these people AND EXTINGUISH THE AGRICULTURAL CHARACTER OF WEST MARIN.

CONGRESS, you have the power and the authority to reverse this decision.

CONGRESS ACT TO REVERSE THIS DECISION TODAY.

 

Write your congress person today, let them know you want this farm to stay!

 

07/31/14 Epoch Times, #1 Chinese Media Group, Sabrina Chang, Reporter, Coverage of DBOC last retail day

Sabrina Chang, Reporter for Epoch Times, the No. 1 Chinese Media Group was at the oyster farm on Thursday with a film crew.

Below is a link to her video that evening  in which Kevin Lunny, and others are recorded making short statements about the situation.

// // //

Ms Change also stated: We also have this piece of news on today’s Epoch Times newspaper.

08/03/14 Travel Channel video on Long Island, NY Oyster Farm in a Wildlife Refuge

TO SEE THE VIDEO, CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW

 

08-03-14 Commercial Oyster Farm in Nat’l Wildlife Refuge – 90% NY oysters produced there, if there WHY NOT HERE?

Wildlife & Habitat – Oyster Bay – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

  • Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge consists of 3,204 acres of bay bottom, salt marsh, and a small freshwater wetland. It is managed principally for use by migratory waterfowl and other waterbirds. It is also one of the few bay-bottom refuges owned and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The refuge is located off Long Island Sound, and the sheltered nature of the bay makes it extremely attractive as winter habitat for a variety of waterfowl species, especially diving ducks.

    The State of New York has designated the Oyster Bay area as a Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat. Marine wildlife common to the refuge includes harbor seals, diamondback terrapins, and several species of sea turtles. Shellfish and finfish are abundant at Oyster Bay. The bay supports the only commercial oyster farm aquaculture operation remaining on Long Island, and an estimated 90 percent of the commercial oysters in New York originate from areas associated with the refuge.

     

    YOU WILL FIND THIS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE IF YOU GO TO THE LINK BELOW

    http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Oyster_Bay/wildlife_and_habitat/index.html

     

    ALSO, CHECK OUT THE TRAVEL CHANNEL VIDEO ON LONG ISLAND OYSTERS

     

     

07-27-14 TBOC et al v DOI et al Complaint for Declaratory & Injunctive Relief, Memorandum of Points and Authorities & Stipulation and Proposed Order re Briefing Schedule

Friends of Drakes Bay Oyster Company:

These documents, were not delivered to me for posting on www.OysterZone.org until today.

Please note, whereas, the retail and cannery will still be closing on 31 July, in the words of Yogi Berra – “It isn’t over until its over!”

Below, please find three recent filings:

  1. Brief Filed 07-17-14, a fuller title being Tomales Bay Oyster Co (and others) Plaintiffs, v. USDOI, USNPS, Jonathan Jarvis, NOAA office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Mgmt and Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Mgmt, in the case of “Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief (20 pages)
  2. Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Plaintiffs’ Application and Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction (29 pages)
  3. Tomales Bay Oyster Company et al. Plaintiffs v USDOI et al Defendants Case No: 3:14-cv-03246 YGR STIPULATION AND [PROPOSED] ORDER RE: BRIEFING SCHEDULE

Briefly,

  • The First attachment, which I have named 07-17-14 TBOC et al vs DOI, is the “COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF” filed 07-17-14
    • the Introduction brings us through vital points leading to the memorandum decision ordering the closure of DBOC
      • the erroneous position taken by the DOI sweeping away any statute or regulation that might otherwise have applied
      • the arbitrary, capricious and in violation of the law ignoring of procedural constraints that legally applied to this decision and failure to comply with them
      • NOAA-OCRM’s arbitrary, capricious and in violation of the law determination order requiring a consistency certification to the CCC
      • the plaintiff’s loss of critical components of locally harvested oyster supplies causing them to suffer irreparable losses of business and that Defendants’ procedural failures etc., were not adequately analyzed or considered
      • the request the Court
      • hold unlawful and set aside the decision to close DBOC and the NOAA decision requiring a consistency certification
      • enjoin Defendants to engage in a decision making process that complies with the law
      • In the interim, Plaintiffs seek a temporary restraining order and injunctive relief
    • the Parties section, please pay particular attention to item 20, regarding Plaintiff Jeffrey Creque
      • Who qualifications include
        • a PhD in Rangeland Ecology,
        • CA St Bd of Forestry Certified Professional in Rangeland management, a
        • is a founding member and member of the board of ALSA, a citizens group dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the natural environment and ecologically sustainable agriculture in Marin County.
      • Who holds that encouragement of the cultivation of shellfish is an ecologically benign and even beneficial food production system fro environmental reasons including
        • shellfish aquaculture, particularly oyster culture, is widely recognized as a carbon neutral or carbon beneficial source of highest quality marine protein
        • shellfish aquaculture is a critical tool for the preservation and restoration of the world’s threatened marine ecosystems.
        • all shellfish cultivated in Drakes Estero are sold locally thereby directly reducing the carbon costs of global food production and transport.
        • ensuring that federal agencies adhere to national policies that call for increased – not decreased – shellfish production
    • the Facts section (pages 8-11, please read these yourself, they speak for themselves)
    • the Causes of Action
      • Count 1: Violation of the National Aquaculture Act and the APA (pg 11-13)
      • Count 2: Violation of the CZMA and the APA (pg 13-15)
      • Count 3: Violation of the APA (pg 15-16)
      • Count 4: Violation of the CZMA and the APA (pg 16-17)
    • Requested Relief (pg 18-19)

 

The Second attachment, which I have named 07-07-14 TBOC et al vs DOI Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Plaintiff Application and Motion.

  • Read this (and all attached documents) in its entirety.

 

The Third Document, which I have named 07-24-14 Stipulation and Proposed Order RE: Briefing Schedule, briefly put stipulates:

  1. Plaintiffs withdraw their Application and Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction
  2. Plaintiffs intend to file a Motion for Preliminary Injunction before July 31, 2014 and Defendants shall file their Opposition on or before august 26, 2014; Plaintiffs shall file their Reply on or before September 2, 2014
  3. Request Motion be heard by the Court on September 9, 2014
  4. Plaintiffs’ may seek a preliminary injunction on shortened time, and will discuss adjustments to the briefing schedule accordingly.

 

For the complete documents:

07-17-14 TBOC et al vs DOI et al Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

07-17-14 TBOC et al vs DOI et al Memorandum of Points and Authorities in support of Plaintiff Application and Motion

07-24-14 Stipulation and Proposed Order re Briefing Schedule

 

07-10-2014 HOW TO CONTACT ANY CONGRESS PERSON

THE TIME FOR YOU TO RISE UP AND GET CONGRESS TO ACT TO REVERSE SALAZAR’S DECISION IS NOW!

 

http://www.house.gov/representatives/#state_ca

 

Directory of Representatives

Also referred to as a congressman or congresswoman, each representative is elected to a two-year term serving the people of a specific congressional district. The number of voting representatives in the House is fixed by law at no more than 435, proportionally representing the population of the 50 states. Currently, there are five delegates representing the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. A resident commissioner represents Puerto Rico. Learn more about representatives at The House Explained.

Alabama

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Byrne,Bradley R 2236 RHOB 202-225-4931 Armed Services
Education and the Workforce
Natural Resources
2 Roby, Martha R 428 CHOB 202-225-2901 Appropriations
3 Rogers (AL), Mike R 324 CHOB 202-225-3261 Agriculture
Armed Services
Homeland Security
4 Aderholt, Robert R 2369 RHOB 202-225-4876 Appropriations
5 Brooks, Mo R 1230 LHOB 202-225-4801 Armed Services
Foreign Affairs
Science, Space, and Technology
6 Bachus, Spencer R 2246 RHOB 202-225-4921 Financial Services
the Judiciary
7 Sewell, Terri A. D 1133 LHOB 202-225-2665 Financial Services
Intelligence (Permanent)

Alaska

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
At Large Young, Don R 2314 RHOB 202-225-5765 Natural Resources
Transportation

American Samoa

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
At Large Faleomavaega, Eni F. H. D 2422 RHOB 202-225-8577 Foreign Affairs
Natural Resources

Arizona

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Kirkpatrick, Ann D 330 CHOB 202-225-3361 Transportation
Veterans’ Affairs
2 Barber, Ron D 1029 LHOB 202-225-2542 Armed Services
Homeland Security
Small Business
3 Grijalva, Raul D 1511 LHOB 202-225-2435 Education and the Workforce
Natural Resources
4 Gosar, Paul A. R 504 CHOB 202-225-2315 Natural Resources
Oversight and Government
5 Salmon, Matt R 2349 RHOB 202-225-2635 Education and the Workforce
Foreign Affairs
6 Schweikert, David R 1205 LHOB 202-225-2190 Science, Space, and Technology
Small Business
7 Pastor, Ed D 2465 RHOB 202-225-4065 Appropriations
Intelligence (Permanent)
8 Franks, Trent R 2435 RHOB 202-225-4576 Armed Services
the Judiciary
9 Sinema, Kyrsten D 1237 LHOB 202-225-9888 Financial Services

Arkansas

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Crawford, Rick R 1711 LHOB 202-225-4076 Agriculture
Transportation
2 Griffin, Tim R 1232 LHOB 202-225-2506 Ways and Means
3 Womack, Steve R 1119 LHOB 202-225-4301 Appropriations
4 Cotton, Tom R 415 CHOB 202-225-3772 Financial Services
Foreign Affairs

California

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 LaMalfa, Doug R 506 CHOB 202-225-3076 Agriculture
Natural Resources
2 Huffman, Jared D 1630 LHOB 202-225-5161 Natural Resources
the Budget
3 Garamendi, John D 2438 RHOB 202-225-1880 Agriculture
Armed Services
Transportation
4 McClintock, Tom R 434 CHOB 202-225-2511 Natural Resources
the Budget
5 Thompson, Mike D 231 CHOB 202-225-3311 Intelligence (Permanent)
Ways and Means
6 Matsui, Doris O. D 2434 RHOB 202-225-7163 Energy and Commerce
7 Bera, Ami D 1408 LHOB 202-225-5716 Foreign Affairs
Science, Space, and Technology
8 Cook, Paul R 1222 LHOB 202-225-5861 Armed Services
Foreign Affairs
Veterans’ Affairs
9 McNerney, Jerry D 1210 LHOB 202-225-1947 Energy and Commerce
10 Denham, Jeff R 1730 LHOB 202-225-4540 Agriculture
Transportation
Veterans’ Affairs
11 Miller, George D 2205 RHOB 202-225-2095 Education and the Workforce
12 Pelosi, Nancy D 235 CHOB 202-225-4965
13 Lee, Barbara D 2267 RHOB 202-225-2661 Appropriations
the Budget
14 Speier, Jackie D 211 CHOB 202-225-3531 Armed Services
Oversight and Government
15 Swalwell, Eric D 501 CHOB 202-225-5065 Homeland Security
Science, Space, and Technology
16 Costa, Jim D 1314 LHOB 202-225-3341 Agriculture
Natural Resources
17 Honda, Mike D 1713 LHOB 202-225-2631 Appropriations
18 Eshoo, Anna G. D 241 CHOB 202-225-8104 Energy and Commerce
19 Lofgren, Zoe D 1401 LHOB 202-225-3072 House Administration
Joint Library
Science, Space, and Technology
the Judiciary
20 Farr, Sam D 1126 LHOB 202-225-2861 Appropriations
21 Valadao, David R 1004 LHOB 202-225-4695 Appropriations
22 Nunes, Devin R 1013 LHOB 202-225-2523 Intelligence (Permanent)
Ways and Means
23 McCarthy, Kevin R 2421 RHOB 202-225-2915 Financial Services
24 Capps, Lois D 2231 RHOB 202-225-3601 Energy and Commerce
25 McKeon, Buck R 2310 RHOB 202-225-1956 Armed Services
Education and the Workforce
26 Brownley, Julia D 1019 LHOB 202-225-5811 Science, Space, and Technology
Veterans’ Affairs
27 Chu, Judy D 1520 LHOB 202-225-5464 Small Business
the Judiciary
28 Schiff, Adam D 2411 RHOB 202-225-4176 Appropriations
Intelligence (Permanent)
29 Cárdenas, Tony D 1508 LHOB 202-225-6131 Natural Resources
Oversight and Government
the Budget
30 Sherman, Brad D 2242 RHOB 202-225-5911 Financial Services
Foreign Affairs
31 Miller, Gary R 2467 RHOB 202-225-3201 Financial Services
Transportation
32 Napolitano, Grace D 1610 LHOB 202-225-5256 Natural Resources
Transportation
33 Waxman, Henry D 2204 RHOB 202-225-3976 Energy and Commerce
34 Becerra, Xavier D 1226 LHOB 202-225-6235 Ways and Means
35 Negrete McLeod, Gloria D 1641 LHOB 202-225-6161 Agriculture
Veterans’ Affairs
36 Ruiz, Raul D 1319 LHOB 202-225-5330 Natural Resources
Veterans’ Affairs
37 Bass, Karen D 408 CHOB 202-225-7084 Foreign Affairs
the Judiciary
38 Sanchez, Linda D 2423 RHOB 202-225-6676 Ethics
Ways and Means
39 Royce, Ed R 2185 RHOB 202-225-4111 Financial Services
Foreign Affairs
40 Roybal-Allard, Lucille D 2330 RHOB 202-225-1766 Appropriations
41 Takano, Mark D 1507 LHOB 202-225-2305 Education and the Workforce
Veterans’ Affairs
42 Calvert, Ken R 2269 RHOB 202-225-1986 Appropriations
the Budget
43 Waters, Maxine D 2221 RHOB 202-225-2201 Financial Services
44 Hahn, Janice D 404 CHOB 202-225-8220 Small Business
Transportation
45 Campbell, John R 2331 RHOB 202-225-5611 Financial Services
the Budget
46 Sanchez, Loretta D 1114 LHOB 202-225-2965 Armed Services
Homeland Security
47 Lowenthal, Alan D 515 CHOB 202-225-7924 Foreign Affairs
Natural Resources
48 Rohrabacher, Dana R 2300 RHOB 202-225-2415 Foreign Affairs
Science, Space, and Technology
49 Issa, Darrell R 2347 RHOB 202-225-3906 Oversight and Government
the Judiciary
50 Hunter, Duncan D. R 223 CHOB 202-225-5672 Armed Services
Education and the Workforce
Transportation
51 Vargas, Juan D 1605 LHOB 202-225-8045 Agriculture
Foreign Affairs
House Administration
52 Peters, Scott D 2410 RHOB 202-225-0508 Armed Services
Science, Space, and Technology
53 Davis, Susan D 1526 LHOB 202-225-2040 Armed Services
Education and the Workforce

Colorado

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 DeGette, Diana D 2368 RHOB 202-225-4431 Energy and Commerce
2 Polis, Jared D 1433 LHOB 202-225-2161 Education and the Workforce
Rules
3 Tipton, Scott R 218 CHOB 202-225-4761 Agriculture
Natural Resources
Small Business
4 Gardner, Cory R 213 CHOB 202-225-4676 Energy and Commerce
5 Lamborn, Doug R 2402 RHOB 202-225-4422 Armed Services
Natural Resources
Veterans’ Affairs
6 Coffman, Mike R 2443 RHOB 202-225-7882 Armed Services
Small Business
Veterans’ Affairs
7 Perlmutter, Ed D 1410 LHOB 202-225-2645 Financial Services

Connecticut

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Larson, John B. D 1501 LHOB 202-225-2265 Ways and Means
2 Courtney, Joe D 2348 RHOB 202-225-2076 Agriculture
Armed Services
Education and the Workforce
3 DeLauro, Rosa L. D 2413 RHOB 202-225-3661 Appropriations
4 Himes, Jim D 119 CHOB 202-225-5541 Financial Services
Intelligence (Permanent)
5 Esty, Elizabeth D 509 CHOB 202-225-4476 Science, Space, and Technology
Transportation

Delaware

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
At Large Carney, John D 1406 LHOB 202-225-4165 Financial Services

District of Columbia

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
At Large Norton, Eleanor Holmes D 2136 RHOB 202-225-8050 Oversight and Government
Transportation

Florida

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Miller, Jeff R 336 CHOB 202-225-4136 Armed Services
Intelligence (Permanent)
Veterans’ Affairs
2 Southerland, Steve R 1229 LHOB 202-225-5235 Natural Resources
Transportation
3 Yoho, Ted R 511 CHOB 202-225-5744 Agriculture
Foreign Affairs
4 Crenshaw, Ander R 440 CHOB 202-225-2501 Appropriations
5 Brown, Corrine D 2111 RHOB 202-225-0123 Transportation
Veterans’ Affairs
6 DeSantis, Ron R 427 CHOB 202-225-2706 Foreign Affairs
Oversight and Government
the Judiciary
7 Mica, John R 2187 RHOB 202-225-4035 Oversight and Government
Transportation
8 Posey, Bill R 120 CHOB 202-225-3671 Financial Services
Science, Space, and Technology
9 Grayson, Alan D 430 CHOB 202-225-9889 Foreign Affairs
Science, Space, and Technology
10 Webster, Daniel R 1039 LHOB 202-225-2176 Rules
Transportation
11 Nugent, Richard R 1727 LHOB 202-225-1002 Armed Services
House Administration
Rules
12 Bilirakis, Gus M. R 2313 RHOB 202-225-5755 Energy and Commerce
Veterans’ Affairs
13 Jolly, David R 2407 RHOB 202-225-5961 Transportation
Veterans’ Affairs
14 Castor, Kathy D 205 CHOB 202-225-3376 Energy and Commerce
the Budget
15 Ross, Dennis R 229 CHOB 202-225-1252 Financial Services
16 Buchanan, Vern R 2104 RHOB 202-225-5015 Ways and Means
17 Rooney, Tom R 221 CHOB 202-225-5792 Appropriations
Intelligence (Permanent)
18 Murphy, Patrick D 1517 LHOB 202-225-3026 Financial Services
Small Business
19 Clawson,Curt R 1123 LHOB 202-225-2536
20 Hastings, Alcee L. D 2353 RHOB 202-225-1313 Rules
21 Deutch, Ted D 1024 LHOB 202-225-3001 Ethics
Foreign Affairs
the Judiciary
22 Frankel, Lois D 1037 LHOB 202-225-9890 Foreign Affairs
Transportation
23 Wasserman Schultz, Debbie D 118 CHOB 202-225-7931 Appropriations
24 Wilson, Frederica D 208 CHOB 202-225-4506 Education and the Workforce
Science, Space, and Technology
25 Diaz-Balart, Mario R 436 CHOB 202-225-4211 Appropriations
26 Garcia, Joe D 1440 LHOB 202-225-2778 Natural Resources
the Judiciary
27 Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana R 2206 RHOB 202-225-3931 Foreign Affairs
Rules

Georgia

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Kingston, Jack R 2372 RHOB 202-225-5831 Appropriations
2 Bishop Jr., Sanford D. D 2429 RHOB 202-225-3631 Appropriations
3 Westmoreland, Lynn A. R 2433 RHOB 202-225-5901 Financial Services
Intelligence (Permanent)
4 Johnson, Henry C. “Hank” Jr. D 2240 RHOB 202-225-1605 Armed Services
the Judiciary
5 Lewis, John D 343 CHOB 202-225-3801 Ways and Means
6 Price, Tom R 100 CHOB 202-225-4501 Education and the Workforce
the Budget
Ways and Means
7 Woodall, Robert R 1725 LHOB 202-225-4272 Oversight and Government
Rules
the Budget
8 Scott, Austin R 516 CHOB 202-225-6531 Agriculture
Armed Services
9 Collins, Doug R 513 CHOB 202-225-9893 Foreign Affairs
Oversight and Government
the Judiciary
10 Broun, Paul C. R 2437 RHOB 202-225-4101 Homeland Security
Natural Resources
Science, Space, and Technology
11 Gingrey, Phil R 442 CHOB 202-225-2931 Energy and Commerce
House Administration
12 Barrow, John D 2202 RHOB 202-225-2823 Energy and Commerce
13 Scott, David D 225 CHOB 202-225-2939 Agriculture
Financial Services
14 Graves, Tom R 432 CHOB 202-225-5211 Appropriations

Guam

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
At Large Bordallo, Madeleine D 2441 RHOB 202-225-1188 Armed Services
Natural Resources

Hawaii

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Hanabusa, Colleen D 238 CHOB 202-225-2726 Armed Services
Natural Resources
2 Gabbard, Tulsi D 502 CHOB 202-225-4906 Armed Services
Foreign Affairs

Idaho

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Labrador, Raul R. R 1523 LHOB 202-225-6611 Natural Resources
the Judiciary
2 Simpson, Mike R 2312 RHOB 202-225-5531 Appropriations

Illinois

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Rush, Bobby L. D 2268 RHOB 202-225-4372 Energy and Commerce
2 Kelly, Robin D 2419 RHOB 202-225-0773 Oversight and Government
Science, Space, and Technology
3 Lipinski, Daniel D 1717 LHOB 202-225-5701 Science, Space, and Technology
Transportation
4 Gutierrez, Luis D 2408 RHOB 202-225-8203 Intelligence (Permanent)
the Judiciary
5 Quigley, Mike D 1124 LHOB 202-225-4061 Appropriations
6 Roskam, Peter J. R 227 CHOB 202-225-4561 Ways and Means
7 Davis, Danny K. D 2159 RHOB 202-225-5006 Oversight and Government
Ways and Means
8 Duckworth, Tammy D 104 CHOB 202-225-3711 Armed Services
Oversight and Government
9 Schakowsky, Jan D 2367 RHOB 202-225-2111 Energy and Commerce
Intelligence (Permanent)
10 Schneider, Brad D 317 CHOB 202-225-4835 Foreign Affairs
Small Business
11 Foster, Bill D 1224 LHOB 202-225-3515 Financial Services
12 Enyart, William D 1722 LHOB 202-225-5661 Agriculture
Armed Services
13 Davis, Rodney R 1740 LHOB 202-225-2371 Agriculture
Transportation
14 Hultgren, Randy R 332 CHOB 202-225-2976 Financial Services
Science, Space, and Technology
15 Shimkus, John R 2452 RHOB 202-225-5271 Energy and Commerce
16 Kinzinger, Adam R 1221 LHOB 202-225-3635 Energy and Commerce
Foreign Affairs
17 Bustos, Cheri D 1009 LHOB 202-225-5905 Agriculture
Transportation
18 Schock, Aaron R 328 CHOB 202-225-6201 House Administration
Ways and Means

Indiana

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Visclosky, Peter D 2256 RHOB 202-225-2461 Appropriations
2 Walorski, Jackie R 419 CHOB 202-225-3915 Armed Services
the Budget
Veterans’ Affairs
3 Stutzman, Marlin R 1728 LHOB 202-225-4436 Financial Services
4 Rokita, Todd R 236 CHOB 202-225-5037 Education and the Workforce
House Administration
the Budget
5 Brooks, Susan W. R 1505 LHOB 202-225-2276 Education and the Workforce
Ethics
Homeland Security
6 Messer, Luke R 508 CHOB 202-225-3021 Education and the Workforce
Financial Services
7 Carson, André D 2453 RHOB 202-225-4011 Armed Services
Transportation
8 Bucshon, Larry R 1005 LHOB 202-225-4636 Education and the Workforce
Science, Space, and Technology
Transportation
9 Young, Todd R 1007 LHOB 202-225-5315 Ways and Means

Iowa

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Braley, Bruce L. D 2263 RHOB 202-225-2911 Energy and Commerce
2 Loebsack, David D 1527 LHOB 202-225-6576 Armed Services
Education and the Workforce
3 Latham, Tom R 2217 RHOB 202-225-5476 Appropriations
4 King, Steve R 2210 RHOB 202-225-4426 Agriculture
Small Business
the Judiciary

Kansas

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Huelskamp, Tim R 129 CHOB 202-225-2715 Small Business
Veterans’ Affairs
2 Jenkins, Lynn R 1027 LHOB 202-225-6601 Ways and Means
3 Yoder, Kevin R 215 CHOB 202-225-2865 Appropriations
4 Pompeo, Mike R 107 CHOB 202-225-6216 Energy and Commerce
Intelligence (Permanent)

Kentucky

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Whitfield, Ed R 2184 RHOB 202-225-3115 Energy and Commerce
2 Guthrie, S. Brett R 308 CHOB 202-225-3501 Education and the Workforce
Energy and Commerce
3 Yarmuth, John A. D 403 CHOB 202-225-5401 Energy and Commerce
the Budget
4 Massie, Thomas R 314 CHOB 202-225-3465 Oversight and Government
Science, Space, and Technology
Transportation
5 Rogers, Harold R 2406 RHOB 202-225-4601 Appropriations
6 Barr, Andy R 1432 LHOB 202-225-4706 Financial Services

Louisiana

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Scalise, Steve R 2338 RHOB 202-225-3015 Energy and Commerce
2 Richmond, Cedric D 240 CHOB 202-225-6636 Homeland Security
the Judiciary
3 Boustany Jr., Charles W. R 1431 LHOB 202-225-2031 Ways and Means
4 Fleming, John R 416 CHOB 202-225-2777 Armed Services
Natural Resources
5 McAllister, Vance R 316 CHOB 202-225-8490 Agriculture
Natural Resources
6 Cassidy, William R 1131 LHOB 202-225-3901 Energy and Commerce

Maine

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Pingree, Chellie D 1318 LHOB 202-225-6116 Appropriations
2 Michaud, Michael D 1724 LHOB 202-225-6306 Transportation
Veterans’ Affairs

Maryland

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Harris, Andy R 1533 LHOB 202-225-5311 Appropriations
2 Ruppersberger, Dutch D 2416 RHOB 202-225-3061 Intelligence (Permanent)
3 Sarbanes, John P. D 2444 RHOB 202-225-4016 Energy and Commerce
4 Edwards, Donna F. D 2445 RHOB 202-225-8699 Science, Space, and Technology
Transportation
5 Hoyer, Steny H. D 1705 LHOB 202-225-4131
6 Delaney, John D 1632 LHOB 202-225-2721 Financial Services
7 Cummings, Elijah D 2235 RHOB 202-225-4741 Oversight and Government
Transportation
8 Van Hollen, Chris D 1707 LHOB 202-225-5341 the Budget

Massachusetts

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Neal, Richard E. D 2208 RHOB 202-225-5601 Ways and Means
2 McGovern, James D 438 CHOB 202-225-6101 Agriculture
Rules
3 Tsongas, Niki D 1607 LHOB 202-225-3411 Armed Services
Natural Resources
4 Kennedy III, Joseph P. D 1218 LHOB 202-225-5931 Foreign Affairs
Science, Space, and Technology
5 Clark, Katherine D 2108 RHOB 202-225-2836 Natural Resources
Science, Space, and Technology
6 Tierney, John D 2238 RHOB 202-225-8020 Education and the Workforce
Oversight and Government
7 Capuano, Michael E. D 1414 LHOB 202-225-5111 Ethics
Financial Services
Transportation
8 Lynch, Stephen F. D 2133 RHOB 202-225-8273 Financial Services
Oversight and Government
9 Keating, William D 315 CHOB 202-225-3111 Foreign Affairs
Homeland Security

Michigan

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Benishek, Dan R 514 CHOB 202-225-4735 Agriculture
Natural Resources
Veterans’ Affairs
2 Huizenga, Bill R 1217 LHOB 202-225-4401 Financial Services
3 Amash, Justin R 114 CHOB 202-225-3831 Oversight and Government
4 Camp, Dave R 341 CHOB 202-225-3561 Joint Taxation
Ways and Means
5 Kildee, Daniel D 327 CHOB 202-225-3611 Financial Services
the Budget
6 Upton, Fred R 2183 RHOB 202-225-3761 Energy and Commerce
7 Walberg, Tim R 2436 RHOB 202-225-6276 Education and the Workforce
Oversight and Government
8 Rogers (MI), Mike R 2112 RHOB 202-225-4872 Energy and Commerce
Intelligence (Permanent)
9 Levin, Sander D 1236 LHOB 202-225-4961 Joint Taxation
Ways and Means
10 Miller, Candice R 320 CHOB 202-225-2106 Homeland Security
House Administration
Joint Library
Transportation
11 Bentivolio, Kerry R 226 CHOB 202-225-8171 Oversight and Government
Small Business
12 Dingell, John D 2328 RHOB 202-225-4071 Energy and Commerce
13 Conyers Jr., John D 2426 RHOB 202-225-5126 the Judiciary
14 Peters, Gary D 1609 LHOB 202-225-5802 Financial Services

Minnesota

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Walz, Timothy J. D 1034 LHOB 202-225-2472 Agriculture
Transportation
Veterans’ Affairs
2 Kline, John R 2439 RHOB 202-225-2271 Armed Services
Education and the Workforce
3 Paulsen, Erik R 127 CHOB 202-225-2871 Ways and Means
4 McCollum, Betty D 1714 LHOB 202-225-6631 Appropriations
5 Ellison, Keith D 2244 RHOB 202-225-4755 Financial Services
6 Bachmann, Michele R 2417 RHOB 202-225-2331 Financial Services
Intelligence (Permanent)
7 Peterson, Collin C. D 2109 RHOB 202-225-2165 Agriculture
8 Nolan, Rick D 2447 RHOB 202-225-6211 Agriculture
Transportation

Mississippi

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Nunnelee, Alan R 1427 LHOB 202-225-4306 Appropriations
the Budget
2 Thompson, Bennie G. D 2466 RHOB 202-225-5876 Homeland Security
3 Harper, Gregg R 307 CHOB 202-225-5031 Energy and Commerce
House Administration
Joint Library
4 Palazzo, Steven R 331 CHOB 202-225-5772 Armed Services
Homeland Security
Science, Space, and Technology

Missouri

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Clay Jr., William “Lacy” D 2418 RHOB 202-225-2406 Financial Services
Oversight and Government
2 Wagner, Ann R 435 CHOB 202-225-1621 Financial Services
3 Luetkemeyer, Blaine R 2440 RHOB 202-225-2956 Financial Services
Small Business
4 Hartzler, Vicky R 1023 LHOB 202-225-2876 Agriculture
Armed Services
the Budget
5 Cleaver, Emanuel D 2335 RHOB 202-225-4535 Financial Services
6 Graves, Sam R 1415 LHOB 202-225-7041 Small Business
Transportation
7 Long, Billy R 1541 LHOB 202-225-6536 Energy and Commerce
8 Smith, Jason R 2230 RHOB 202-225-4404 Natural Resources
the Judiciary

Montana

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
At Large Daines, Steve R 206 CHOB 202-225-3211 Homeland Security
Natural Resources
Transportation

Nebraska

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Fortenberry, Jeff R 1514 LHOB 202-225-4806 Appropriations
2 Terry, Lee R 2266 RHOB 202-225-4155 Energy and Commerce
3 Smith, Adrian R 2241 RHOB 202-225-6435 Ways and Means

Nevada

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Titus, Dina D 401 CHOB 202-225-5965 Transportation
Veterans’ Affairs
2 Amodei, Mark R 222 CHOB 202-225-6155 Appropriations
3 Heck, Joe R 132 CHOB 202-225-3252 Armed Services
Education and the Workforce
Intelligence (Permanent)
4 Horsford, Steven D 1330 LHOB 202-225-9894 Financial Services
Oversight and Government

New Hampshire

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Shea-Porter, Carol D 1530 LHOB 202-225-5456 Armed Services
Natural Resources
2 Kuster, Ann D 137 CHOB 202-225-5206 Agriculture
Small Business
Veterans’ Affairs

New Jersey

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Andrews, Robert E. Vacancy D 2265 RHOB 202-225-6501
2 LoBiondo, Frank R 2427 RHOB 202-225-6572 Armed Services
Intelligence (Permanent)
Transportation
3 Runyan, Jon R 1239 LHOB 202-225-4765 Armed Services
Natural Resources
Veterans’ Affairs
4 Smith, Chris R 2373 RHOB 202-225-3765 Foreign Affairs
5 Garrett, Scott R 2232 RHOB 202-225-4465 Financial Services
the Budget
6 Pallone Jr., Frank D 237 CHOB 202-225-4671 Energy and Commerce
Natural Resources
7 Lance, Leonard R 133 CHOB 202-225-5361 Energy and Commerce
8 Sires, Albio D 2342 RHOB 202-225-7919 Foreign Affairs
Transportation
9 Pascrell Jr., Bill D 2370 RHOB 202-225-5751 the Budget
Ways and Means
10 Payne Jr., Donald D 103 CHOB 202-225-3436 Homeland Security
Small Business
11 Frelinghuysen, Rodney R 2306 RHOB 202-225-5034 Appropriations
12 Holt, Rush D 1214 LHOB 202-225-5801 Education and the Workforce
Natural Resources

New Mexico

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Lujan Grisham, Michelle D 214 CHOB 202-225-6316 Agriculture
Oversight and Government
the Budget
2 Pearce, Steve R 2432 RHOB 202-225-2365 Financial Services
3 Lujan, Ben R. D 2446 RHOB 202-225-6190 Energy and Commerce

New York

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Bishop, Timothy D 306 CHOB 202-225-3826 Education and the Workforce
Transportation
2 King, Pete R 339 CHOB 202-225-7896 Financial Services
Homeland Security
Intelligence (Permanent)
3 Israel, Steve D 2457 RHOB 202-225-3335
4 McCarthy, Carolyn D 2346 RHOB 202-225-5516 Education and the Workforce
Financial Services
5 Meeks, Gregory W. D 2234 RHOB 202-225-3461 Financial Services
Foreign Affairs
6 Meng, Grace D 1317 LHOB 202-225-2601 Foreign Affairs
Small Business
7 Velázquez, Nydia M. D 2302 RHOB 202-225-2361 Financial Services
Small Business
8 Jeffries, Hakeem D 1339 LHOB 202-225-5936 the Budget
the Judiciary
9 Clarke, Yvette D. D 2351 RHOB 202-225-6231 Ethics
Homeland Security
Small Business
10 Nadler, Jerrold D 2110 RHOB 202-225-5635 the Judiciary
Transportation
11 Grimm, Michael R 512 CHOB 202-225-3371
12 Maloney, Carolyn D 2308 RHOB 202-225-7944 Financial Services
Oversight and Government
13 Rangel, Charles B. D 2354 RHOB 202-225-4365 Joint Taxation
Ways and Means
14 Crowley, Joseph D 1436 LHOB 202-225-3965 Ways and Means
15 Serrano, José E. D 2227 RHOB 202-225-4361 Appropriations
16 Engel, Eliot D 2161 RHOB 202-225-2464 Energy and Commerce
Foreign Affairs
17 Lowey, Nita D 2365 RHOB 202-225-6506 Appropriations
18 Maloney, Sean Patrick D 1529 LHOB 202-225-5441 Agriculture
Transportation
19 Gibson, Chris R 1708 LHOB 202-225-5614 Agriculture
Armed Services
20 Tonko, Paul D. D 2463 RHOB 202-225-5076 Energy and Commerce
21 Owens, Bill D 405 CHOB 202-225-4611 Appropriations
22 Hanna, Richard R 319 CHOB 202-225-3665 Small Business
Transportation
23 Reed, Tom R 1504 LHOB 202-225-3161 Ways and Means
24 Maffei, Daniel D 422 CHOB 202-225-3701 Armed Services
Science, Space, and Technology
25 Slaughter, Louise D 2469 RHOB 202-225-3615 Rules
26 Higgins, Brian D 2459 RHOB 202-225-3306 Foreign Affairs
Homeland Security
27 Collins, Chris R 1117 LHOB 202-225-5265 Agriculture
Science, Space, and Technology
Small Business

North Carolina

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Butterfield, G.K. D 2305 RHOB 202-225-3101 Energy and Commerce
2 Ellmers, Renee R 426 CHOB 202-225-4531 Energy and Commerce
3 Jones, Walter B. R 2333 RHOB 202-225-3415 Armed Services
4 Price, David D 2162 RHOB 202-225-1784 Appropriations
5 Foxx, Virginia R 2350 RHOB 202-225-2071 Education and the Workforce
Rules
6 Coble, Howard R 2188 RHOB 202-225-3065 the Judiciary
Transportation
7 McIntyre, Mike D 2428 RHOB 202-225-2731 Agriculture
Armed Services
8 Hudson, Richard R 429 CHOB 202-225-3715 Agriculture
Education and the Workforce
Homeland Security
9 Pittenger, Robert R 224 CHOB 202-225-1976 Financial Services
10 McHenry, Patrick T. R 2334 RHOB 202-225-2576 Financial Services
Oversight and Government
11 Meadows, Mark R 1516 LHOB 202-225-6401 Foreign Affairs
Oversight and Government
Transportation
12 Watt, Mel Vacancy D 2304 RHOB 202-225-1510
13 Holding, George R 507 CHOB 202-225-3032 Foreign Affairs
the Judiciary

North Dakota

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
At Large Cramer, Kevin R 1032 LHOB 202-225-2611 Natural Resources
Science, Space, and Technology

Northern Mariana Islands

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
At Large Sablan, Gregorio D 423 CHOB 202-225-2646 Education and the Workforce
Natural Resources

Ohio

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Chabot, Steve R 2371 RHOB 202-225-2216 Foreign Affairs
Small Business
the Judiciary
2 Wenstrup, Brad R 1223 LHOB 202-225-3164 Armed Services
Veterans’ Affairs
3 Beatty, Joyce D 417 CHOB 202-225-4324 Financial Services
4 Jordan, Jim R 1524 LHOB 202-225-2676 Oversight and Government
the Judiciary
5 Latta, Robert E. R 2448 RHOB 202-225-6405 Energy and Commerce
6 Johnson, Bill R 1710 LHOB 202-225-5705 Energy and Commerce
Science, Space, and Technology
7 Gibbs, Bob R 329 CHOB 202-225-6265 Agriculture
Transportation
8 Boehner, John A. R 1011 LHOB 202-225-6205
9 Kaptur, Marcy D 2186 RHOB 202-225-4146 Appropriations
10 Turner, Michael R 2239 RHOB 202-225-6465 Armed Services
Oversight and Government
11 Fudge, Marcia L. D 2344 RHOB 202-225-7032 Agriculture
Education and the Workforce
12 Tiberi, Pat R 106 CHOB 202-225-5355 Ways and Means
13 Ryan, Tim D 1421 LHOB 202-225-5261 Appropriations
the Budget
14 Joyce, David R 1535 LHOB 202-225-5731 Appropriations
15 Stivers, Steve R 1022 LHOB 202-225-2015 Financial Services
16 Renacci, Jim R 130 CHOB 202-225-3876 Ways and Means

Oklahoma

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Bridenstine, Jim R 216 CHOB 202-225-2211 Armed Services
Science, Space, and Technology
2 Mullin, Markwayne R 1113 LHOB 202-225-2701 Natural Resources
Transportation
3 Lucas, Frank R 2311 RHOB 202-225-5565 Agriculture
Financial Services
Science, Space, and Technology
4 Cole, Tom R 2458 RHOB 202-225-6165 Appropriations
Joint Library
Rules
the Budget
5 Lankford, James R 228 CHOB 202-225-2132 Oversight and Government
the Budget

Oregon

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Bonamici, Suzanne D 439 CHOB 202-225-0855 Education and the Workforce
Science, Space, and Technology
2 Walden, Greg R 2182 RHOB 202-225-6730 Energy and Commerce
3 Blumenauer, Earl D 1111 LHOB 202-225-4811 the Budget
Ways and Means
4 DeFazio, Peter D 2134 RHOB 202-225-6416 Natural Resources
Transportation
5 Schrader, Kurt D 108 CHOB 202-225-5711 Agriculture
Small Business
the Budget

Pennsylvania

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Brady, Robert D 102 CHOB 202-225-4731 Armed Services
House Administration
Joint Library
2 Fattah, Chaka D 2301 RHOB 202-225-4001 Appropriations
3 Kelly, Mike R 1519 LHOB 202-225-5406 Education and the Workforce
Ways and Means
4 Perry, Scott R 126 CHOB 202-225-5836 Foreign Affairs
Homeland Security
Transportation
5 Thompson, Glenn W. R 124 CHOB 202-225-5121 Agriculture
Education and the Workforce
Natural Resources
6 Gerlach, Jim R 2442 RHOB 202-225-4315 Ways and Means
7 Meehan, Pat R 204 CHOB 202-225-2011 Ethics
Homeland Security
Oversight and Government
Transportation
8 Fitzpatrick, Michael G. R 2400 RHOB 202-225-4276 Financial Services
9 Shuster, Bill R 2209 RHOB 202-225-2431 Armed Services
Transportation
10 Marino, Tom R 410 CHOB 202-225-3731 Foreign Affairs
Homeland Security
the Judiciary
11 Barletta, Lou R 115 CHOB 202-225-6511 Education and the Workforce
Homeland Security
Transportation
12 Rothfus, Keith R 503 CHOB 202-225-2065 Financial Services
13 Schwartz, Allyson Y. D 1227 LHOB 202-225-6111 Ways and Means
14 Doyle, Mike D 239 CHOB 202-225-2135 Energy and Commerce
15 Dent, Charles W. R 2455 RHOB 202-225-6411 Appropriations
Ethics
16 Pitts, Joseph R. R 420 CHOB 202-225-2411 Energy and Commerce
17 Cartwright, Matthew D 1419 LHOB 202-225-5546 Natural Resources
Oversight and Government
18 Murphy, Tim R 2332 RHOB 202-225-2301 Energy and Commerce

Puerto Rico

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
At Large Pierluisi, Pedro D 1213 LHOB 202-225-2615 Ethics
Natural Resources
the Judiciary

Rhode Island

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Cicilline, David D 128 CHOB 202-225-4911 Foreign Affairs
the Judiciary
2 Langevin, Jim D 109 CHOB 202-225-2735 Armed Services
Intelligence (Permanent)

South Carolina

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Sanford, Mark R 322 CHOB 202-225-3176 Homeland Security
Transportation
2 Wilson, Joe R 2229 RHOB 202-225-2452 Armed Services
Education and the Workforce
Foreign Affairs
3 Duncan, Jeff R 116 CHOB 202-225-5301 Foreign Affairs
Homeland Security
Natural Resources
4 Gowdy, Trey R 1404 LHOB 202-225-6030 Ethics
Oversight and Government
the Judiciary
5 Mulvaney, Mick R 1207 LHOB 202-225-5501 Financial Services
Small Business
6 Clyburn, James E. D 242 CHOB 202-225-3315
7 Rice, Tom R 325 CHOB 202-225-9895 Small Business
the Budget
Transportation

South Dakota

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
At Large Noem, Kristi R 1323 LHOB 202-225-2801 Agriculture
Armed Services

Tennessee

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Roe, Phil R 407 CHOB 202-225-6356 Education and the Workforce
Veterans’ Affairs
2 Duncan Jr., John J. R 2207 RHOB 202-225-5435 Oversight and Government
Transportation
3 Fleischmann, Chuck R 230 CHOB 202-225-3271 Appropriations
4 DesJarlais, Scott R 413 CHOB 202-225-6831 Agriculture
Education and the Workforce
Oversight and Government
5 Cooper, Jim D 1536 LHOB 202-225-4311 Armed Services
Oversight and Government
6 Black, Diane R 1531 LHOB 202-225-4231 the Budget
Ways and Means
7 Blackburn, Marsha R 217 CHOB 202-225-2811 Energy and Commerce
the Budget
8 Fincher, Stephen R 1118 LHOB 202-225-4714 Agriculture
Financial Services
9 Cohen, Steve D 2404 RHOB 202-225-3265 the Judiciary
Transportation

Texas

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Gohmert, Louie R 2243 RHOB 202-225-3035 Natural Resources
the Judiciary
2 Poe, Ted R 2412 RHOB 202-225-6565 Foreign Affairs
the Judiciary
3 Johnson, Sam R 1211 LHOB 202-225-4201 Joint Taxation
Ways and Means
4 Hall, Ralph M. R 2405 RHOB 202-225-6673 Energy and Commerce
Science, Space, and Technology
5 Hensarling, Jeb R 2228 RHOB 202-225-3484 Financial Services
6 Barton, Joe R 2107 RHOB 202-225-2002 Energy and Commerce
7 Culberson, John R 2352 RHOB 202-225-2571 Appropriations
8 Brady, Kevin R 301 CHOB 202-225-4901 Joint Taxation
Ways and Means
9 Green, Al D 2201 RHOB 202-225-7508 Financial Services
10 McCaul, Michael T. R 131 CHOB 202-225-2401 Foreign Affairs
Homeland Security
Science, Space, and Technology
11 Conaway, K. Michael R 2430 RHOB 202-225-3605 Agriculture
Armed Services
Ethics
Intelligence (Permanent)
12 Granger, Kay R 1026 LHOB 202-225-5071 Appropriations
13 Thornberry, Mac R 2329 RHOB 202-225-3706 Armed Services
Intelligence (Permanent)
14 Weber, Randy R 510 CHOB 202-225-2831 Foreign Affairs
Science, Space, and Technology
15 Hinojosa, Rubén D 2262 RHOB 202-225-2531 Education and the Workforce
Financial Services
16 O’Rourke, Beto D 1721 LHOB 202-225-4831 Homeland Security
Veterans’ Affairs
17 Flores, Bill R 1030 LHOB 202-225-6105 Natural Resources
the Budget
Veterans’ Affairs
18 Jackson Lee, Sheila D 2160 RHOB 202-225-3816 Homeland Security
the Judiciary
19 Neugebauer, Randy R 1424 LHOB 202-225-4005 Agriculture
Financial Services
Science, Space, and Technology
20 Castro, Joaquin D 212 CHOB 202-225-3236 Armed Services
Foreign Affairs
21 Smith, Lamar R 2409 RHOB 202-225-4236 Homeland Security
Science, Space, and Technology
the Judiciary
22 Olson, Pete R 312 CHOB 202-225-5951 Energy and Commerce
23 Gallego, Pete D 431 CHOB 202-225-4511 Agriculture
Armed Services
24 Marchant, Kenny R 1110 LHOB 202-225-6605 Education and the Workforce
Ways and Means
25 Williams, Roger R 1122 LHOB 202-225-9896 the Budget
Transportation
26 Burgess, Michael R 2336 RHOB 202-225-7772 Energy and Commerce
Rules
27 Farenthold, Blake R 117 CHOB 202-225-7742 Oversight and Government
the Judiciary
Transportation
28 Cuellar, Henry D 2431 RHOB 202-225-1640 Appropriations
29 Green, Gene D 2470 RHOB 202-225-1688 Energy and Commerce
30 Johnson, Eddie Bernice D 2468 RHOB 202-225-8885 Science, Space, and Technology
Transportation
31 Carter, John R 409 CHOB 202-225-3864 Appropriations
32 Sessions, Pete R 2233 RHOB 202-225-2231 Rules
33 Veasey, Marc D 414 CHOB 202-225-9897 Armed Services
Science, Space, and Technology
34 Vela, Filemon D 437 CHOB 202-225-9901 Agriculture
Homeland Security
35 Doggett, Lloyd D 201 CHOB 202-225-4865 the Budget
Ways and Means
36 Stockman, Steve R 326 CHOB 202-225-1555 Foreign Affairs
Science, Space, and Technology

Utah

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Bishop, Rob R 123 CHOB 202-225-0453 Armed Services
Natural Resources
Rules
2 Stewart, Chris R 323 CHOB 202-225-9730 Appropriations
3 Chaffetz, Jason R 2464 RHOB 202-225-7751 Homeland Security
Oversight and Government
the Judiciary
4 Matheson, Jim D 2211 RHOB 202-225-3011 Energy and Commerce

Vermont

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
At Large Welch, Peter D 2303 RHOB 202-225-4115 Energy and Commerce
Oversight and Government

Virgin Islands

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
At Large Christensen, Donna M., D 1510 LHOB 202-225-1790 Energy and Commerce

Virginia

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Wittman, Robert J. R 2454 RHOB 202-225-4261 Armed Services
Natural Resources
2 Rigell, Scott R 418 CHOB 202-225-4215 Armed Services
the Budget
3 Scott, Robert C. D 1201 LHOB 202-225-8351 Education and the Workforce
the Judiciary
4 Forbes, J. Randy R 2135 RHOB 202-225-6365 Armed Services
the Judiciary
5 Hurt, Robert R 125 CHOB 202-225-4711 Financial Services
6 Goodlatte, Bob R 2309 RHOB 202-225-5431 Agriculture
the Judiciary
7 Cantor, Eric R 303 CHOB 202-225-2815
8 Moran, James D 2252 RHOB 202-225-4376 Appropriations
9 Griffith, Morgan R 1108 LHOB 202-225-3861 Energy and Commerce
10 Wolf, Frank R 233 CHOB 202-225-5136 Appropriations
11 Connolly, Gerald E. “Gerry” D 424 CHOB 202-225-1492 Foreign Affairs
Oversight and Government

Washington

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 DelBene, Suzan D 318 CHOB 202-225-6311 Agriculture
the Judiciary
2 Larsen, Rick D 2113 RHOB 202-225-2605 Armed Services
Transportation
3 Herrera Beutler, Jaime R 1130 LHOB 202-225-3536 Appropriations
Small Business
4 Hastings, Doc R 1203 LHOB 202-225-5816 Natural Resources
Oversight and Government
5 McMorris Rodgers, Cathy R 203 CHOB 202-225-2006 Energy and Commerce
6 Kilmer, Derek D 1429 LHOB 202-225-5916 Armed Services
Science, Space, and Technology
7 McDermott, Jim D 1035 LHOB 202-225-3106 the Budget
Ways and Means
8 Reichert, David G. R 1127 LHOB 202-225-7761 Ways and Means
9 Smith, Adam D 2264 RHOB 202-225-8901 Armed Services
10 Heck, Denny D 425 CHOB 202-225-9740 Financial Services

West Virginia

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 McKinley, David R 412 CHOB 202-225-4172 Energy and Commerce
2 Capito, Shelley Moore R 2366 RHOB 202-225-2711 Financial Services
Transportation
3 Rahall, Nick D 2307 RHOB 202-225-3452 Transportation

Wisconsin

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 Ryan, Paul R 1233 LHOB 202-225-3031 the Budget
Ways and Means
2 Pocan, Mark D 313 CHOB 202-225-2906 Education and the Workforce
the Budget
3 Kind, Ron D 1502 LHOB 202-225-5506 Ways and Means
4 Moore, Gwen D 2245 RHOB 202-225-4572 Financial Services
the Budget
5 Sensenbrenner, F. James R 2449 RHOB 202-225-5101 Science, Space, and Technology
the Judiciary
6 Petri, Thomas R 2462 RHOB 202-225-2476 Education and the Workforce
Transportation
7 Duffy, Sean P. R 1208 LHOB 202-225-3365 Financial Services
Foreign Affairs
the Budget
8 Ribble, Reid R 1513 LHOB 202-225-5665 Agriculture
the Budget
Transportation

Wyoming

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
At Large Lummis, Cynthia M. R 113 CHOB 202-225-2311 Natural Resources
Oversight and Government
Science, Space, and Technology

A

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
Aderholt, Robert Alabama 4th District R 2369 RHOB 202-225-4876 Appropriations
Amash, Justin Michigan 3rd District R 114 CHOB 202-225-3831 Oversight and Government
Amodei, Mark Nevada 2nd District R 222 CHOB 202-225-6155 Appropriations
Andrews, Robert E. Vacancy New Jersey 1st District D 2265 RHOB 202-225-6501

B

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
Bachmann, Michele Minnesota 6th District R 2417 RHOB 202-225-2331 Financial Services
Intelligence (Permanent)
Bachus, Spencer Alabama 6th District R 2246 RHOB 202-225-4921 Financial Services
the Judiciary
Barber, Ron Arizona 2nd District D 1029 LHOB 202-225-2542 Armed Services
Homeland Security
Small Business
Barletta, Lou Pennsylvania 11th District R 115 CHOB 202-225-6511 Education and the Workforce
Homeland Security
Transportation
Barr, Andy Kentucky 6th District R 1432 LHOB 202-225-4706 Financial Services
Barrow, John Georgia 12th District D 2202 RHOB 202-225-2823 Energy and Commerce
Barton, Joe Texas 6th District R 2107 RHOB 202-225-2002 Energy and Commerce
Bass, Karen California 37th District D 408 CHOB 202-225-7084 Foreign Affairs
the Judiciary
Beatty, Joyce Ohio 3rd District D 417 CHOB 202-225-4324 Financial Services
Becerra, Xavier California 34th District D 1226 LHOB 202-225-6235 Ways and Means
Benishek, Dan Michigan 1st District R 514 CHOB 202-225-4735 Agriculture
Natural Resources
Veterans’ Affairs
Bentivolio, Kerry Michigan 11th District R 226 CHOB 202-225-8171 Oversight and Government
Small Business
Bera, Ami California 7th District D 1408 LHOB 202-225-5716 Foreign Affairs
Science, Space, and Technology
Bilirakis, Gus M. Florida 12th District R 2313 RHOB 202-225-5755 Energy and Commerce
Veterans’ Affairs
Bishop Jr., Sanford D. Georgia 2nd District D 2429 RHOB 202-225-3631 Appropriations
Bishop, Rob Utah 1st District R 123 CHOB 202-225-0453 Armed Services
Natural Resources
Rules
Bishop, Timothy New York 1st District D 306 CHOB 202-225-3826 Education and the Workforce
Transportation
Black, Diane Tennessee 6th District R 1531 LHOB 202-225-4231 the Budget
Ways and Means
Blackburn, Marsha Tennessee 7th District R 217 CHOB 202-225-2811 Energy and Commerce
the Budget
Blumenauer, Earl Oregon 3rd District D 1111 LHOB 202-225-4811 the Budget
Ways and Means
Boehner, John A. Ohio 8th District R 1011 LHOB 202-225-6205
Bonamici, Suzanne Oregon 1st District D 439 CHOB 202-225-0855 Education and the Workforce
Science, Space, and Technology
Bordallo, Madeleine Guam At-Large D 2441 RHOB 202-225-1188 Armed Services
Natural Resources
Boustany Jr., Charles W. Louisiana 3rd District R 1431 LHOB 202-225-2031 Ways and Means
Brady, Kevin Texas 8th District R 301 CHOB 202-225-4901 Joint Taxation
Ways and Means
Brady, Robert Pennsylvania 1st District D 102 CHOB 202-225-4731 Armed Services
House Administration
Joint Library
Braley, Bruce L. Iowa 1st District D 2263 RHOB 202-225-2911 Energy and Commerce
Bridenstine, Jim Oklahoma 1st District R 216 CHOB 202-225-2211 Armed Services
Science, Space, and Technology
Brooks, Mo Alabama 5th District R 1230 LHOB 202-225-4801 Armed Services
Foreign Affairs
Science, Space, and Technology
Brooks, Susan W. Indiana 5th District R 1505 LHOB 202-225-2276 Education and the Workforce
Ethics
Homeland Security
Broun, Paul C. Georgia 10th District R 2437 RHOB 202-225-4101 Homeland Security
Natural Resources
Science, Space, and Technology
Brown, Corrine Florida 5th District D 2111 RHOB 202-225-0123 Transportation
Veterans’ Affairs
Brownley, Julia California 26th District D 1019 LHOB 202-225-5811 Science, Space, and Technology
Veterans’ Affairs
Buchanan, Vern Florida 16th District R 2104 RHOB 202-225-5015 Ways and Means
Bucshon, Larry Indiana 8th District R 1005 LHOB 202-225-4636 Education and the Workforce
Science, Space, and Technology
Transportation
Burgess, Michael Texas 26th District R 2336 RHOB 202-225-7772 Energy and Commerce
Rules
Bustos, Cheri Illinois 17th District D 1009 LHOB 202-225-5905 Agriculture
Transportation
Butterfield, G.K. North Carolina 1st District D 2305 RHOB 202-225-3101 Energy and Commerce
Byrne,Bradley Alabama 1st District R 2236 RHOB 202-225-4931 Armed Services
Education and the Workforce
Natural Resources

C

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
Calvert, Ken California 42nd District R 2269 RHOB 202-225-1986 Appropriations
the Budget
Camp, Dave Michigan 4th District R 341 CHOB 202-225-3561 Joint Taxation
Ways and Means
Campbell, John California 45th District R 2331 RHOB 202-225-5611 Financial Services
the Budget
Cantor, Eric Virginia 7th District R 303 CHOB 202-225-2815
Capito, Shelley Moore West Virginia 2nd District R 2366 RHOB 202-225-2711 Financial Services
Transportation
Capps, Lois California 24th District D 2231 RHOB 202-225-3601 Energy and Commerce
Capuano, Michael E. Massachusetts 7th District D 1414 LHOB 202-225-5111 Ethics
Financial Services
Transportation
Carney, John Delaware At-Large D 1406 LHOB 202-225-4165 Financial Services
Carson, André Indiana 7th District D 2453 RHOB 202-225-4011 Armed Services
Transportation
Carter, John Texas 31st District R 409 CHOB 202-225-3864 Appropriations
Cartwright, Matthew Pennsylvania 17th District D 1419 LHOB 202-225-5546 Natural Resources
Oversight and Government
Cassidy, William Louisiana 6th District R 1131 LHOB 202-225-3901 Energy and Commerce
Castor, Kathy Florida 14th District D 205 CHOB 202-225-3376 Energy and Commerce
the Budget
Castro, Joaquin Texas 20th District D 212 CHOB 202-225-3236 Armed Services
Foreign Affairs
Chabot, Steve Ohio 1st District R 2371 RHOB 202-225-2216 Foreign Affairs
Small Business
the Judiciary
Chaffetz, Jason Utah 3rd District R 2464 RHOB 202-225-7751 Homeland Security
Oversight and Government
the Judiciary
Christensen, Donna M., Virgin Islands At-Large D 1510 LHOB 202-225-1790 Energy and Commerce
Chu, Judy California 27th District D 1520 LHOB 202-225-5464 Small Business
the Judiciary
Cicilline, David Rhode Island 1st District D 128 CHOB 202-225-4911 Foreign Affairs
the Judiciary
Clark, Katherine Massachusetts 5th District D 2108 RHOB 202-225-2836 Natural Resources
Science, Space, and Technology
Clarke, Yvette D. New York 9th District D 2351 RHOB 202-225-6231 Ethics
Homeland Security
Small Business
Clawson,Curt Florida 19th District R 1123 LHOB 202-225-2536
Clay Jr., William “Lacy” Missouri 1st District D 2418 RHOB 202-225-2406 Financial Services
Oversight and Government
Cleaver, Emanuel Missouri 5th District D 2335 RHOB 202-225-4535 Financial Services
Clyburn, James E. South Carolina 6th District D 242 CHOB 202-225-3315
Coble, Howard North Carolina 6th District R 2188 RHOB 202-225-3065 the Judiciary
Transportation
Coffman, Mike Colorado 6th District R 2443 RHOB 202-225-7882 Armed Services
Small Business
Veterans’ Affairs
Cohen, Steve Tennessee 9th District D 2404 RHOB 202-225-3265 the Judiciary
Transportation
Cole, Tom Oklahoma 4th District R 2458 RHOB 202-225-6165 Appropriations
Joint Library
Rules
the Budget
Collins, Chris New York 27th District R 1117 LHOB 202-225-5265 Agriculture
Science, Space, and Technology
Small Business
Collins, Doug Georgia 9th District R 513 CHOB 202-225-9893 Foreign Affairs
Oversight and Government
the Judiciary
Conaway, K. Michael Texas 11th District R 2430 RHOB 202-225-3605 Agriculture
Armed Services
Ethics
Intelligence (Permanent)
Connolly, Gerald E. “Gerry” Virginia 11th District D 424 CHOB 202-225-1492 Foreign Affairs
Oversight and Government
Conyers Jr., John Michigan 13th District D 2426 RHOB 202-225-5126 the Judiciary
Cook, Paul California 8th District R 1222 LHOB 202-225-5861 Armed Services
Foreign Affairs
Veterans’ Affairs
Cooper, Jim Tennessee 5th District D 1536 LHOB 202-225-4311 Armed Services
Oversight and Government
Costa, Jim California 16th District D 1314 LHOB 202-225-3341 Agriculture
Natural Resources
Cotton, Tom Arkansas 4th District R 415 CHOB 202-225-3772 Financial Services
Foreign Affairs
Courtney, Joe Connecticut 2nd District D 2348 RHOB 202-225-2076 Agriculture
Armed Services
Education and the Workforce
Cramer, Kevin North Dakota At-Large R 1032 LHOB 202-225-2611 Natural Resources
Science, Space, and Technology
Crawford, Rick Arkansas 1st District R 1711 LHOB 202-225-4076 Agriculture
Transportation
Crenshaw, Ander Florida 4th District R 440 CHOB 202-225-2501 Appropriations
Crowley, Joseph New York 14th District D 1436 LHOB 202-225-3965 Ways and Means
Cuellar, Henry Texas 28th District D 2431 RHOB 202-225-1640 Appropriations
Culberson, John Texas 7th District R 2352 RHOB 202-225-2571 Appropriations
Cummings, Elijah Maryland 7th District D 2235 RHOB 202-225-4741 Oversight and Government
Transportation
Cárdenas, Tony California 29th District D 1508 LHOB 202-225-6131 Natural Resources
Oversight and Government
the Budget

D

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
Daines, Steve Montana At-Large R 206 CHOB 202-225-3211 Homeland Security
Natural Resources
Transportation
Davis, Danny K. Illinois 7th District D 2159 RHOB 202-225-5006 Oversight and Government
Ways and Means
Davis, Rodney Illinois 13th District R 1740 LHOB 202-225-2371 Agriculture
Transportation
Davis, Susan California 53rd District D 1526 LHOB 202-225-2040 Armed Services
Education and the Workforce
DeFazio, Peter Oregon 4th District D 2134 RHOB 202-225-6416 Natural Resources
Transportation
DeGette, Diana Colorado 1st District D 2368 RHOB 202-225-4431 Energy and Commerce
DeLauro, Rosa L. Connecticut 3rd District D 2413 RHOB 202-225-3661 Appropriations
DeSantis, Ron Florida 6th District R 427 CHOB 202-225-2706 Foreign Affairs
Oversight and Government
the Judiciary
DelBene, Suzan Washington 1st District D 318 CHOB 202-225-6311 Agriculture
the Judiciary
Delaney, John Maryland 6th District D 1632 LHOB 202-225-2721 Financial Services
Denham, Jeff California 10th District R 1730 LHOB 202-225-4540 Agriculture
Transportation
Veterans’ Affairs
Dent, Charles W. Pennsylvania 15th District R 2455 RHOB 202-225-6411 Appropriations
Ethics
DesJarlais, Scott Tennessee 4th District R 413 CHOB 202-225-6831 Agriculture
Education and the Workforce
Oversight and Government
Deutch, Ted Florida 21st District D 1024 LHOB 202-225-3001 Ethics
Foreign Affairs
the Judiciary
Diaz-Balart, Mario Florida 25th District R 436 CHOB 202-225-4211 Appropriations
Dingell, John Michigan 12th District D 2328 RHOB 202-225-4071 Energy and Commerce
Doggett, Lloyd Texas 35th District D 201 CHOB 202-225-4865 the Budget
Ways and Means
Doyle, Mike Pennsylvania 14th District D 239 CHOB 202-225-2135 Energy and Commerce
Duckworth, Tammy Illinois 8th District D 104 CHOB 202-225-3711 Armed Services
Oversight and Government
Duffy, Sean P. Wisconsin 7th District R 1208 LHOB 202-225-3365 Financial Services
Foreign Affairs
the Budget
Duncan Jr., John J. Tennessee 2nd District R 2207 RHOB 202-225-5435 Oversight and Government
Transportation
Duncan, Jeff South Carolina 3rd District R 116 CHOB 202-225-5301 Foreign Affairs
Homeland Security
Natural Resources

E

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
Edwards, Donna F. Maryland 4th District D 2445 RHOB 202-225-8699 Science, Space, and Technology
Transportation
Ellison, Keith Minnesota 5th District D 2244 RHOB 202-225-4755 Financial Services
Ellmers, Renee North Carolina 2nd District R 426 CHOB 202-225-4531 Energy and Commerce
Engel, Eliot New York 16th District D 2161 RHOB 202-225-2464 Energy and Commerce
Foreign Affairs
Enyart, William Illinois 12th District D 1722 LHOB 202-225-5661 Agriculture
Armed Services
Eshoo, Anna G. California 18th District D 241 CHOB 202-225-8104 Energy and Commerce
Esty, Elizabeth Connecticut 5th District D 509 CHOB 202-225-4476 Science, Space, and Technology
Transportation

F

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
Faleomavaega, Eni F. H. American Samoa At-Large D 2422 RHOB 202-225-8577 Foreign Affairs
Natural Resources
Farenthold, Blake Texas 27th District R 117 CHOB 202-225-7742 Oversight and Government
the Judiciary
Transportation
Farr, Sam California 20th District D 1126 LHOB 202-225-2861 Appropriations
Fattah, Chaka Pennsylvania 2nd District D 2301 RHOB 202-225-4001 Appropriations
Fincher, Stephen Tennessee 8th District R 1118 LHOB 202-225-4714 Agriculture
Financial Services
Fitzpatrick, Michael G. Pennsylvania 8th District R 2400 RHOB 202-225-4276 Financial Services
Fleischmann, Chuck Tennessee 3rd District R 230 CHOB 202-225-3271 Appropriations
Fleming, John Louisiana 4th District R 416 CHOB 202-225-2777 Armed Services
Natural Resources
Flores, Bill Texas 17th District R 1030 LHOB 202-225-6105 Natural Resources
the Budget
Veterans’ Affairs
Forbes, J. Randy Virginia 4th District R 2135 RHOB 202-225-6365 Armed Services
the Judiciary
Fortenberry, Jeff Nebraska 1st District R 1514 LHOB 202-225-4806 Appropriations
Foster, Bill Illinois 11th District D 1224 LHOB 202-225-3515 Financial Services
Foxx, Virginia North Carolina 5th District R 2350 RHOB 202-225-2071 Education and the Workforce
Rules
Frankel, Lois Florida 22nd District D 1037 LHOB 202-225-9890 Foreign Affairs
Transportation
Franks, Trent Arizona 8th District R 2435 RHOB 202-225-4576 Armed Services
the Judiciary
Frelinghuysen, Rodney New Jersey 11th District R 2306 RHOB 202-225-5034 Appropriations
Fudge, Marcia L. Ohio 11th District D 2344 RHOB 202-225-7032 Agriculture
Education and the Workforce

G

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
Gabbard, Tulsi Hawaii 2nd District D 502 CHOB 202-225-4906 Armed Services
Foreign Affairs
Gallego, Pete Texas 23rd District D 431 CHOB 202-225-4511 Agriculture
Armed Services
Garamendi, John California 3rd District D 2438 RHOB 202-225-1880 Agriculture
Armed Services
Transportation
Garcia, Joe Florida 26th District D 1440 LHOB 202-225-2778 Natural Resources
the Judiciary
Gardner, Cory Colorado 4th District R 213 CHOB 202-225-4676 Energy and Commerce
Garrett, Scott New Jersey 5th District R 2232 RHOB 202-225-4465 Financial Services
the Budget
Gerlach, Jim Pennsylvania 6th District R 2442 RHOB 202-225-4315 Ways and Means
Gibbs, Bob Ohio 7th District R 329 CHOB 202-225-6265 Agriculture
Transportation
Gibson, Chris New York 19th District R 1708 LHOB 202-225-5614 Agriculture
Armed Services
Gingrey, Phil Georgia 11th District R 442 CHOB 202-225-2931 Energy and Commerce
House Administration
Gohmert, Louie Texas 1st District R 2243 RHOB 202-225-3035 Natural Resources
the Judiciary
Goodlatte, Bob Virginia 6th District R 2309 RHOB 202-225-5431 Agriculture
the Judiciary
Gosar, Paul A. Arizona 4th District R 504 CHOB 202-225-2315 Natural Resources
Oversight and Government
Gowdy, Trey South Carolina 4th District R 1404 LHOB 202-225-6030 Ethics
Oversight and Government
the Judiciary
Granger, Kay Texas 12th District R 1026 LHOB 202-225-5071 Appropriations
Graves, Sam Missouri 6th District R 1415 LHOB 202-225-7041 Small Business
Transportation
Graves, Tom Georgia 14th District R 432 CHOB 202-225-5211 Appropriations
Grayson, Alan Florida 9th District D 430 CHOB 202-225-9889 Foreign Affairs
Science, Space, and Technology
Green, Al Texas 9th District D 2201 RHOB 202-225-7508 Financial Services
Green, Gene Texas 29th District D 2470 RHOB 202-225-1688 Energy and Commerce
Griffin, Tim Arkansas 2nd District R 1232 LHOB 202-225-2506 Ways and Means
Griffith, Morgan Virginia 9th District R 1108 LHOB 202-225-3861 Energy and Commerce
Grijalva, Raul Arizona 3rd District D 1511 LHOB 202-225-2435 Education and the Workforce
Natural Resources
Grimm, Michael New York 11th District R 512 CHOB 202-225-3371
Guthrie, S. Brett Kentucky 2nd District R 308 CHOB 202-225-3501 Education and the Workforce
Energy and Commerce
Gutierrez, Luis Illinois 4th District D 2408 RHOB 202-225-8203 Intelligence (Permanent)
the Judiciary

H

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
Hahn, Janice California 44th District D 404 CHOB 202-225-8220 Small Business
Transportation
Hall, Ralph M. Texas 4th District R 2405 RHOB 202-225-6673 Energy and Commerce
Science, Space, and Technology
Hanabusa, Colleen Hawaii 1st District D 238 CHOB 202-225-2726 Armed Services
Natural Resources
Hanna, Richard New York 22nd District R 319 CHOB 202-225-3665 Small Business
Transportation
Harper, Gregg Mississippi 3rd District R 307 CHOB 202-225-5031 Energy and Commerce
House Administration
Joint Library
Harris, Andy Maryland 1st District R 1533 LHOB 202-225-5311 Appropriations
Hartzler, Vicky Missouri 4th District R 1023 LHOB 202-225-2876 Agriculture
Armed Services
the Budget
Hastings, Alcee L. Florida 20th District D 2353 RHOB 202-225-1313 Rules
Hastings, Doc Washington 4th District R 1203 LHOB 202-225-5816 Natural Resources
Oversight and Government
Heck, Denny Washington 10th District D 425 CHOB 202-225-9740 Financial Services
Heck, Joe Nevada 3rd District R 132 CHOB 202-225-3252 Armed Services
Education and the Workforce
Intelligence (Permanent)
Hensarling, Jeb Texas 5th District R 2228 RHOB 202-225-3484 Financial Services
Herrera Beutler, Jaime Washington 3rd District R 1130 LHOB 202-225-3536 Appropriations
Small Business
Higgins, Brian New York 26th District D 2459 RHOB 202-225-3306 Foreign Affairs
Homeland Security
Himes, Jim Connecticut 4th District D 119 CHOB 202-225-5541 Financial Services
Intelligence (Permanent)
Hinojosa, Rubén Texas 15th District D 2262 RHOB 202-225-2531 Education and the Workforce
Financial Services
Holding, George North Carolina 13th District R 507 CHOB 202-225-3032 Foreign Affairs
the Judiciary
Holt, Rush New Jersey 12th District D 1214 LHOB 202-225-5801 Education and the Workforce
Natural Resources
Honda, Mike California 17th District D 1713 LHOB 202-225-2631 Appropriations
Horsford, Steven Nevada 4th District D 1330 LHOB 202-225-9894 Financial Services
Oversight and Government
Hoyer, Steny H. Maryland 5th District D 1705 LHOB 202-225-4131
Hudson, Richard North Carolina 8th District R 429 CHOB 202-225-3715 Agriculture
Education and the Workforce
Homeland Security
Huelskamp, Tim Kansas 1st District R 129 CHOB 202-225-2715 Small Business
Veterans’ Affairs
Huffman, Jared California 2nd District D 1630 LHOB 202-225-5161 Natural Resources
the Budget
Huizenga, Bill Michigan 2nd District R 1217 LHOB 202-225-4401 Financial Services
Hultgren, Randy Illinois 14th District R 332 CHOB 202-225-2976 Financial Services
Science, Space, and Technology
Hunter, Duncan D. California 50th District R 223 CHOB 202-225-5672 Armed Services
Education and the Workforce
Transportation
Hurt, Robert Virginia 5th District R 125 CHOB 202-225-4711 Financial Services

I

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
Israel, Steve New York 3rd District D 2457 RHOB 202-225-3335
Issa, Darrell California 49th District R 2347 RHOB 202-225-3906 Oversight and Government
the Judiciary

J

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
Jackson Lee, Sheila Texas 18th District D 2160 RHOB 202-225-3816 Homeland Security
the Judiciary
Jeffries, Hakeem New York 8th District D 1339 LHOB 202-225-5936 the Budget
the Judiciary
Jenkins, Lynn Kansas 2nd District R 1027 LHOB 202-225-6601 Ways and Means
Johnson, Bill Ohio 6th District R 1710 LHOB 202-225-5705 Energy and Commerce
Science, Space, and Technology
Johnson, Eddie Bernice Texas 30th District D 2468 RHOB 202-225-8885 Science, Space, and Technology
Transportation
Johnson, Henry C. “Hank” Jr. Georgia 4th District D 2240 RHOB 202-225-1605 Armed Services
the Judiciary
Johnson, Sam Texas 3rd District R 1211 LHOB 202-225-4201 Joint Taxation
Ways and Means
Jolly, David Florida 13th District R 2407 RHOB 202-225-5961 Transportation
Veterans’ Affairs
Jones, Walter B. North Carolina 3rd District R 2333 RHOB 202-225-3415 Armed Services
Jordan, Jim Ohio 4th District R 1524 LHOB 202-225-2676 Oversight and Government
the Judiciary
Joyce, David Ohio 14th District R 1535 LHOB 202-225-5731 Appropriations

K

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
Kaptur, Marcy Ohio 9th District D 2186 RHOB 202-225-4146 Appropriations
Keating, William Massachusetts 9th District D 315 CHOB 202-225-3111 Foreign Affairs
Homeland Security
Kelly, Mike Pennsylvania 3rd District R 1519 LHOB 202-225-5406 Education and the Workforce
Ways and Means
Kelly, Robin Illinois 2nd District D 2419 RHOB 202-225-0773 Oversight and Government
Science, Space, and Technology
Kennedy III, Joseph P. Massachusetts 4th District D 1218 LHOB 202-225-5931 Foreign Affairs
Science, Space, and Technology
Kildee, Daniel Michigan 5th District D 327 CHOB 202-225-3611 Financial Services
the Budget
Kilmer, Derek Washington 6th District D 1429 LHOB 202-225-5916 Armed Services
Science, Space, and Technology
Kind, Ron Wisconsin 3rd District D 1502 LHOB 202-225-5506 Ways and Means
King, Pete New York 2nd District R 339 CHOB 202-225-7896 Financial Services
Homeland Security
Intelligence (Permanent)
King, Steve Iowa 4th District R 2210 RHOB 202-225-4426 Agriculture
Small Business
the Judiciary
Kingston, Jack Georgia 1st District R 2372 RHOB 202-225-5831 Appropriations
Kinzinger, Adam Illinois 16th District R 1221 LHOB 202-225-3635 Energy and Commerce
Foreign Affairs
Kirkpatrick, Ann Arizona 1st District D 330 CHOB 202-225-3361 Transportation
Veterans’ Affairs
Kline, John Minnesota 2nd District R 2439 RHOB 202-225-2271 Armed Services
Education and the Workforce
Kuster, Ann New Hampshire 2nd District D 137 CHOB 202-225-5206 Agriculture
Small Business
Veterans’ Affairs

L

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
LaMalfa, Doug California 1st District R 506 CHOB 202-225-3076 Agriculture
Natural Resources
Labrador, Raul R. Idaho 1st District R 1523 LHOB 202-225-6611 Natural Resources
the Judiciary
Lamborn, Doug Colorado 5th District R 2402 RHOB 202-225-4422 Armed Services
Natural Resources
Veterans’ Affairs
Lance, Leonard New Jersey 7th District R 133 CHOB 202-225-5361 Energy and Commerce
Langevin, Jim Rhode Island 2nd District D 109 CHOB 202-225-2735 Armed Services
Intelligence (Permanent)
Lankford, James Oklahoma 5th District R 228 CHOB 202-225-2132 Oversight and Government
the Budget
Larsen, Rick Washington 2nd District D 2113 RHOB 202-225-2605 Armed Services
Transportation
Larson, John B. Connecticut 1st District D 1501 LHOB 202-225-2265 Ways and Means
Latham, Tom Iowa 3rd District R 2217 RHOB 202-225-5476 Appropriations
Latta, Robert E. Ohio 5th District R 2448 RHOB 202-225-6405 Energy and Commerce
Lee, Barbara California 13th District D 2267 RHOB 202-225-2661 Appropriations
the Budget
Levin, Sander Michigan 9th District D 1236 LHOB 202-225-4961 Joint Taxation
Ways and Means
Lewis, John Georgia 5th District D 343 CHOB 202-225-3801 Ways and Means
Lipinski, Daniel Illinois 3rd District D 1717 LHOB 202-225-5701 Science, Space, and Technology
Transportation
LoBiondo, Frank New Jersey 2nd District R 2427 RHOB 202-225-6572 Armed Services
Intelligence (Permanent)
Transportation
Loebsack, David Iowa 2nd District D 1527 LHOB 202-225-6576 Armed Services
Education and the Workforce
Lofgren, Zoe California 19th District D 1401 LHOB 202-225-3072 House Administration
Joint Library
Science, Space, and Technology
the Judiciary
Long, Billy Missouri 7th District R 1541 LHOB 202-225-6536 Energy and Commerce
Lowenthal, Alan California 47th District D 515 CHOB 202-225-7924 Foreign Affairs
Natural Resources
Lowey, Nita New York 17th District D 2365 RHOB 202-225-6506 Appropriations
Lucas, Frank Oklahoma 3rd District R 2311 RHOB 202-225-5565 Agriculture
Financial Services
Science, Space, and Technology
Luetkemeyer, Blaine Missouri 3rd District R 2440 RHOB 202-225-2956 Financial Services
Small Business
Lujan Grisham, Michelle New Mexico 1st District D 214 CHOB 202-225-6316 Agriculture
Oversight and Government
the Budget
Lujan, Ben R. New Mexico 3rd District D 2446 RHOB 202-225-6190 Energy and Commerce
Lummis, Cynthia M. Wyoming At-Large R 113 CHOB 202-225-2311 Natural Resources
Oversight and Government
Science, Space, and Technology
Lynch, Stephen F. Massachusetts 8th District D 2133 RHOB 202-225-8273 Financial Services
Oversight and Government

M

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
Maffei, Daniel New York 24th District D 422 CHOB 202-225-3701 Armed Services
Science, Space, and Technology
Maloney, Carolyn New York 12th District D 2308 RHOB 202-225-7944 Financial Services
Oversight and Government
Maloney, Sean Patrick New York 18th District D 1529 LHOB 202-225-5441 Agriculture
Transportation
Marchant, Kenny Texas 24th District R 1110 LHOB 202-225-6605 Education and the Workforce
Ways and Means
Marino, Tom Pennsylvania 10th District R 410 CHOB 202-225-3731 Foreign Affairs
Homeland Security
the Judiciary
Massie, Thomas Kentucky 4th District R 314 CHOB 202-225-3465 Oversight and Government
Science, Space, and Technology
Transportation
Matheson, Jim Utah 4th District D 2211 RHOB 202-225-3011 Energy and Commerce
Matsui, Doris O. California 6th District D 2434 RHOB 202-225-7163 Energy and Commerce
McAllister, Vance Louisiana 5th District R 316 CHOB 202-225-8490 Agriculture
Natural Resources
McCarthy, Carolyn New York 4th District D 2346 RHOB 202-225-5516 Education and the Workforce
Financial Services
McCarthy, Kevin California 23rd District R 2421 RHOB 202-225-2915 Financial Services
McCaul, Michael T. Texas 10th District R 131 CHOB 202-225-2401 Foreign Affairs
Homeland Security
Science, Space, and Technology
McClintock, Tom California 4th District R 434 CHOB 202-225-2511 Natural Resources
the Budget
McCollum, Betty Minnesota 4th District D 1714 LHOB 202-225-6631 Appropriations
McDermott, Jim Washington 7th District D 1035 LHOB 202-225-3106 the Budget
Ways and Means
McGovern, James Massachusetts 2nd District D 438 CHOB 202-225-6101 Agriculture
Rules
McHenry, Patrick T. North Carolina 10th District R 2334 RHOB 202-225-2576 Financial Services
Oversight and Government
McIntyre, Mike North Carolina 7th District D 2428 RHOB 202-225-2731 Agriculture
Armed Services
McKeon, Buck California 25th District R 2310 RHOB 202-225-1956 Armed Services
Education and the Workforce
McKinley, David West Virginia 1st District R 412 CHOB 202-225-4172 Energy and Commerce
McMorris Rodgers, Cathy Washington 5th District R 203 CHOB 202-225-2006 Energy and Commerce
McNerney, Jerry California 9th District D 1210 LHOB 202-225-1947 Energy and Commerce
Meadows, Mark North Carolina 11th District R 1516 LHOB 202-225-6401 Foreign Affairs
Oversight and Government
Transportation
Meehan, Pat Pennsylvania 7th District R 204 CHOB 202-225-2011 Ethics
Homeland Security
Oversight and Government
Transportation
Meeks, Gregory W. New York 5th District D 2234 RHOB 202-225-3461 Financial Services
Foreign Affairs
Meng, Grace New York 6th District D 1317 LHOB 202-225-2601 Foreign Affairs
Small Business
Messer, Luke Indiana 6th District R 508 CHOB 202-225-3021 Education and the Workforce
Financial Services
Mica, John Florida 7th District R 2187 RHOB 202-225-4035 Oversight and Government
Transportation
Michaud, Michael Maine 2nd District D 1724 LHOB 202-225-6306 Transportation
Veterans’ Affairs
Miller, Candice Michigan 10th District R 320 CHOB 202-225-2106 Homeland Security
House Administration
Joint Library
Transportation
Miller, Gary California 31st District R 2467 RHOB 202-225-3201 Financial Services
Transportation
Miller, George California 11th District D 2205 RHOB 202-225-2095 Education and the Workforce
Miller, Jeff Florida 1st District R 336 CHOB 202-225-4136 Armed Services
Intelligence (Permanent)
Veterans’ Affairs
Moore, Gwen Wisconsin 4th District D 2245 RHOB 202-225-4572 Financial Services
the Budget
Moran, James Virginia 8th District D 2252 RHOB 202-225-4376 Appropriations
Mullin, Markwayne Oklahoma 2nd District R 1113 LHOB 202-225-2701 Natural Resources
Transportation
Mulvaney, Mick South Carolina 5th District R 1207 LHOB 202-225-5501 Financial Services
Small Business
Murphy, Patrick Florida 18th District D 1517 LHOB 202-225-3026 Financial Services
Small Business
Murphy, Tim Pennsylvania 18th District R 2332 RHOB 202-225-2301 Energy and Commerce

N

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
Nadler, Jerrold New York 10th District D 2110 RHOB 202-225-5635 the Judiciary
Transportation
Napolitano, Grace California 32nd District D 1610 LHOB 202-225-5256 Natural Resources
Transportation
Neal, Richard E. Massachusetts 1st District D 2208 RHOB 202-225-5601 Ways and Means
Negrete McLeod, Gloria California 35th District D 1641 LHOB 202-225-6161 Agriculture
Veterans’ Affairs
Neugebauer, Randy Texas 19th District R 1424 LHOB 202-225-4005 Agriculture
Financial Services
Science, Space, and Technology
Noem, Kristi South Dakota At-Large R 1323 LHOB 202-225-2801 Agriculture
Armed Services
Nolan, Rick Minnesota 8th District D 2447 RHOB 202-225-6211 Agriculture
Transportation
Norton, Eleanor Holmes District of Columbia At-Large D 2136 RHOB 202-225-8050 Oversight and Government
Transportation
Nugent, Richard Florida 11th District R 1727 LHOB 202-225-1002 Armed Services
House Administration
Rules
Nunes, Devin California 22nd District R 1013 LHOB 202-225-2523 Intelligence (Permanent)
Ways and Means
Nunnelee, Alan Mississippi 1st District R 1427 LHOB 202-225-4306 Appropriations
the Budget

O

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
O’Rourke, Beto Texas 16th District D 1721 LHOB 202-225-4831 Homeland Security
Veterans’ Affairs
Olson, Pete Texas 22nd District R 312 CHOB 202-225-5951 Energy and Commerce
Owens, Bill New York 21st District D 405 CHOB 202-225-4611 Appropriations

P

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
Palazzo, Steven Mississippi 4th District R 331 CHOB 202-225-5772 Armed Services
Homeland Security
Science, Space, and Technology
Pallone Jr., Frank New Jersey 6th District D 237 CHOB 202-225-4671 Energy and Commerce
Natural Resources
Pascrell Jr., Bill New Jersey 9th District D 2370 RHOB 202-225-5751 the Budget
Ways and Means
Pastor, Ed Arizona 7th District D 2465 RHOB 202-225-4065 Appropriations
Intelligence (Permanent)
Paulsen, Erik Minnesota 3rd District R 127 CHOB 202-225-2871 Ways and Means
Payne Jr., Donald New Jersey 10th District D 103 CHOB 202-225-3436 Homeland Security
Small Business
Pearce, Steve New Mexico 2nd District R 2432 RHOB 202-225-2365 Financial Services
Pelosi, Nancy California 12th District D 235 CHOB 202-225-4965
Perlmutter, Ed Colorado 7th District D 1410 LHOB 202-225-2645 Financial Services
Perry, Scott Pennsylvania 4th District R 126 CHOB 202-225-5836 Foreign Affairs
Homeland Security
Transportation
Peters, Gary Michigan 14th District D 1609 LHOB 202-225-5802 Financial Services
Peters, Scott California 52nd District D 2410 RHOB 202-225-0508 Armed Services
Science, Space, and Technology
Peterson, Collin C. Minnesota 7th District D 2109 RHOB 202-225-2165 Agriculture
Petri, Thomas Wisconsin 6th District R 2462 RHOB 202-225-2476 Education and the Workforce
Transportation
Pierluisi, Pedro Puerto Rico At-Large D 1213 LHOB 202-225-2615 Ethics
Natural Resources
the Judiciary
Pingree, Chellie Maine 1st District D 1318 LHOB 202-225-6116 Appropriations
Pittenger, Robert North Carolina 9th District R 224 CHOB 202-225-1976 Financial Services
Pitts, Joseph R. Pennsylvania 16th District R 420 CHOB 202-225-2411 Energy and Commerce
Pocan, Mark Wisconsin 2nd District D 313 CHOB 202-225-2906 Education and the Workforce
the Budget
Poe, Ted Texas 2nd District R 2412 RHOB 202-225-6565 Foreign Affairs
the Judiciary
Polis, Jared Colorado 2nd District D 1433 LHOB 202-225-2161 Education and the Workforce
Rules
Pompeo, Mike Kansas 4th District R 107 CHOB 202-225-6216 Energy and Commerce
Intelligence (Permanent)
Posey, Bill Florida 8th District R 120 CHOB 202-225-3671 Financial Services
Science, Space, and Technology
Price, David North Carolina 4th District D 2162 RHOB 202-225-1784 Appropriations
Price, Tom Georgia 6th District R 100 CHOB 202-225-4501 Education and the Workforce
the Budget
Ways and Means

Q

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
Quigley, Mike Illinois 5th District D 1124 LHOB 202-225-4061 Appropriations

R

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
Rahall, Nick West Virginia 3rd District D 2307 RHOB 202-225-3452 Transportation
Rangel, Charles B. New York 13th District D 2354 RHOB 202-225-4365 Joint Taxation
Ways and Means
Reed, Tom New York 23rd District R 1504 LHOB 202-225-3161 Ways and Means
Reichert, David G. Washington 8th District R 1127 LHOB 202-225-7761 Ways and Means
Renacci, Jim Ohio 16th District R 130 CHOB 202-225-3876 Ways and Means
Ribble, Reid Wisconsin 8th District R 1513 LHOB 202-225-5665 Agriculture
the Budget
Transportation
Rice, Tom South Carolina 7th District R 325 CHOB 202-225-9895 Small Business
the Budget
Transportation
Richmond, Cedric Louisiana 2nd District D 240 CHOB 202-225-6636 Homeland Security
the Judiciary
Rigell, Scott Virginia 2nd District R 418 CHOB 202-225-4215 Armed Services
the Budget
Roby, Martha Alabama 2nd District R 428 CHOB 202-225-2901 Appropriations
Roe, Phil Tennessee 1st District R 407 CHOB 202-225-6356 Education and the Workforce
Veterans’ Affairs
Rogers (AL), Mike Alabama 3rd District R 324 CHOB 202-225-3261 Agriculture
Armed Services
Homeland Security
Rogers (MI), Mike Michigan 8th District R 2112 RHOB 202-225-4872 Energy and Commerce
Intelligence (Permanent)
Rogers, Harold Kentucky 5th District R 2406 RHOB 202-225-4601 Appropriations
Rohrabacher, Dana California 48th District R 2300 RHOB 202-225-2415 Foreign Affairs
Science, Space, and Technology
Rokita, Todd Indiana 4th District R 236 CHOB 202-225-5037 Education and the Workforce
House Administration
the Budget
Rooney, Tom Florida 17th District R 221 CHOB 202-225-5792 Appropriations
Intelligence (Permanent)
Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana Florida 27th District R 2206 RHOB 202-225-3931 Foreign Affairs
Rules
Roskam, Peter J. Illinois 6th District R 227 CHOB 202-225-4561 Ways and Means
Ross, Dennis Florida 15th District R 229 CHOB 202-225-1252 Financial Services
Rothfus, Keith Pennsylvania 12th District R 503 CHOB 202-225-2065 Financial Services
Roybal-Allard, Lucille California 40th District D 2330 RHOB 202-225-1766 Appropriations
Royce, Ed California 39th District R 2185 RHOB 202-225-4111 Financial Services
Foreign Affairs
Ruiz, Raul California 36th District D 1319 LHOB 202-225-5330 Natural Resources
Veterans’ Affairs
Runyan, Jon New Jersey 3rd District R 1239 LHOB 202-225-4765 Armed Services
Natural Resources
Veterans’ Affairs
Ruppersberger, Dutch Maryland 2nd District D 2416 RHOB 202-225-3061 Intelligence (Permanent)
Rush, Bobby L. Illinois 1st District D 2268 RHOB 202-225-4372 Energy and Commerce
Ryan, Paul Wisconsin 1st District R 1233 LHOB 202-225-3031 the Budget
Ways and Means
Ryan, Tim Ohio 13th District D 1421 LHOB 202-225-5261 Appropriations
the Budget

S

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
Sablan, Gregorio Northern Mariana Islands At-Large D 423 CHOB 202-225-2646 Education and the Workforce
Natural Resources
Salmon, Matt Arizona 5th District R 2349 RHOB 202-225-2635 Education and the Workforce
Foreign Affairs
Sanchez, Linda California 38th District D 2423 RHOB 202-225-6676 Ethics
Ways and Means
Sanchez, Loretta California 46th District D 1114 LHOB 202-225-2965 Armed Services
Homeland Security
Sanford, Mark South Carolina 1st District R 322 CHOB 202-225-3176 Homeland Security
Transportation
Sarbanes, John P. Maryland 3rd District D 2444 RHOB 202-225-4016 Energy and Commerce
Scalise, Steve Louisiana 1st District R 2338 RHOB 202-225-3015 Energy and Commerce
Schakowsky, Jan Illinois 9th District D 2367 RHOB 202-225-2111 Energy and Commerce
Intelligence (Permanent)
Schiff, Adam California 28th District D 2411 RHOB 202-225-4176 Appropriations
Intelligence (Permanent)
Schneider, Brad Illinois 10th District D 317 CHOB 202-225-4835 Foreign Affairs
Small Business
Schock, Aaron Illinois 18th District R 328 CHOB 202-225-6201 House Administration
Ways and Means
Schrader, Kurt Oregon 5th District D 108 CHOB 202-225-5711 Agriculture
Small Business
the Budget
Schwartz, Allyson Y. Pennsylvania 13th District D 1227 LHOB 202-225-6111 Ways and Means
Schweikert, David Arizona 6th District R 1205 LHOB 202-225-2190 Science, Space, and Technology
Small Business
Scott, Austin Georgia 8th District R 516 CHOB 202-225-6531 Agriculture
Armed Services
Scott, David Georgia 13th District D 225 CHOB 202-225-2939 Agriculture
Financial Services
Scott, Robert C. Virginia 3rd District D 1201 LHOB 202-225-8351 Education and the Workforce
the Judiciary
Sensenbrenner, F. James Wisconsin 5th District R 2449 RHOB 202-225-5101 Science, Space, and Technology
the Judiciary
Serrano, José E. New York 15th District D 2227 RHOB 202-225-4361 Appropriations
Sessions, Pete Texas 32nd District R 2233 RHOB 202-225-2231 Rules
Sewell, Terri A. Alabama 7th District D 1133 LHOB 202-225-2665 Financial Services
Intelligence (Permanent)
Shea-Porter, Carol New Hampshire 1st District D 1530 LHOB 202-225-5456 Armed Services
Natural Resources
Sherman, Brad California 30th District D 2242 RHOB 202-225-5911 Financial Services
Foreign Affairs
Shimkus, John Illinois 15th District R 2452 RHOB 202-225-5271 Energy and Commerce
Shuster, Bill Pennsylvania 9th District R 2209 RHOB 202-225-2431 Armed Services
Transportation
Simpson, Mike Idaho 2nd District R 2312 RHOB 202-225-5531 Appropriations
Sinema, Kyrsten Arizona 9th District D 1237 LHOB 202-225-9888 Financial Services
Sires, Albio New Jersey 8th District D 2342 RHOB 202-225-7919 Foreign Affairs
Transportation
Slaughter, Louise New York 25th District D 2469 RHOB 202-225-3615 Rules
Smith, Adam Washington 9th District D 2264 RHOB 202-225-8901 Armed Services
Smith, Adrian Nebraska 3rd District R 2241 RHOB 202-225-6435 Ways and Means
Smith, Chris New Jersey 4th District R 2373 RHOB 202-225-3765 Foreign Affairs
Smith, Jason Missouri 8th District R 2230 RHOB 202-225-4404 Natural Resources
the Judiciary
Smith, Lamar Texas 21st District R 2409 RHOB 202-225-4236 Homeland Security
Science, Space, and Technology
the Judiciary
Southerland, Steve Florida 2nd District R 1229 LHOB 202-225-5235 Natural Resources
Transportation
Speier, Jackie California 14th District D 211 CHOB 202-225-3531 Armed Services
Oversight and Government
Stewart, Chris Utah 2nd District R 323 CHOB 202-225-9730 Appropriations
Stivers, Steve Ohio 15th District R 1022 LHOB 202-225-2015 Financial Services
Stockman, Steve Texas 36th District R 326 CHOB 202-225-1555 Foreign Affairs
Science, Space, and Technology
Stutzman, Marlin Indiana 3rd District R 1728 LHOB 202-225-4436 Financial Services
Swalwell, Eric California 15th District D 501 CHOB 202-225-5065 Homeland Security
Science, Space, and Technology

T

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
Takano, Mark California 41st District D 1507 LHOB 202-225-2305 Education and the Workforce
Veterans’ Affairs
Terry, Lee Nebraska 2nd District R 2266 RHOB 202-225-4155 Energy and Commerce
Thompson, Bennie G. Mississippi 2nd District D 2466 RHOB 202-225-5876 Homeland Security
Thompson, Glenn W. Pennsylvania 5th District R 124 CHOB 202-225-5121 Agriculture
Education and the Workforce
Natural Resources
Thompson, Mike California 5th District D 231 CHOB 202-225-3311 Intelligence (Permanent)
Ways and Means
Thornberry, Mac Texas 13th District R 2329 RHOB 202-225-3706 Armed Services
Intelligence (Permanent)
Tiberi, Pat Ohio 12th District R 106 CHOB 202-225-5355 Ways and Means
Tierney, John Massachusetts 6th District D 2238 RHOB 202-225-8020 Education and the Workforce
Oversight and Government
Tipton, Scott Colorado 3rd District R 218 CHOB 202-225-4761 Agriculture
Natural Resources
Small Business
Titus, Dina Nevada 1st District D 401 CHOB 202-225-5965 Transportation
Veterans’ Affairs
Tonko, Paul D. New York 20th District D 2463 RHOB 202-225-5076 Energy and Commerce
Tsongas, Niki Massachusetts 3rd District D 1607 LHOB 202-225-3411 Armed Services
Natural Resources
Turner, Michael Ohio 10th District R 2239 RHOB 202-225-6465 Armed Services
Oversight and Government

U

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
Upton, Fred Michigan 6th District R 2183 RHOB 202-225-3761 Energy and Commerce

V

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
Valadao, David California 21st District R 1004 LHOB 202-225-4695 Appropriations
Van Hollen, Chris Maryland 8th District D 1707 LHOB 202-225-5341 the Budget
Vargas, Juan California 51st District D 1605 LHOB 202-225-8045 Agriculture
Foreign Affairs
House Administration
Veasey, Marc Texas 33rd District D 414 CHOB 202-225-9897 Armed Services
Science, Space, and Technology
Vela, Filemon Texas 34th District D 437 CHOB 202-225-9901 Agriculture
Homeland Security
Velázquez, Nydia M. New York 7th District D 2302 RHOB 202-225-2361 Financial Services
Small Business
Visclosky, Peter Indiana 1st District D 2256 RHOB 202-225-2461 Appropriations

W

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
Wagner, Ann Missouri 2nd District R 435 CHOB 202-225-1621 Financial Services
Walberg, Tim Michigan 7th District R 2436 RHOB 202-225-6276 Education and the Workforce
Oversight and Government
Walden, Greg Oregon 2nd District R 2182 RHOB 202-225-6730 Energy and Commerce
Walorski, Jackie Indiana 2nd District R 419 CHOB 202-225-3915 Armed Services
the Budget
Veterans’ Affairs
Walz, Timothy J. Minnesota 1st District D 1034 LHOB 202-225-2472 Agriculture
Transportation
Veterans’ Affairs
Wasserman Schultz, Debbie Florida 23rd District D 118 CHOB 202-225-7931 Appropriations
Waters, Maxine California 43rd District D 2221 RHOB 202-225-2201 Financial Services
Watt, Mel Vacancy North Carolina 12th District D 2304 RHOB 202-225-1510
Waxman, Henry California 33rd District D 2204 RHOB 202-225-3976 Energy and Commerce
Weber, Randy Texas 14th District R 510 CHOB 202-225-2831 Foreign Affairs
Science, Space, and Technology
Webster, Daniel Florida 10th District R 1039 LHOB 202-225-2176 Rules
Transportation
Welch, Peter Vermont At-Large D 2303 RHOB 202-225-4115 Energy and Commerce
Oversight and Government
Wenstrup, Brad Ohio 2nd District R 1223 LHOB 202-225-3164 Armed Services
Veterans’ Affairs
Westmoreland, Lynn A. Georgia 3rd District R 2433 RHOB 202-225-5901 Financial Services
Intelligence (Permanent)
Whitfield, Ed Kentucky 1st District R 2184 RHOB 202-225-3115 Energy and Commerce
Williams, Roger Texas 25th District R 1122 LHOB 202-225-9896 the Budget
Transportation
Wilson, Frederica Florida 24th District D 208 CHOB 202-225-4506 Education and the Workforce
Science, Space, and Technology
Wilson, Joe South Carolina 2nd District R 2229 RHOB 202-225-2452 Armed Services
Education and the Workforce
Foreign Affairs
Wittman, Robert J. Virginia 1st District R 2454 RHOB 202-225-4261 Armed Services
Natural Resources
Wolf, Frank Virginia 10th District R 233 CHOB 202-225-5136 Appropriations
Womack, Steve Arkansas 3rd District R 1119 LHOB 202-225-4301 Appropriations
Woodall, Robert Georgia 7th District R 1725 LHOB 202-225-4272 Oversight and Government
Rules
the Budget

Y

Name District Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
Yarmuth, John A. Kentucky 3rd District D 403 CHOB 202-225-5401 Energy and Commerce
the Budget
Yoder, Kevin Kansas 3rd District R 215 CHOB 202-225-2865 Appropriations
Yoho, Ted Florida 3rd District R 511 CHOB 202-225-5744 Agriculture
Foreign Affairs
Young, Don Alaska At-Large R 2314 RHOB 202-225-5765 Natural Resources
Transportation
Young, Todd Indiana 9th District R 1007 LHOB 202-225-5315 Ways and Means

A Note About Room Numbering

The three primary House office buildings—Cannon, Longworth and Rayburn—share a room numbering system for above-ground rooms that might confuse visitors at first.  The system is fairly straight forward and can be used to identify most member and committee offices merely by knowing the correct room number regardless of building.

All Cannon above-ground rooms are three digits.  As you would expect, the first digit indicates the floor level.  For example, 303 Cannon is on the 3rd floor.

All above-ground Longworth rooms are four digits and start with the number 1.  The second digit from the left indicates the floor.  For example, 1309 is on the third floor of the Longworth building.

All above-ground Rayburn rooms are also four digits, but start with a 2. The second digit indicates the floor number. For example, 2125 is on the first floor of Rayburn.

07-10-14 HOW TO CONTACT YOUR CALIFORNIA CONGRESSMEN AND WOMEN

http://www.house.gov/representatives/#state_ca

California

District Name Party Room Phone Committee Assignment
1 LaMalfa, Doug R 506 CHOB 202-225-3076 Agriculture
Natural Resources
2 Huffman, Jared D 1630 LHOB 202-225-5161 Natural Resources
the Budget
3 Garamendi, John D 2438 RHOB 202-225-1880 Agriculture
Armed Services
Transportation
4 McClintock, Tom R 434 CHOB 202-225-2511 Natural Resources
the Budget
5 Thompson, Mike D 231 CHOB 202-225-3311 Intelligence (Permanent)
Ways and Means
6 Matsui, Doris O. D 2434 RHOB 202-225-7163 Energy and Commerce
7 Bera, Ami D 1408 LHOB 202-225-5716 Foreign Affairs
Science, Space, and Technology
8 Cook, Paul R 1222 LHOB 202-225-5861 Armed Services
Foreign Affairs
Veterans’ Affairs
9 McNerney, Jerry D 1210 LHOB 202-225-1947 Energy and Commerce
10 Denham, Jeff R 1730 LHOB 202-225-4540 Agriculture
Transportation
Veterans’ Affairs
11 Miller, George D 2205 RHOB 202-225-2095 Education and the Workforce
12 Pelosi, Nancy D 235 CHOB 202-225-4965
13 Lee, Barbara D 2267 RHOB 202-225-2661 Appropriations
the Budget
14 Speier, Jackie D 211 CHOB 202-225-3531 Armed Services
Oversight and Government
15 Swalwell, Eric D 501 CHOB 202-225-5065 Homeland Security
Science, Space, and Technology
16 Costa, Jim D 1314 LHOB 202-225-3341 Agriculture
Natural Resources
17 Honda, Mike D 1713 LHOB 202-225-2631 Appropriations
18 Eshoo, Anna G. D 241 CHOB 202-225-8104 Energy and Commerce
19 Lofgren, Zoe D 1401 LHOB 202-225-3072 House Administration
Joint Library
Science, Space, and Technology
the Judiciary
20 Farr, Sam D 1126 LHOB 202-225-2861 Appropriations
21 Valadao, David R 1004 LHOB 202-225-4695 Appropriations
22 Nunes, Devin R 1013 LHOB 202-225-2523 Intelligence (Permanent)
Ways and Means
23 McCarthy, Kevin R 2421 RHOB 202-225-2915 Financial Services
24 Capps, Lois D 2231 RHOB 202-225-3601 Energy and Commerce
25 McKeon, Buck R 2310 RHOB 202-225-1956 Armed Services
Education and the Workforce
26 Brownley, Julia D 1019 LHOB 202-225-5811 Science, Space, and Technology
Veterans’ Affairs
27 Chu, Judy D 1520 LHOB 202-225-5464 Small Business
the Judiciary
28 Schiff, Adam D 2411 RHOB 202-225-4176 Appropriations
Intelligence (Permanent)
29 Cárdenas, Tony D 1508 LHOB 202-225-6131 Natural Resources
Oversight and Government
the Budget
30 Sherman, Brad D 2242 RHOB 202-225-5911 Financial Services
Foreign Affairs
31 Miller, Gary R 2467 RHOB 202-225-3201 Financial Services
Transportation
32 Napolitano, Grace D 1610 LHOB 202-225-5256 Natural Resources
Transportation
33 Waxman, Henry D 2204 RHOB 202-225-3976 Energy and Commerce
34 Becerra, Xavier D 1226 LHOB 202-225-6235 Ways and Means
35 Negrete McLeod, Gloria D 1641 LHOB 202-225-6161 Agriculture
Veterans’ Affairs
36 Ruiz, Raul D 1319 LHOB 202-225-5330 Natural Resources
Veterans’ Affairs
37 Bass, Karen D 408 CHOB 202-225-7084 Foreign Affairs
the Judiciary
38 Sanchez, Linda D 2423 RHOB 202-225-6676 Ethics
Ways and Means
39 Royce, Ed R 2185 RHOB 202-225-4111 Financial Services
Foreign Affairs
40 Roybal-Allard, Lucille D 2330 RHOB 202-225-1766 Appropriations
41 Takano, Mark D 1507 LHOB 202-225-2305 Education and the Workforce
Veterans’ Affairs
42 Calvert, Ken R 2269 RHOB 202-225-1986 Appropriations
the Budget
43 Waters, Maxine D 2221 RHOB 202-225-2201 Financial Services
44 Hahn, Janice D 404 CHOB 202-225-8220 Small Business
Transportation
45 Campbell, John R 2331 RHOB 202-225-5611 Financial Services
the Budget
46 Sanchez, Loretta D 1114 LHOB 202-225-2965 Armed Services
Homeland Security
47 Lowenthal, Alan D 515 CHOB 202-225-7924 Foreign Affairs
Natural Resources
48 Rohrabacher, Dana R 2300 RHOB 202-225-2415 Foreign Affairs
Science, Space, and Technology
49 Issa, Darrell R 2347 RHOB 202-225-3906 Oversight and Government
the Judiciary
50 Hunter, Duncan D. R 223 CHOB 202-225-5672 Armed Services
Education and the Workforce
Transportation
51 Vargas, Juan D 1605 LHOB 202-225-8045 Agriculture
Foreign Affairs
House Administration
52 Peters, Scott D 2410 RHOB 202-225-0508 Armed Services
Science, Space, and Technology
53 Davis, Susan D 1526 LHOB 202-225-2040 Armed Services
Education and the Workforce

06-27-14 WSJ: Oyster Farm Digs in for High Court Hearing

Oyster Farm Digs in for High Court Hearing

 

“The oyster farm’s owners, Kevin Lunny and his family, have staved off closure so far by appealing the decision in the federal courts. They are now waiting to learn whether the U.S. Supreme Court will hear their case.

If the answer is yes, it would allow the Lunnys at least a few more months to continue their business, which employs 25 people and produces about a third of California-harvested oysters. The court’s decision on whether to hear the case next fall could be posted on its website Monday.

Amid the uncertainty, Mr. Lunny said he has reduced his staffing from 30 to 25, mostly through attrition. While he remains hopeful of ultimately winning the fight, he said it has taken a toll on him.

“The government is a powerful group to be up against,” said Mr. Lunny, who is being represented by pro bono attorneys. “They have unlimited resources and they just line up the lawyers.”

 

 

Businessman Staves Off Closure as Clock Runs Out on Lease in Wilderness-Designated Area Along California Coast

By Jim Carlton

 

June 27, 2014 7:03 p.m. ET

 

POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE, Calif.—Bill Fischer has been making a trek to buy freshly harvested oysters along the Marin County coast here for 60 years.

“These are some of the best oysters anywhere,” said Mr. Fischer, an 82-year-old retired legal analyst from Lafayette, Calif., who walked away with a bagful after a visit to the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. near Inverness with his wife this week.

But trips here by aficionados like Mr. Fischer may soon come to an end. Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in November 2012 ordered Drakes Bay to shut down after its 40-year lease with the National Park Service ended on Nov. 30, 2012.

In so doing, Mr. Salazar cited Congress’s 1976 designation of much of the Point Reyes preserve as wilderness.

The oyster farm’s owners, Kevin Lunny and his family, have staved off closure so far by appealing the decision in the federal courts. They are now waiting to learn whether the U.S. Supreme Court will hear their case.

If the answer is yes, it would allow the Lunnys at least a few more months to continue their business, which employs 25 people and produces about a third of California-harvested oysters. The court’s decision on whether to hear the case next fall could be posted on its website Monday.

“I certainly hope things go your way,” Mr. Fischer, 82, told Mr. Lunny, who is 56-years-old.

Drakes Bay is one of several traditional businesses and activities located on the West’s vast federal lands that have come under pressure to close or reduce operations, often at the behest of environmental groups.

Mining claims have been taken over in Alaska’s Denali National Park and Preserve, while in Yellowstone National Park use of snowmobiles has been greatly restricted.

Ranchers throughout the West have had grazing leases on federal public land restricted or canceled, or ended their own private operations amid increasing regulatory pressures.

“People working and living on landscapes just doesn’t fit in their vision of what a national park should be,” said Laura Watt, associate professor and chair of environmental studies and planning at Sonoma State University, and a supporter of Mr. Lunny.

Interior Department and Justice Department officials wouldn’t comment, citing the pending litigation. But government supporters say Mr. Lunny knew the lease would expire in 2012 when he bought the oyster farm in 2004, but said he believed at the time it could be renewed.

“The government has acted fairly,” said Neal Desai, a director for the National Parks Conservation Association, an environmental nonprofit in San Francisco that supports closing the farm. “It’s only fair the contract is upheld.”

The fate of the oyster farm, which has been in operation on the site since 1934, has divided the area.

“Save Our Drakes Bay Oyster Farm” signs can be spotted throughout the community. Support extends across the San Francisco Bay Area, where Drakes Bay is a major supplier to restaurants such as Burgers & Vine in Sonoma, Calif.

Drakes Bay, which produces about 450,000 pounds of oyster meat annually with revenues of $1.5 million, is the largest of about a half-dozen oyster farms in the West Marin area.

If it closed, there likely would be no shortage of oysters because there are big producers elsewhere, such as in Washington state, to fill the gap. Oysters are also abundant on the global market, which includes Asia.

“It’s a crock, and you can quote me on that,” Carlo Cavallo, who owns Burgers & Vine, said of the ordered closure. “We are talking about a farm that has been there for almost 100 years.”

But some environmentalists and other backers of the closure say the farm, with its boats, buildings and processing activity, isn’t compatible with a wilderness area.

“Wilderness is a place where people can go to renew their spirits,” said Karen Gray, 67, owner of a bed-and-breakfast in nearby Point Reyes Station who supports the closure.

“And it provides for future generations refuge for the spirit,” she said.

The prospect of closure, meanwhile, is having a chilling effect on the farm and its employees. Paco Aceves, a crew supervisor who has worked at the farm for four years, said uncertainty about his employment has put college plans on hold for his oldest son.

“It’s hard to make plans for him,” said the 45-year-old father of three.

Amid the uncertainty, Mr. Lunny said he has reduced his staffing from 30 to 25, mostly through attrition. While he remains hopeful of ultimately winning the fight, he said it has taken a toll on him.

“The government is a powerful group to be up against,” said Mr. Lunny, who is being represented by pro bono attorneys. “They have unlimited resources and they just line up the lawyers.”

 

 

The article’s behind a paywall, but here’s the link:

http://online.wsj.com/articles/oyster-farm-digs-in-for-high-court-hearing-1403910202

 

 

06-27-14 Marin Co Sup Court DBOC WINS OVER CCC, CCC ABUSED DISCRETION & VIOLATED the LAW

“DRAKES BAY OYSTER WAS VINDICATED TODAY

in its fight against unjust enforcement orders imposed last year

BY THE CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION.

The Marin County Superior Court 

OVERTURNED THOSE ORDERS IN EVERY SIGNIFICANT EFFECT,

finding that the

COMMISSION’S

UNFAIR PROCESS

WAS AN

ABUSE OF DISCRETION

AND A

VIOLATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAW.”

 

June 27, 2014  Media Contact: Tina Walker Office: 415.227.9700 Cell: 650.248.1037 Email: tina@singersf.com    

 

Drakes Bay Wins: Court Overturns California Coastal Commission Orders Against Oyster Farm Commission abused its discretion and violated environmental law

INVERNESS, CALIF. — Drakes Bay Oyster was vindicated today in its fight against unjust enforcement orders imposed last year by the California Coastal Commission. The Marin County Superior Court overturned those orders in every significant respect, finding that the Commission’s unfair process was an abuse of discretion and a violation of environmental law.

 

The enforcement orders were based on false allegations for which there was no evidence. Before a hearing last February, expert evidence disproving the allegations was provided by the Lunnys, but the Commission voted to exclude all the evidence the Lunnys presented in their own defense.

 

“This is a good day for California,” said Phyllis Faber, a Marin County environmental activist and biologist who was a founding member of the Commission. “The Coastal Commission had seriously abused its power. It was necessary to hold them accountable.”

 

Now that the Commission’s unfair enforcement orders have been overturned, the oyster farm and the Commission can get back to working on a permit for the farm.

 

Drakes Bay’s lawsuit against the Coastal Commission is separate from its suit against the National Park Service, which is currently pending at the U.S. Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court could decide as soon as Monday whether to take Drakes Bay’s case.

 

About Drakes Bay Oyster Company

The historic oyster farm in Drakes Estero, located in Point Reyes, Marin County, has been part of the community for nearly 100 years. The Lunnys, a fourth-generation Point Reyes ranching family, purchased the oyster farm in 2004. Modern environmentalists and proponents of sustainable agriculture praise Drakes Bay Oyster as a superb example of how people can produce high-quality food in harmony with the environment. The farm produces approximately one third of all oysters grown in California, and employs 30 members of the community. The Lunnys also contribute the oyster shells that make possible the restoration of native oysters in San Francisco Bay and the oyster shells used to create habitat for the endangered Snowy Plover and Least Tern. As the last oyster cannery in California, Drakes Bay is the only local (and thus the only safe and affordable) source of these shells. The Lunny family is proud of its contributions to a sustainable food model that conserves and maintains the productivity of the local landscapes and the health of its inhabitants. For more information, please visit www.drakesbayoyster.comand www.savedrakesbay.com

05-19-2014 Emily Yehle, E&E reporter: Scientists Urge Supreme Court to Take Up Oyster Case

17. NATIONAL PARKS:
2 scientists urge Supreme Court to take up oyster case
Emily Yehle, E&E reporter
Published: Monday, May 19, 2014
The Supreme Court should take up an oyster farm’s fight against the Interior Department because the case offers an opportunity to ensure federal courts have the jurisdiction to reject false science, two scientists who have criticized Interior in the past argue in an amicus brief filed Friday.
The friend-of-the-court brief was one of several filed in support of the farm’s petition to get its case reviewed by the Supreme Court. Drakes Bay Oyster Co. is challenging Interior’s 2012 decision not to renew its operating permit in Point Reyes National Seashore (Greenwire, April 14).
Scientists Corey Goodman and Paul Houser teamed up to write a 32-page brief that argues that the Supreme Court should take the case “to make clear that the courts can, and should, remedy scientific misconduct.” Goodman is a venture capitalist who is part of the National Academy of Sciences, while Houser is a hydrology professor who formerly worked for Interior.
Last year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in favor of Interior, holding that the agency acted within its authority in declining to renew the farm’s lease. But in their brief, Goodman and House argue that the appeals court “threw up its hands at the science” by saying it lacked jurisdiction to review the science in an environmental impact statement on the farm.
“The panel’s decision, if allowed to stand, creates a dangerous precedent,” they argue. “If courts lack jurisdiction to review claims that agency decisions are based on scientific misconduct, and if courts are required to forgive scientific misconduct whenever an agency makes assurances that the misconduct was immaterial, then agencies are likely to feel less constrained about falsifying scientific information to the courts and the public. This decision is likely to result in more scientific misconduct in government decisions, and thus undermine our democracy.”
Both men have accused Interior of scientific misconduct, only to meet with frustration. Goodman has accused the National Park Service of manipulating and falsifying scientific data in a bid to oust the oyster farm. Houser, a hydrometeorologist, has said Interior misrepresented science to exaggerate the benefits of the controversial removal of Klamath River Basin dams.
Goodman’s experience with NPS is laid out in detail. Most recently, the U.S. Geological Survey published a report that misrepresented a biologist’s findings, lending support to NPS claims that the oyster farm disturbs nearby seals. Goodman alleged scientific misconduct one year ago, but Interior has not yet responded to his complaint (Greenwire, May 14, 2013).
In Houser’s case, a panel convened by Interior found that the agency didn’t commit scientific misconduct but instead “false precision” in a press release. House was fired after voicing criticism of the release; he later settled a whistleblower complaint with the agency (Greenwire, March 27, 2013).
Click here to read the brief.
 
 
 
Emily Yehle
Reporter
202-446-0437 (p)
202-737-5299 (f)
_____________________________________________________________
Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC
122 C Street, NW, Suite 722, Washington, DC 20001
EnergyWire, ClimateWire, E&E Daily, Greenwire, E&ENews PM, E&ETV

05-19-2014 William Bagley, Judith Teichman et al AMICI CURIAE Brief

   (Unfortunately, Adobe PDF file converter has a tendency to run words together

so I am providing access both through the link below as well as by scrolling down to read the ‘converted file.)

 

05-19-2014 Wllm Bagley Judith Teichman et al. AMICI CURAIE brief

 

 

No.13-1244

 

INTHE

SupremeCourtoftheUnitedStates

 

DRAKESBAYOYSTERCOMPANYandKEVINLUNNY,

 

Petitioners,

 

SALLYJEWELL,SECRETARYOFTHEUNITEDSTATESDEPARTMENTOFTHEINTERIOR,etal.,

 

 

 

ONPETITIONFORAWRITOFCERTIORARITOTHE

UNITEDSTATESCOURTOFAPPEALSFORTHENINTHCIRCUIT

 

 

BRIEFOFAMICICURIAEWILLIAMT.BAGLEY,ETAL.,INSUPPORTOFPETITIONERS

 

 

 

JUDITHL.TEICHMAN

2558Clay Street,No.1

SanFrancisco,California94115(415)309-6042

judyteichman@gmail.com

 

ALEXANDERD.CALHOUN

CounselofRecord

TAYLOR&COMPANYLAWOFFICES,LLP

OneFerryBuilding,Suite355SanFrancisco,California94111(415)788-8200

acalhoun@tcolaw.com

 

 

CounselforAmici CuriaeWilliamT.Bagley,etal.

 

 

253521

 

A

(800)274-3321•(800)359-6859

 

 

 

TABLE OFCONTENTS

 

 

 

 

  1. INTERESTS OF AMICI CURIAE……………… 1
    1. Elder EnvironmentalistsAs
    2. ………………………………………….. 1
    3. Restaurant Owners And

RestaurantsAsAmici…………………….. 2

  1. AgriculturalistsAnd AgriculturalSupport OrganizationsAs Amici………. 3
  2. Other Agricultural SupportOrganizations As Amici………………….. 4
  1. SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT…………………… 5
  2. INTRODUCTION…………………………………… 5
  3. FACTUAL BACKGROUND……………………… 8
    1. The Oyster Farm Is A SmallPresence In The Seashore’sMarine Wilderness But A LargePresence In CaliforniaAquaculture And A CriticalSource Of Fresh Shellfish For

The Bay Area………………………………… 8

 

 

 

 

i

 

  1. Survival Of The Oyster Farm IsVital To The Survival Of TheRanchesIn The Seashore AndThe Ranches In The Seashore AreAn EssentialComponentOfAgricultureIn Marin And

Sonoma Counties…………………………. 11

  1. Marin And Sonoma Farms AndRanchesAnd Bay AreaRestaurantsAnd ConsumersWere Leaders In The Farm-To-Table Movement And The OysterFarm Is The Bay Area’s OnlySource For Fresh, Locally-Raised

And Shucked Oysters…………………… 13

  1. AgricultureIn Marin AndSonoma Is Poised To LeadNational And InternationalMovements In EcologicalAnd

Sustainable Agriculture………………… 14

  1. TREATING THE LACK OF A PERMITTO OPERATE IN DRAKES ESTEROAS THE “EXISTING CONDITION”FOR NEPA REVIEW AND ASSUMINGTHAT REMOVING DBOCWOULDBENEFITTHE ENVIRONMENTIS
  2. ……………………………………………. 19
  3. APPLICABLE FEDERAL, STATE ANDLOCAL LAWS AND POLICIES INSUPPORTOF AQUACULTURE ANDAGRICULTURE HAVE YET TOBE
  4. ……………………………………. 22

ii

 

  1. Coastal Zone Management ActAnd CaliforniaCoastal ZonePolicies RequireFederal AgenciesTo Support AquacultureIn

Federal Activities…………………………. 22

  1. The National Aquaculture Act Of1980 Obligates The Secretary To

Support Aquaculture……………………. 24

  1. SUMMARY………………………………………….. 25
  2. CONCLUSION…………………………………….. 27

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

iii

 

TABLE OFAUTHORITIES

 

STATUTESAND AUTHORITIES

 

16 U.S.C.§1456(c)(1)……………………………………………

 

16 U.S.C. § 2801 § 2(b)…………………………………………..

 

16 U.S.C. § 2801§2(c)…………………………………………..

 

16 U.S.C.§2802(7)……………………………………………….

 

16 U.S.C.§2805(d)……………………………………………….

 

40 C.F.R. § 1505.2…………………………………………………

 

40 C.F.R. § 1506.1…………………………………………………

 

40 C.F.R. § 1506.10……………………………………………….

 

42 U.S.C.§4221(a)……………………………………………….

 

  1. Const. art. IV, §20…………………………………………

 

  1. Public ResourcesCode, § 30100.2…………………….

 

  1. Public ResourcesCode, § 30242……………………….

2006 NPS Management Policies, § 4.1…………………….AgritourisminMarin,”ontheUCCE,“Grownin

Marin”       website:      http://ucanr.edu/sites/ Grown_in_Marin/files/152641.pdf,andwww.foodandfarmtours.com………………………………………

 

Brett Anderson, “The New Wave of OysterBars,”NY Times,May 6, 2014……………………………

 

 

 

iv

 

EdwardWong,“One-FifthofChina’sFarmlandIsPolluted,StateStudyFinds,”NYTimes,

April17,2014………………………………………………….

 

Gale,Sally,“EnvironmentalEffectsbyRanchersandtheMarinRCDinMarinCounty,”MRCD,Apr.11,2014,availableathttp://www.marinrcd.org/wp/reference-

library…………………………………………………………….

 

Goldstein,    J.,    Inside the California FoodRevolution:ThirtyYearsThatChangedOurCulinaryConsciousness,Univ.ofCal.Press(2013)……………………………………………………………..

 

Kehoe and McClure families on the CloverStornettawebsite:http://cloverstornetta.com/

our-story/family-farms-2…………………………………..

 

NPS Director’s Order 12: 3.4.A.3 CategoricalExclusions.    http://www.nps.gov/policy/catexguidance.pdf…………………………………………………….

 

U.C.C.E.   “Amazing   But   True:   Facts            AboutMarinCountyAgriculture.” Availableonline

at http://cemarin.ucanr.edu/files/30457.pdf………..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

v

 

I.           INTERESTSOFAMICI CURIAE1

 

  1. ElderEnvironmentalistsAsAmici.

WilliamT.Bagley:asaCalifornia Assemblyman(1961-1974)Bagleyauthored1965legislationtransferringthePointReyestidelandstotheNationalParkService[NPS],specificallyreservingtheState’s“righttofish.”Bagleyservesasanamicusbecause“theyshouldn’ttrytoreinterpretthe law while the author is stillliving.”

 

PaulNorton“Pete”McCloskey:AsamemberofCongress(1967-1983),McCloskeyco-authoredtheEndangeredSpeciesActandintervenedwiththe OfficeofthePresidenttosecurethe1970CongressionalappropriationthatenabledtheNPStoacquirein1972thelandandfacilitiesonshore DrakesEsteroownedbythepredecessortotheDrakesBayOysterCompany[DBOC].Hiscontinuingcommitmentandinterestin preservingaquacultureandagricultureinthePointReyesNationalSeashore[Seashore]wasdemonstratedinaBagley,[formerCongressmanJohn]Burton,McCloskeyAugust2011 letter tothen U.S.Department   of   the   Interior   [DOI]   Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

1Pursuanttothis Court’sRule37.3, all parties have consentedto the filingof this brief.Letters evidencing suchconsent arebeing submitted to Clerkof the Courtherewith.Pursuant toRule 37.6, Amici Curiae affirm that no counselforany partyauthored this brief in whole or in part, andno counsel or partymade a monetary contribution intended to fund the preparationor submission of this brief.No personother thanAmici Curiae,their members, ortheir counsel made a monetarycontributionto its preparation or submission.

 

1

 

KenSalazar.2

 

PhyllisFaber:anotedwetlandecologist,was aco-founderoftheMarinAgriculturalLandTrust[MALT],whichhasprotectedalmost50%ofMarin’sagriculturallandthroughtheuseofconservationeasements.BecauseofhercommitmenttosavingagricultureinMarin,Faberisonleavefromthe MALTBoardtodevotemoretimetotheeffortofsavingDBOC.

 

TomalesBayAssociation:DBOC’s cannery,theonlyremainingoystercanneryinCalifornia,istheonlysourceforshuckedoystersandtheshellsDBOChasdonatedtonativeoysterrestorationprojectsandwildlifehabitatenhancementprojectsinandaroundSanFranciscoBay.A50-yearoldWestMarinCountyenvironmentalorganizationattheforefrontofmanyenvironmentalissuesthroughtheyears,TomalesBayAssociationsupportsDBOCas“acriticalcomponentofon-goinghabitatrestorationprojectsforThreatened&Endangeredspecies,especiallynativeoysterrestorationprojectsinSFBay and elsewhere in the State.”

 

B.          Restaurant Owners AndRestaurantsAsAmici.

Thefollowingserveasamicitoemphasizethe importanceofDBOCshellfishtothemenusofthe myriadBayArearestaurantsofallsizesthatfeaturefresh, local and sustainably raised food:

 

 

 

 

2NinthCircuitDocketNo.74,atECFp.137of143.

 

2

 

  • PatriciaUnterman,bothindividuallyanddbatheHayesStreetGrill,aSanFranciscoCivicCenterrestaurantthathasspecializedinfishsince opening in 1979;

 

  • SherylCahill,individuallyanddbaStationHouseCafe,PointReyesStation,celebratingits40thanniversary,whereoysterstewisasignaturedish;

 

  • ChristianCaizzo,individuallyanddbaOsteriaStellina,PointReyesStation,anItalian restaurant“withanunwaveringcommitmenttolocalorganicproducts”servesDBOCoysters raw and on pizza; and

 

  • LucChamberland, individuallyanddba SaltwaterOysterDepot,Inverness,featuresoystersshucked“momentsaftertheyleavethebay.”

 

C.          AgriculturalistsAndAgricultural Support Organizations As Amici.

The interests of the following are describedmore fully in the brief:

  1. StephanieLarson:LivestockandRangeManagerandDirectoroftheUniversityofCaliforniaCooperative Extension [UCCE],   Sonoma   County.

 

  1. PaulOlin:AquacultureSpecialistforCaliforniaSeaGrant,ScrippsInstitutionofOceanography[SIO],UCSanDiego[UCSD].TheSeaGrant programpromotesthewiseuseofcoastalandmarineresources and sustainable aquaculturedevelopment.

 

 

 

 

3

 

MikeandSallyGale:OwnersofMarinranchwherethey raise apples and grass fed beef.

 

Peter Martinelli: Third generation Marin farmer.

 

WestMarinCompostCoalition[WMCC]:AgroupofindividualsworkingtodivertallorganicwastesfromlandfilldisposaltocompostingforthebenefitofMarin farms, gardens and ranches.

 

D.         OtherAgriculturalSupport Organizations As Amici.

 

Agricultural Institute ofMarin[AIM]:DBOConlysellsitsproductlocally,toretailers,restaurantsandconsumers.AIMisanonprofitcorporationthatoperates“CertifiedFarmers’Markets”inMarin, AlamedaandSanFrancisco.Itjoinsasanamicusbecauseofitscommitmenttosupportingenvironmentally soundlocalagriculture.

 

AllianceforLocalSustainableAgriculture[ALSA]:Anunincorporatedassociationof“environmentalistssupportingandpromotinglocalsustainableagriculturethrougheducation,research,conflictresolution and advocacy.”

 

CaliforniaFarmBureauFederationandMarinandSonomaCountyFarmBureaus:Theseamiciarenonprofitmembershipcorporationswhosepurposeis,respectively,toprotectandpromoteagriculturalinterestsintheStateandintheirCountiesandtofindsolutionstotheproblemsoftheirfarmsandrural communities.

 

MarinOrganic:Foundedin2001by“apassionategroupoffarmers,ranchersandagriculturaladvisorstoput MarinCounty onthe mapasacommitted

 

 

4

 

organiccounty,”MarinOrganicfostersa“directrelationshipbetweenorganicproducers,restaurants,andconsumers”tostrengthencommitmentandsupportfor local organic farms, such as DBOC.

 

II.         SUMMARYOFARGUMENT

 

Thisbriefsetsoutthefactsthatestablishtheimportanceofthiscasetoaquacultureand agricultureintheSanFranciscoNorthBayandtorelatedbusinessesandtothedevelopmentofinnovative,ecologicallysoundandsustainableagriculturepracticesconsistentwiththepurposesofthe National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA].

 

III.       INTRODUCTION

 

TheNinthCircuitheldthatremovingcultivatedoystersfromDrakesEsteroconstitutesa “conservation”effort,andthattheDOISecretaryofSecretaryisnotobligatedtocomplywiththe“technical”environmental review requirementsof theNEPApriortoorderingPetitionerDBOCtoceasecultivatingoysters in Drakes Estero.3

ThiscaseprovidestheCourtwithaclearcut opportunitytoclarifytheenvironmentalreviewrequirementsofNEPA,andintheprocess,bringNinthCircuitCourtdecisionsonNEPAintolinewithdecisionsinothercircuits4andmovetheDOIlandmanagement practices intocompliance withcontemporary environmental protection standards.

 

 

 

3Pet.App., pp.31-33 (Jan. 14, 2014 Order and AmendedOpinion).

4SeePet. Brief, p.27, et seq.

 

5

 

ThemostsuccinctandpertinentstatementoncontemporaryenvironmentalthinkingappearsonThe Nature Conservancywebsite:

“Isthereanywildleft?‘No,’saysourchiefscientist–‘whichmeanswehavetomanagenaturewisely.’”5[Emphasisadded.]

Oystersprovide multiple ecosystemservices,consumingalgae,filteringparticulatesandexcessnutrientsandcreatinghabitatforotherorganisms. Bythe1930s,thenativeOlympiaoystersthatperformedtheseecologicalservicesinDrakesEsteroformillenniawerenearlyextirpatedbyoverharvesting.CultureofthePacificoysterbeganin1932,andtheStateofCaliforniahasleasedthewaterbottomsinDrakesEsteroforshellfish cultivation,including cultivationof the Pacific oyster,continuouslysince1934.6“Managingnaturewisely”doesnotincluderemovingthecultivatedoystersthatreplacedthenativeoystersthatperformedecosystemserviceswithoutidentifyingalternativeresourcesforprovidingthoseservices,ifanytherebe. EvenNPS

 

 

5Seethe report onan article, “Domesticated Nature: ShapingLandscapes and Ecosystems for Human Welfare,” by TheNature Conservancy’s Chief ScientistPeter Kareiva, and SeanWatts, Robert McDonald, and Tim Boucher.Science, June2007, Vol. 316, no. 5833, pp.1866-69.In the accompanyinginterview publishedonline, Dr. Kareiva was asked ifitis“misleading to think about nature as apart from humanactivity.”Kareiva said, “it is a huge mistake … anytime we[humans] have the hubristo thinkwecan separate ourselvesfrom nature,we are prone to some profoundfoolishness.”http://www.nature.org/science-in-action/our-scientists/the-end-of-the-wild.xml.

6Summary,National Academyof Sciences, National ResourceStudy.

 

6

 

policiesrecognizethatsimplyremovingaman-madeconditiondoesnotautomaticallyrestoreresourcesthat have been impacted by humans:

Biologicalorphysicalprocessesalteredinthepastbyhumanactivitiesmayneedtobeactivelymanagedtorestorethem to . . . maintain the closestapproximationofthenaturalconditionwhenatrulynaturalsystemisnolongerattainable.[Emphasis added.]7

ThisbriefopenswithadescriptionoftheimportanceofDBOCtoaquaculture,agriculture,andthefarm-to-tablemovementlocallyandbeyond,and,becauseoftherippleeffect,tothedevelopmentofinnovative,ecologicallysoundandsustainableagriculturalpracticesinCalifornia,nationally andinternationally;agricultureconsistentwiththepurposesofNEPA,thatis,“toencourageproductiveandenjoyableharmonybetweenmanandhisenvironment.”8

FollowingamorefulldiscussionoftheNEPAissue,thisbriefidentifiesfederal,stateandlocal laws,policiesandothermandatespertainingtocoastalzonemanagementandsupportforaquacultureandagriculturethattheSecretaryfailedtoconsiderinmakinghisdecisiontodenyDBOCapermit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7Excerptfrom 2006NPS ManagementPolicies, § 4.1: GeneralManagementConcepts. www.nps.gov/policy/mp2006.pdf

842 U.S.C.§ 4221(a).

 

7

 

IV.        FACTUAL BACKGROUND

 

  1. The Oyster Farm IsASmallPresenceIn The Seashore’sMarineWildernessButA Large PresenceInCaliforniaAquacultureAndA CriticalSource Of Fresh ShellfishFor TheBayArea.

OccupyinglessthanfiveacresontheshoresofDrakesEstero,DBOCisanegligiblepresenceintheSeashore’s38,000acrepastoralzone.The142acresusedtocultivateshellfishintheDrakesEstero tidewaterspursuanttoleasesauthorizedbytheconstitutionally-establishedCaliforniaFishandGameCommission[CFGC]9arelessthan.6%oftheSeashore’s2,500acremarinewilderness,10but55%oftheCFGCleasedshellfishacreage.Nevertheless,during2009-2011DBOCproducedalmost50%ofthePacificoystersraisedinCaliforniaandalmost70%of

 

 

 

 

9Cal.Const. art. IV, § 20.

10“FEIS”pp.10 & 13. Whatis referred to inthe Ninth Circuitdecision as the “Final Environmental Impact Statement” was“issued” by the Department of the Interior [DOI] onNovember20, 2012, nine days(including Thanksgiving Day)before theSecretary announced his decision on the DBOC request toreplace the permit that expired on November30, 2012.

Environmental ProtectionAgency [EPA] regulations requirefederal agencies to issuea “record of decision” a minimum of 30days beforean agency takes any actionthat would “have anadverseenvironmental impact” or “limit the choice ofreasonable alternatives.”Each weekEPA publishes a FederalRegister notice of the statementsfiled during the precedingweek. There isno recordof a noticefiledfor what DOIrefers toasthe “FEIS,” hence thequotation marks. See40C.F.R.

§§ 1505.2, 1506.1 and 1506.10.

 

8

 

thePacificoystersraisedinMarin.11Thus,althoughasmallpresenceintheSeashore’stidalzone,DBOCisalargepresenceinCaliforniaaquacultureandanirreplaceablesourceoffreshshellfishforBayArea restaurants.

OystersandothershellfishfromDrakesEsteroareanimportantpartoftheBayArea’sworldfamouslocal,sustainablyraisedfoodmovement.AccordingtoJoyceGoldstein,chefandcookbookauthor,oysters have long been:

…apopularNorthernCaliforniaspecialty.         TheOlympiaoysterflourishedintheSanFranciscoBayandwasastapleinthedaysoftheforty-niners.HangtownFry,acombinationof oysters,baconandeggs,hasreputedlybeenonthemenuatSanFrancisco’sTadichGrillforover160years.OysterfarminginCaliforniadatesbacktothe1850s,andinthe1890soysterculturewaspracticedinTomalesBayandDrake’s Bay in Marin County . . . .

TheBayAreastillharborsa passionforoyster,andtheyarefeaturedonthemenuatmanySanFranciscorestaurants.   12

 

 

11“FEIS” p.279.Oystersare sometimes described byweight,volume or number. Only small amounts of other varieties ofoysters are raised in California.

12See Goldstein, J., Inside the CaliforniaFoodRevolution:ThirtyYears That Changed OurCulinary Consciousness, Univ.ofCal. Press(2013), a historyof the farm-to-table movement inCalifornia, and howit has raised the consciousnessabout whatis eaten throughout the United States and the world, at pp.236-

  1. The history begins inthe mid-1970s with the origins of

 

9

 

ProducersinCaliforniaandaroundthecountryareunabletomeetthegrowingdemandforshellfish.13OnbehalfoftheHayesStreetGrill,andthemanyBayArearestaurants,includingotheramici, amicus Patricia Unterman confirms:

ThelossofoystersproducedbyDBOC wouldhaveadevastatingimpactonourmission,ourmenu,andtheexpectationsandpleasureofourcustomers.Wecannotreplacethefresh,localshuckedoysters from DBOC.14

IncommentsontheDraftEnvironmentalImpactStatement[DEIS],theotherMarinshellfishproducers,theTomalesBayOysterCompanyandHogIsland,urgedthatDBOCbegrantedthepermit. Amongothergrounds,theysaidtheycouldn’tmeetthelocaldemandforfreshoystersandthatclosingDBOC would harm them and their customers.15

 

 

 

 

 

 

“California cuisine,” featuringfresh seasonal ingredientscombinedinways that reflect the ethnic and cultural diversityinthe State.A NorthernCalifornia “clienteleeagerfor foodrather than froufrou”is among the factors cited asresponsiblefor the virtually overnight emergenceof this new style of foodpreparationanddelivery.

13“FEIS”p.274.See also,“The New Wave of OysterBars,” byBrett Anderson, NY Times, May 6, 2014.

14Patricia Unterman is recognized in Goldstein’shistoryofCalifornia cuisine as oneof the Bay Area women chefs who“hired, mentored, and promoted otherwomen.” p.90.

15DEISComments 50395 and 52047.TheDOI response in the“FEIS”? “[I]fthe demand … is greatenough … it is likely thatthe marketwould adapt.. ..” “FEIS”p.480.

 

10

 

B.          SurvivalOf The Oyster Farm IsVital To The SurvivalOf TheRanches In The Seashore And TheRanchesIn The SeashoreAreAnEssentialComponent OfAgricultureInMarinAndSonoma Counties.

AbouthalfofMarinCounty,roughly167,000acres,isproductiveagriculturalland.AccordingtotheUniversityofCaliforniaCooperativeExtension[UCCE]Service,thereare255agriculturaloperationsinMarin,ofwhichonly64haveanannualgrossincomeinexcessof$100,000.TheaveragesizeofaMarinfarmis588acres.Over70%ofMarin’sfarmsareoperatedbyathird,fourthorfifthgenerationmemberofthefoundingfamily.16Farmoperatorsareengagedinagriculturebecause theylovethelandandtheopportunitytoworkasafamily andpartofthecommunity,notforwealth.Theyappreciatewildlifeandfeelprivilegedtobestewardsof their land for the years it is in their care.17

 

 

 

 

16U.C.C.E. “AmazingButTrue:Facts AboutMarinCountyAgriculture.”Available online athttp://cemarin.ucanr.edu/files/30457.pdf.

17For example, amici Sallyand Mike Galedemonstrate theircommitment through “green award” winning streamconservationworkon their Marin ranch and to preserving theiragriculturalheritage andtheir community through theirvolunteer work.Afourthgeneration rancher andmemberof the MarinCounty Resource Conservation District[RCD] Boardforover 15 years, Sally Gale uses a slide presentation in talksshe gives about RCD’s work that reflects Marin’s very special“farm-culture.” Gale,Sally, “Environmental Effectsby Ranchersand the Marin RCD in Marin County,” MRCD, Apr. 11, 2014,available athttp://www.marinrcd.org/wp/reference-library.

 

11

 

TherearesixcattleranchesintheDrakesEsterowatershed.18Althoughnotscientificallyverified,NPSconsiderscattlewastefromtheseranches“theprimarysourceofnonpoint-sourcepollution”in the watershed:

…Specifically,fecalcoliformlevelsin mostofDrakesEsterohavebeenshowntointermittentlyriseafterraineventsassociatedwithrunofffrompasturesinthewatershed[citationomitted].Inadditionotherpollutionsourcesincluderesidentialsepticfacilitiesassociatedwithranchingoperations….Continuedranchinginthevicinityoftheprojectareahasthepotentialtoimpactthefollowingresources:waterquality and socioeconomic resources.19

AmicusDr.StephanieLarson,Livestockand RangeManagerandDirectoroftheUCCE,SonomaCounty,developsandimplementsprojectsthatintegratedairyandlivestockproductionwithrangelandmanagementinSonomaandMarin.ShehasextensiveexperienceworkingwithSeashore rancherstodevelopindividual ranchplans,which addresswaterqualityissuesintheDrakesEsterowatershed.Dr.Larsonisconcernedthatdespite theseeffortstheranchesintheDrakesEsterowatershedmaybeheldresponsiblefordecliningwaterqualityintheEsteroandrequiredtotake additionalcostprohibitivemeasuresifthefilterfeedingoystersareremovedfromDrakesEstero. Dr.

 

 

 

18Unless otherwise specified, “ranches”includes dairiesas wellas grazing operations.

19“FEIS”p.303.

 

12

 

Larsonwarnsofadominoeffectfromtheloss of theseranchesthatwouldcausetherestoftheSeashoreranchesandlivestockagriculturethroughoutMarin and Sonoma Counties to fail.

Almost20%ofMarin’sagriculturalproductscomefromranchesintheSeashore’spastoralzone.Ranches inMarinareremotefromthesourcesofagriculturalservices.TheremustbeactiveranchesintheSeashoretomaintainsufficientdemandfor agriculturalsupplierstoprovideneededservicesinthe   rest of Marin and   in Sonoma County.

 

C.          Marin And Sonoma Farms AndRanchesAndBayAreaRestaurants AndConsumersWere Leaders InThe Farm-To-Table Movement AndTheOysterFarmIsTheBayArea’s OnlySource For Fresh, Locally-RaisedAnd Shucked Oysters.

MarinandSonomaCountyfarmsandSanFranciscoBayArearestaurantsandconsumerswereamongtheearlyleadersinwhatisrecognizedeveninfederalfarmlegislationasthe“farm-to-table”movement.Itisamovementawayfromtheuseofprocessedfoodsforahealthierpopulationandahealthierenvironment.20

WhenthefoodrevolutionbeganinMarinand Sonomacountiesinthe1970s,thenation’sfoodsystemhadgrowntoanindustrialscale.Therewaslimitedvarietyinthefoodsupply,andtheenvironmentalimpactofchemicallyandmechanically intensive food production was a

 

 

20See Goldstein’s book, Inside the CaliforniaFoodRevolution,supra.

 

13

 

growingconcern.TherecentlyreportedpoisoningofarablelandinChinaisanunfortunateanddramaticexampleoftheconsequencesofpoorlymanagedagriculture.21

Asdescribedabove,DBOCraisesalmost70%ofMarin’soystersandsellsallofthemintheSanFranciscoBayArea.Astheoperatorofthe lastoystercanneryinCalifornia,DBOCistheBayArea’sonlysourceforthefresh,locallyraisedandshuckedoystersusedinmanyrecipes and menu items.DBOCisacriticalelementinthehealthofthefarm-to-tablemovementforwhichtheBayAreafoodshedisfamous.

 

D.         AgricultureInMarinAndSonoma Is Poised To Lead National AndInternationalMovementsIn EcologicalAnd SustainableAgriculture.

SanFrancisco’sNorthBayagriculturalcommunitiesareleadersinvaluingbothproductiveagriculturallandandtheroleitplaysinhabitatprotection.MarinCountyfoodproducers,includingDBOCandtheirpartneringfarmadvisors,areleadersinthepracticeofecologicalfarming.Theirworkishelpingtotransformhowagricultureispracticedthroughouttheworld,justastheirinvolvementinthefarm-to-tablemovementledtoarevolutionineatingthatisreducingsuchdiseasesaschildhoodobesity.

 

 

21“One-Fifth of China’s Farmland Is Polluted,State StudyFinds,” Edward Wong, NY Times, April 17, 2014.As reported,the main agricultural sources are “irrigationof land by pollutedwater, the improper useof fertilizersand pesticides, andlivestock breeding … .”

 

14

 

InASandCountyAlmanac,thereveredecologistAldoLeopold“calledforanethicalrelationshipbetweenpeopleandthelandtheyownandmanage,whichhecalled‘anevolutionarypossibilityandanecologicalnecessity.’”22Bywayofexample,twoMarindairieshavebeenrecognizednationally for their “ethical relationship” to the land.

TheStrausfamilydairystoppedusingherbicidesinthemid-1970s.Intheearly1980sitstoppedusingchemicalfertilizersandadoptedano-tillmethodofplantingtopreventsoilerosionandreducefuelconsumption.Inthe1990sStrausbecamethefirstcertifiedorganicdairywestoftheMississippi,installedoneofthefirstmethanedigestersinMarinCounty,andopenedthefirst 100%certifiedorganiccreameryintheUnitedStates.23In1998,theAmericanFarmlandTrusthonoreddairymatriarchEllenStrauswithits“stewardoftheland”awardforhereffortsinlandstewardship,farmlandconservationandpioneeringofenvironmentallyandeconomicallysustainablefarmingpractices.”24

InDecember2013,theSandCountyFoundationgaveits“LeopoldAward”totheownersofPointReyesFarmsteadCheeseCompany,BobGiacomini andhisfourdaughters.Theawardhonors“privatelandownerachievementinthevoluntarystewardshipandmanagementofnaturalresources.”

 

 

 

 

22See the Leopold ConservationAwardwebsite:leopoldconservationaward.org.

23Seewww.farmland.org/programs/campaign/documents/14-StrausFamilyCreamery.pdf.

24www.farmland.org/programs/award/Winners-1998.asp.

 

15

 

TheLeopoldAwardisconsideredtheNobelPrizeforagriculture.

Second,thirdandfourthgenerationsbring historyandauniqueunderstandingtotheland.Thisisillustratedbythedifferentperspectivesina reportaboutthevoluntaryPineGulchCreekrestorationproject.Accordingtoanurban environmentalist:

Undertheplan,aviable populationofcohowilleventuallybere-establishedinPineGulchCreek.Theprojectdemonstratesthatwithknowledgeableandcaring landstewardsandcommunitysupport,coho salmonandsteelheadtrouthabitatscanberestoredandco-existwithsustainable agriculture.

 

Thirdgenerationfarmer,amicusPeterMartinellisaid:

Whilethebasicfacts[inthe report]areaccurateandthemessageis generallypositive,Ihavetroublewiththeimpliedmessagethatsomehowthe fishpopulationwillrebound,butwithouttheproject,thefarmer’spumpinghasbeenthecauseoflowfishpopulations….Manyfactorshavecontributedtothefishdeclines….We mustalsoconsiderchangingocean conditions,theheavysiltationofBolinasLagoonoverthedecades,theconditionoftheripariancanopy,and thegrowthofahungrysealandsealioncolonyalongthechannelwherespawning fish hold for weeks and

 

16

 

sometimesmonthsbeforerunningupstream.25

Asanotherexampleofthisunique community’scontributiontoecologicallysoundagriculture,inthequestofMarinfarmersandrancherstobettercareforthelandandenvironment, amicusWMCC,26workingwithUniversityofCaliforniascientists,discoveredthatcompostappliedtoCalifornia’sgrasslandscancatalyzecarbondioxideremovalfromtheatmosphereandputittobeneficialuseassoilorganicmatter,thusincreasingthesoil’sfertilityandretentionofwater.AsaresultofjustoneapplicationofcomposttoseveralsmallresearchplotsinMarinandintheSierraNevadafoothills,thesoilineachplotsequesteredover2,000poundsofcarbonasbeneficialsoilcarbonandretaineduptoanadditional16,000 liters of water:

Thisresultfromthatoneapplicationofcomposthasbeenrepeatedineachofsixyears,andsimilarresultsareprojected tocontinueforatleastanother25years.27

 

 

 

 

25MarinConservation League [MCL] Sept/OctNewsletter, pp.6-

  1. Also, for asnapshot of two proud multiple generation dairyoperators inthe Seashore, seethe Kehoe and McClure familieson the Clover Stornettawebsite: http://cloverstornetta.com/our-story/family-farms-2.

26Thereisoverlap in membership of some amicimost active inpromoting ecologically sound agriculture.E.g. petitioner KevinLunny and agroecologist Dr. Jeffrey Creque are members of theWMCC.Creque is also amemberof amicus ALSA.

27See announcementin the May/JuneMCLNewsletter, p.5:www.conservationleague.org/images/stories/Newsletters/nl14c_mayjun2014_forweb.pdf

 

17

 

IfameansforfinancingthepurchaseandspreadingofcompostongrasslandsthroughoutMarinandCaliforniacanbefound,suchasthesaleofcarbon credits,organicwastecouldbecomeameansbywhichtheStateandNationcouldbegintooffsettoday’sdangerouslevelsofcarbonemissionsandthe impacts of drought conditions.

InthepastfortyyearsWestMarinhasbecomeinternationallyrecognizedasaleaderinenvironmentallysoundfood production.ThisreputationledEngland’sPrinceCharles,alongtimeadvocateand food producerinthesustainablefoodmovement,totourWestMarinfarms,includingDBOC,inNovemberof2005.Inthewakeofdecliningtobaccosubsidiesin2007notedagrarianauthorWendellBarrysoughtexamplesoffoodproducersabletothriveeconomicallywhilecaringfortheenvironment.BarryinvitedacontingentofWestMarinfoodproducers,includingamicusPeterMartinelli,to a symposium, “GrowingKentucky”.28

IfDBOCisclosedandthedominoeffect rendersagricultureinMarinandSonomalessviable,inevitablytheeffortsthatledtosuccessesofthecarbonprojectandotherecologicallypromisingagriculturalpracticeswithrootsinMarinwilldiminish.Agricultureand the environment inCalifornia,thenation,andinternationallywillbediminishedas a consequence.

 

 

 

 

 

28See also, “Agritourism inMarin,”on theUCCE, “Grown inMarin” website:http://ucanr.edu/sites/Grown_in_Marin/files/152641.pdf,andwww.foodandfarmtours.com.

 

18

 

V.          TREATING THE LACK OFAPERMIT TOOPERATE INDRAKESESTEROAS THE“EXISTING CONDITION” FORNEPAREVIEWANDASSUMINGTHAT REMOVING DBOCWOULD BENEFITTHEENVIRONMENTISABSURD.

Oysterproductionrequiresnoexternalinputoffeed,fertilizers,chemicalsorfreshwaterwhileconsumingalgae,filteringparticulatesandexcessnutrientsandcreatinghabitatforotherorganisms. Amazingly,oneoystercanfiltermorethan50gallonsofwaterin24hours.CultivatedpursuanttoCFGCleases,thePacificoysterhasperformedtheseecologicalservicesinDrakesEsterocontinuouslysince1934.29

OnNovember29,2012,withoutexaminingtheecologicalconsequencesofremovingthecultivatedoystersfromDrakesEstero,orconsultationwiththeCFGC,theSecretaryorderedtheState’slessee, DBOC,toceasecultivatingoystersinDrakesEsteroandtoremovetheexisting20millionoysters,othershellfish,andlongestablishedoysterracksandcultivationmaterialswithin90days.TheSecretaryasserted,contrarytoscientificevidenceandfindings,thateliminatingDBOC“wouldresultinlong-termbeneficialimpactstotheestero’snaturalenvironment.”30TheSecretarydidnotconsiderthepredictableadverseconsequencesthatwouldresultfrom his order.

 

 

 

29Summary, National Academyof Sciences,National ResourceStudy.

30See Pet. App., p.26. Cf. widespreadeffortsto restoreoysterbeds, including inSan Francisco Bay, NewYork Harbor,Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf ofMexico.

 

19

 

TheNinthCircuitpanelfoundithadjurisdictionovertheNEPAclaim.Dismissingwhatitcaptioned“technicaldeficiencies”intheNEPAprocessas“withoutconsequence,”31theNinthCircuitupheldtheactiononthegroundsthat“[t]heSecretary’sdecisionisessentiallyanenvironmentalconservationeffort,whichhasnottriggeredNEPAinthepast,”andthat“removingtheoysterfarmisasteptowardrestoringthe‘naturaluntouchedphysicalenvironment.’”32Indiscussingthelikelihoodofsuccessonthemerits,themajorityupheldtheSecretary’sdecisionbecausehe“chosetogiveweightto   the   policies   underlying   wildernesslegislation . .. .” 33

AuthorsoftheDEISand“FEIS”declinedtotreattheexistingtidalwaterswiththeir80-year-old existingoysterfarmasabaselineandtoexaminethe impactontheecosystemofremovingoystersandtheirecologicalservicesfromDrakesEstero.Rather,theDOIusedtheabsenceofaNPSpermit,apieceofpaperwithwritingonit,asthebaseline“existingcondition”forpurposesofNEPAreviewofbothuseoftheonshorefacilitiesownedbytheUnitedStatesandforcontinuedcultivationofoystersintheDrakes EsterotidalzonepursuanttoleasesauthorizedbytheCFGC.34   NEPArequiresanexaminationofthe

 

 

31Seefootnote10,supra.

32Pet. App.,pp.31-33.

33Pet. App.,pp.24-25.

34Ina bizarre example of “heads Iwin, tailsyoulose,” the“FEIS” provides that DBOC would be required to “surrender itsstate water bottom lease to theCFGC prior to issuance of a newSUP by NPS.”“FEIS” p.9.Immediately followinga descriptionofa State plan that identifies Drakes Estero as “astate marineconservationarea where takeof all living marine resourcesis

 

20

 

impactonthephysicalenvironmentofalternativecoursesofaction,notareviewofpoliciesabstractedfrom the consequencesof their application.

RelianceonacontemporaneousdecisionnottorenewtheDBOCleaseasthe“existingcondition,”thebaselineforpurposesofNEPAreview,defiescommonsense.TheNinthCircuitmajority’sassumptionthatremovingDBOCwouldnecessarilybenefittheenvironmentistheantithesisofwhatCongressintendedinadoptingtheNEPA.ItwouldreduceNEPAreviewtoaproceduralnicety,atmost.Iflefttostand,theNinthCircuitdecisionthatthedenialofapermitunderthesecircumstancesdoesn’trequireenvironmentalreviewwillserveasprecedentforandencouragetheNPStoidentifyasham“existingcondition”forthepurposeofenvironmentalreview whenever itsuits its purposes.35

 

 

 

 

prohibited, except for …commercial aquaculture of shellfishpursuant to avalid statewater bottom lease andpermit,” the“FEIS”, p.63,states: “Section 124 …does not relieve DBOCofits obligationto comply with the California Marine LifeProtection Act.”

35Note: thereis both authority and precedentfor granting theOysterFarma permit without additional environmental review.The indefinite continuation of the Oyster Farm andthe ranchesinthe pastoral zone was contemplated inthe 1980GeneralManagementPlan [1980GMP]for the Seashore, which remainsin effect following the NPS’s failure to follow through onaneffort to update it that began in 1999.Permitsforthe ranchesinthe Seashore’s pastoral zone are routinely reissuedorrenewed without additional environmental review on theground that the grantingofa permit simply allowsan existinguse,which has already been subject toenvironmental review, tocontinue unchanged.SeeNPS Director’s Order 12:3.4.A.3CategoricalExclusions.http://www.nps.gov/policy/catexguidance.pdf.

 

21

 

ThePetitionforaWritofCertiorarifullydiscussestheconflictintheCircuitCourtsover“whetherNEPAappliesto‘conservationefforts,’”pages27-32.Thatdiscussionwillnotberepeatedhere.

 

VI.        APPLICABLEFEDERAL, STATEANDLOCAL LAWS ANDPOLICIESINSUPPORTOF AQUACULTURE ANDAGRICULTUREHAVE YET TO BECONSIDERED.

 

  1. Coastal Zone Management ActAndCaliforniaCoastal Zone PoliciesRequireFederal Agencies ToSupport AquacultureIn FederalActivities.

The1972CoastalZoneManagementAct[CZMA]requiresfederalagenciestodefertoStatepoliciesonmanagementinStatecoastalzoneswhenever“practicable.”36TheCalifornia coastalzonemanagementplandefinesaquacultureas“agriculture,”37andtheenforceablepoliciesoftheplan providethat:

…landssuitableforagriculturaluse shallnotbeconvertedtononagriculturalusesunlesscontinuedorrenewedagriculturaluseisnotfeasible.   38

Inaddition,underStatelaw,localjurisdictions   adopt   “local   coastal   plans.”   The

 

 

3616 U.S.C.§1456(c)(1).

37Cal. PublicResources Code,§30100.2.

38Cal. PublicResources Code,§ 30242.

 

22

 

Secretary’sdecisionignoredtheMarinCountyCommunityDevelopmentAgencycommentsadvisingthattheDBOCrequestforapermit“forcommercialharvestingandprocessingofshellfishisconsistentwithCountyagriculturalandmariculturepoliciessetforthin the Marin County Local CoastalProgram .. . .”RelevantexcerptsfromtheLCP,includingaparagraphspecificallyreferringtotheOyster Farm by its former name, followed:

TheCoastalActstronglysupportsthepreservationofagriculturallandsinproductiveagriculturaluseandstrictly controlstheconversionofagriculturallands to other uses . . . .

Maricultureoperationsinthe areaofthefederalparksconsistofthe 1060-acreJohnson’sOysterFarminDrake’sEstero….Johnson’sOysterFarmisamajoroysterproducerstatewideproducingsome20%ofthestate’s total   marketable   oystercrop.     39

The“FEIS”andtheSecretary’sdecisiondisregardanOctober10,2012,letterfromtheDirectoroftheCaliforniaDepartmentofFishandGame40pointing outthat:

Thestateandfederalgovernmenthaveworkedtogetherfor47years–sincetheStateoriginallyconveyedthe bottomlandsinDrakes Esterotothe United States in 1965 – to allow

39Comments on DEIS, Correspondence #4106.

40Ninth Circuit Docket 80-1at p.91.

23

 

continuedaquacultureoperationsinDrakes   Estero.                                  Correspondencebetweenouragenciesshortlyafterthe conveyancestronglysuggeststhatouragenciesthenbelievedthattheState’sreservationoffishingrightsincludedtherighttoleasethebottomlandsatDrakesEsteroindefinitelyforshellfishcultivation.

*        *        *        *        *        *        *

 

Thecontinuedcooperation betweenDrakesBayOysterCompany,theNationalParkServiceandthe CaliforniaDepartmentofFishandGamewillbenefittheenvironment,thecommunity,andthelocaleconomy,consistentwithouragencies’uniquehistoryofmanagingthisproperty….

 

B.          The National Aquaculture Act Of1980 Obligates The Secretary ToSupportAquaculture.

IncommentsontheDEIS,the NationalMarineFisheriesService[NMFS]oftheNationalOceanicandAtmosphericAdministration,U.S. DepartmentofCommerce,recommendedthattheNPS“improvetheoveralltechnicalqualityoftheFEIS” by adding a discussionof:

…TheNationalAquacultureAct [NAA]… whichappliestoallfederalagencies,statesthatitis“inthenationalinterest,anditisthenational

 

 

 

 

 

24

 

policy,toencouragethedevelopmentofaquaculturein the United States.’ . . .”41

Despitethiscomment,andtheSecretary’sstatutoryobligationtoperformhisdutiesconsistentwiththeCongressionallydeclarednationalpolicy“toencouragethedevelopmentofaquacultureintheUnitedStates,”42thereisnoreferencetotheNAAinthe “FEIS”or in the Secretary’s 2012 decisionto closeDBOC.

  1. PaulOlin’sparticipationasanamicusisafollow-uptohisextensivecommentscritiquingtheDEIS,includingthefactthatallofthealternativesofferedwouldforcethisalmost100yearoldenterpriseoutofbusiness.SimilartotheNMFS comments,Dr.Olinalsotargetedthefailure“toprovideavalidstatus-quobaseline,”toconsidertheenvironmentalbenefitoftheOysterFarm,and“to assessthe economic impacts of DBOCclosure . . . .”43

TheSecretary’sdecisiontodenyDBOCapermitdidnottakeintoaccountandisinconsistentwiththeforegoingfederal,stateandlocallaws,policies and mandates.

 

VII.     SUMMARY

 

Marin’sagriculturalcommunitymaybesmall,butitismighty. ItisoutofthemarriageofMarin’s

 

 

 

41National Marine Fisheries Service letter to NPS,datedNovember 17, 2011, “FEIS” AppendixF: RelevantAgencyCorrespondence, pp.46-47.

42See16 U.S.C. 2801§§ 2(b-c), 16 U.S.C. 2802(7), and 16 U.S.C.

2805(d) (Nat’l Aquaculture Actof 1980).

43DEIS,Comment47007.

 

25

 

communityandtherestaurantsthatbegantoservefarmfreshproductsinthe1970sthatthefarm-to-tablemovementgrew.Itisoutofthiscommunitythatnewmethodsofagriculture,includingmethodsthatenhancethesustainabilityofthesoil,arebeingbirthed.ItwouldbeludicrousifitwerenotsotragicthatinMarinCounty,theveryepicenterofthesustainablefarmingmovement,thefederalgovernmentwouldseektodestroyalongestablishedoyster farm. A farmthat:

  • Furnishestheregionwithhighestqualitymarineproteinwithouttheuseofpesticides,chemicalfertilizerortheuseoflargemechanized   fuel   consuming   equipment;

 

  • IncludesthelastoystercanneryinCalifornia,whichcananddoesprovidetheonlysourceofoystershellsusedtorestoreoysterstoSanFrancisco Bay; and

 

  • ReturnsrevenuestotheStateandfederalgovernmentswhiletheoystersbenefittheenvironment throughfiltrationof the water.

PowerfullocalsupportfortheOysterFarmintheformofthoughtfulcommentsontheDEIS,thediversityoftheamicionthisbrief,andthehundredsofvolunteer-produced“SaveOurDrakesBayOysterFarm”signspostedaroundSanFrancisco,Marin,SonomaandNapacounties44reflecttherespectinthesecommunitiesforDBOCandtheroleitplaysinthelocalsustainableagriculturemovement.This“agriculturalenvironmentalism”isentirelyconsistentwithmodernenvironmentalistthinkingthatrecognizesthatthereremainsvirtuallynoland

 

 

44Seewww.saveourshellfish.com

 

26

 

intheworldthatisuntouchedbyhumanimpacts.

 

ThiscaseisanopportunityfortheCourttobringNinthCircuitdecisionsonNEPAintolinewithdecisionsinothercircuits;toclarifytheresponsibilitiesoffederalagenciesforconductingmeaningfulenvironmentalreviewbeforechanginganexistingusethatwassubjecttoenvironmental review,45andtorequireafederalagencyresponsibleformanagingextensivepubliclandstoreconsiderwhat it means “to manage nature wisely.”

 

VIII.   CONCLUSION

 

The petition for writ of certiorarishouldbegranted.

Respectfully submitted,ALEXANDERD.CALHOUN

Counselof Record

TAYLOR&COMPANYLAWOFFICES,LLP

One Ferry Building,Suite 355

San Francisco, CA 94111(415) 788-8200

acalhoun@tcolaw.com

 

Counsel For Amici CuriaeWilliam T. Bagley, etal.

 

May 15, 2014

 

 

45Seefootnote35,supra.

 

27

05-19-2014 PLF and Ca Cattlemen’s Association AMICUS CURIAE Brief

  (Unfortunately, Adobe PDF file converter has a tendency to run words together

so I am providing access both through the link below as well as by scrolling down to read the ‘converted file.)

 

05-19-2014 PLF and Ca Cattlemen Assn Brief

 

  1. 13-1244

Inthe

SupremeCourtoftheUnitedStates

                        Ë                         

DRAKESBAYOYSTERCOMPANYandKEVINLUNNY,

Petitioners,

SALLYJEWELL,SecretaryoftheUnitedStatesDepartmentoftheInterior,etal.,

                        Ë                         

OnPetitionforWritofCertioraritotheUnitedStatesCourtofAppeals

fortheNinthCircuit

                        Ë                         

BRIEFAMICUSCURIAEOFPACIFICLEGALFOUNDATIONAND

CALIFORNIACATTLEMEN’SASSOCIATIONINSUPPORTOFPETITIONERS

                        Ë                         

DAMIENM.SCHIFF

*ANTHONYL.FRANÇOIS

*CounselofRecordPacificLegalFoundation930GStreet

Sacramento,California95814

Telephone:(916)419-7111

Facsimile:(916)419-7747

E-mail:dms@pacificlegal.orgE-mail:alf@pacificlegal.org

CounselforAmiciCuriaePacificLegalFoundationand

CaliforniaCattlemen’sAssociation

 

 

 

 

 

 

i

 

QUESTIONSPRESENTED

  1. WhetherthefederalcourtslackjurisdictionundertheAdministrativeProcedure Acttoreviewanagencyactionthatisarbitraryandcapriciousoranabuseofdiscretionwhenthestatuteauthorizingtheactiondoesnotimposespecificrequirementsgoverningtheexerciseofdiscretion.
  2. WhetherfederalagenciescanevadereviewoftheiractionsundertheNationalEnvironmentalPolicyActbydesignatingtheiractionsas“conservationefforts,”whentherecordshowsthattheactionwillcausesignificantadverseenvironmentaleffects.
  3. Whetheranagencycommitsprejudicialerrorwhenitmakesmateriallyfalsestatementsinanenvironmentalimpactstatement,andthenassertsthatitwouldhavemadethesamedecisionevenifthefalsestatementshadbeencorrected.

 

 

 

 

 

ii

 

 

TABLEOFCONTENTS

 

Page

 

QUESTIONS PRESENTED……………………………….. i

TABLE OF AUTHORITIES……………………………… iv

INTEREST OF AMICI CURIAE…………………………. 1

INTRODUCTIONANDSUMMARYOFREASONSFOR

GRANTINGTHEPETITION……………………… 3

REASONSFORGRANTINGTHEPETITION……… 6

  1. Bureaugrazingpermitdecisionsregulateapredominantuseofover150millionacresofthenation’sfederallands,almostallofwhichfall

withintheNinthorTenth Circuits……………… 6

  1. TheCourtshouldgrantthePetitionbecausetheNinthandTenthCircuitsaresplitontwolegalstandardsfor

grazing permit renewals……………………………. 9

  1. TheNinthCircuitholdsthatadecisionnottorenewanaturalresourcepermitisexemptfromNEPAiftheagencycharacterizesthedecisionasaconservationeffort,whiletheTenthCircuit

rejectsprecisely suchanexemption……….. 9

 

TABLEOFCONTENTS—Continued

  1. TheBureaucannotarbitrarilyorcapriciouslyrefusetorenewagrazingpermitwithoutansweringtothefederalcourtsundertheAdministrativeProcedureActintheTenthCircuit,butitcanrefuse

 

Page

 

renewalswithimpunityintheNinth. ..14CONCLUSION……………………………………… 17

 

TABLEOFAUTHORITIES

Cases

 

Page

 

Bacav.King,92F.3d1031(10thCir.1996) .. 15-16

CapeHatterasAccessPres.Alliancev.Dep’tofInterior,344F.Supp.2d108(D.D.C.2004) …12

CatronCountyBd.ofComm’rs,NewMexicov.

U.S.Fish&WildlifeServ.,

75F.3d1429(10thCir.1996)………. 5,11-13

CitizenstoPreserveOvertonPark,Inc.v.

Volpe,401U.S.402(1971)………………………. 14-15

DiamondRingRanch,Inc.v.Morton,

531F.2d1397(10thCir. 1976)……… 4,15-16

DouglasCountyv.Babbitt,

48F.3d1495(9thCir.1995)……….. 5,10-13

DrakesBayOysterCov.Jewell,

  1. 13-15227,2014WL114699

(9thCir.Jan.14,2014)……. 3-5,10-11,14,16

InrePolarBearEndangeredSpeciesActListingand§4(d)RuleLitigation,

818F.Supp.2d214(D.D.C.2011)……………….. 12

Merrellv.Thomas,807F.2d776(9thCir.1986)..10

MiddleRioGrandeConservancyDist.v.Norton,

294F.3d1220(10thCir.2002)……………………… 12

Mollohanv.Gray,413F.2d349

(9thCir. 1969). . .. . .. . .. .. . .. . .. .. . . 4,14-15

NessInv.Corpv.USDA.,ForestServ.,

512F.2d706(9thCir. 1975)…………..4,14

 

NessInv.Corpv.USDA,ForestService,

360F. Supp. 127 (D. Ariz. 1973)………………. 15-16

Rapanosv.UnitedStates,547U.S.715(2006)…….. 1

Sabinv.Butz,515F.2d1061

(10th Cir.1975)……………………………………… 15-16

Sackettv. E.P.A., 132 S. Ct. 1367(2012)…………….. 1

SanLuis&Delta-MendotaWaterAuthorityv.

Jewell,No.11-15871,2014WL975130(9thCir.Mar. 13,2014)…………………………………….. 10

SolidWasteAgencyofNorthernCookCountyv.

U.S.ArmyCorpsofEngineers,

531 U.S.159 (2001)……………………………………… 1

Stricklandv.Morton,

519 F.2d467 (9th Cir.1975)………………………… 14

UtahSharedAccessAlliancev.Carpenter,

463 F.3d1125 (10th Cir. 2006)……………………… 12

UtahnsforBetterTransp.v.UnitedStatesDep’t

ofTransp., 305F.3d1152(10thCir. 2002)……… 13

Rules

  1. Ct.R.37.2(a)…………………………………………… 1
  2. Ct.R.37.6………………………………………………. 1

Statutes

5 U.S.C.§701(a)(2)……………………………………….. 14

43U.S.C. §315b . .. . . . .. . . . .. . . . .. . . . . .. .4,15Pub.L.No.111-88,123Stat.2904(2009)…..3,15

 

Miscellaneous

Buccino,Sharon,NEPAUnderAssault:CongressionalandAdministrative

ProposalsWouldWeakenEnvironmentalReviewandPublicParticipation,

12N.Y.U.Envtl.L.J.50(2003)…………………….. 13

Bureauwebsite,availableathttp://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/grazing.html(lastvisitedMay12,2014)…………………………….. 6

PublicLandsCouncil,PublicLandsGrazing,AnIntegralSegmentoftheU.S.LivestockIndustry,availableathttp://publiclandscouncil.org/CMDocs/PublicLandsCouncil/New%20Website/Public%20Lands%20Ranching%20Overview.pdf(lastvisitedMay12,2014)……… 9

U.S.Dep’tofInterior,BureauofLandMgmt.,FiscalYear2012RangelandInventory,Monitoring,andEvaluationReport,availableathttp://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/wo/Planning_and_Renewable_Resources/rangeland.Par.30896.File.dat/Rangeland

2012.pdf(lastvisitedMay12,2014)………………… 7

U.S.GeneralServicesAdministration,FederalRealPropertyProfileasofSeptember30,2004,Table16,at18-19,availableathttp://www.gsa.

 

gov/graphics/ogp/Annual_Reportl_R2M-n11_0Z5RDZ-i34K-pR.pdf

 

FY2004_Fina

 

(lastvisitedMay 12, 2014)………………………….. 7-8

 

PursuanttoRule37.2(a),PacificLegalFoundation(PLF)andCaliforniaCattlemen’sAssociation(CCA)respectfullysubmitthisbriefamicuscuriaeinsupportofthePetitioners.1

PLFisthemostexperiencedpublicinterestlegalorganizationadvancinganddefendingconstitutionalrightsandlimitationsongovernmentintheareaofenvironmentallaw.PLF’sattorneyshaveparticipatedasleadcounselorcounselforamiciinseveralcasesbeforethisCourtinvolvingaccesstofederalcourtsandjudicialoversightofagencyaction.See,e.g.,Sackettv.E.P.A.,132S.Ct.1367(2012);Rapanosv.United

States,547U.S.715(2006);SolidWasteAgencyofNorthernCookCounty v.U.S. ArmyCorpsofEngineers,531U.S.159(2001).

CCAisamutualbenefitcorporationorganizedunderCalifornialawin1923asan“agriculturalandhorticultural,nonprofit,cooperativeassociation”topromotetheinterestsoftheindustry.MembershipintheCCAisopentoanypersonorentityengagedinbreeding,producing,maturing,orfeedingcattle,orwholeaseslandforcattleproduction.TheCCAisthe

 

1PursuanttothisCourt’sRule37.2(a),allpartieshaveconsentedtothefilingofthisbrief.Counselofrecordforallpartiesreceivednoticeatleast10dayspriortotheduedateofAmiciCuriae’sintentiontofilethisbrief.LettersevidencingsuchconsenthavebeenfiledwiththeClerkoftheCourt.

PursuanttoRule37.6,AmiciCuriaeaffirmthatnocounselforanypartyauthoredthisbriefinwholeorinpart,andnocounselorpartymadeamonetarycontributionintendedtofundthepreparationorsubmissionofthisbrief.NopersonotherthanAmiciCuriae,theirmembers,ortheir counselmadeamonetarycontributiontoitspreparationorsubmission.

 

 

predominantorganizationofcattlegrazersinCaliforniaand,actinginconjunctionwithitsaffiliatedlocalorganizations,itendeavorstopromoteanddefendtheinterestsofthelivestockindustry.CCAhasseveral memberswhoranch withintheboundariesofthePointReyesNationalSeashoreunderreservationsofuse andoccupancy and/or special use permitsfromtheNationalParkService,andthesemembershaveastronginterestinensuringthattheNationalParkServicecomplieswithapplicablelawswhenactingonfuturerenewalsoftheirpermits.CCAalsohasmanymemberswhoholdfederallyissuedgrazingpermitsinmanyareas ofCalifornia,andthedecisionbelowimpactshowtheAdministrativeProcedureAct(APA)andtheNationalEnvironmentalPolicyAct(NEPA)applytoagencyactionsonthosepermits.

CCAmembersandotherfederalgrazingpermitholdersintheNinthCircuitcurrentlylackaccesstothefederalcourtsequaltothatenjoyedbyidenticallysituatedfederalgrazingpermitholdersintheTenthCircuit.And,underthedecisionbelow,federalagenciesareexemptfromNEPAwhentheyrefusetorenewCCAmembers’grazingpermitsintheNinthCircuit,whileintheTenthCircuitthesame agenciesaresubjecttoNEPA.

 

 

INTRODUCTIONANDSUMMARYOFREASONS

FORGRANTINGTHEPETITION

ThePetitionpresentsthequestionwhetherfederalcourtslackjurisdictionundertheAPAtoreviewanagencyactionforabuseofdiscretionwhentheauthorizingstatutefortheactionlacksspecificlimitationsonthescopeoftheagency’sdiscretion.Petitionat1.ThePetitionidentifiesabroadsplitamongvariousfederalcircuitcourtsonthisquestion,includingseveralspecificexamplesofcasesinwhichdifferentcircuitshavegivenconflictinganswerstothisquestioninthecontextofthesameclassofagencydecisions.Id.at14-18.

OneofthecircuitsplitslistedasabasisforgrantingthePetitionisbetweentheNinthandTenthCircuitsontheissueofAPAreviewoffederalgrazingpermitdecisions.Id.at19.Thisbriefprovidesadditionaldetailonthisissue’simportancetothousandsofranchingfamiliesacrossthenation,andwhytheCourtshouldgrantthePetitiontoresolvethiscircuitsplitaffectingtensofmillionsofacresoffederalgrazinglands.

ThedecisionbelowinvolvestheInteriorSecretary’srefusaltorenewapermitforanexistingoysterfarminanationalseashoreundersection124ofPublic Law 111-88, 123 Stat. 2904, 2932 (2009)

(Section124),andthescopeofjudicialreviewunderthatstatute.DrakesBayOysterCov.Jewell, No.13-15227,2014WL114699,at*1(9thCir.Jan.14,2014).

ThequestionspresentedinthePetitionareimportantfarbeyondthisonepermitorstatute.Thousandsofranchersgrazelivestockontensofmillionsofacresoffederallandunderrenewablefederalgrazingpermits

 

 

inthestatescomprisingtheNinthandTenthCircuits.TheBureauofLandManagement(Bureau)renewsthesepermitsundertheTaylorGrazingAct,43U.S.C.

  • 315b,whichaffordstheBureauthesamebroaddiscretionthatSection124affordstheInteriorSecretary(Secretary).

DrakesBayentrenchespriorNinthCircuitcaselawholdingthatBureaugrazingpermitdecisionsarenotsubjecttoAPAreview.DrakesBayreliesonNessInv.Corpv.USDA.,ForestServ.,512F.2d706(9thCir.1975),inholdingthattheSecretary’srefusaltorenewtheoysterfarm’spermitisnotsubjecttoAPAreview.DrakesBay,2014 WL 114699,at*1,6.NessinturnreliesontheNinthCircuit’sdecisioninMollohanv.Gray,413F.2d349,352(9thCir.1969),whichholdsthatdecisionsongrazingpermitsundertheTaylorGrazingActarenotsubjecttojudicialreviewundertheAPA.SeeNess,512F.2dat716(“wesharetheviewofthepanel[]whichdecidedMollohan”).TheNinth Circuit conflictswiththe Tenth CircuitonjudicialreviewofgrazingpermitdecisionsundertheAPA.DiamondRing Ranch,Inc.v.Morton,531F.2d1397,1406(10thCir.1976)(“TheTaylorGrazingActdoesnotfallwithinthelimitedclassofnon-reviewability.”).SincealmostallfederallandsmanagedundergrazingpermitsareintheNinthorTenthCircuits,thissplitdividesvirtuallytheentirerelevantpartofthecountryforpurposesoffederalgrazingmanagement.GrantingthePetitionwillprovidethisCourttheabilitytoresolvemuchmorethanwhethertheSecretary’srefusaltorenewtheoysterfarm’spermitissubjecttoAPAreview;itwillalsoresolvethesplitbetweentheNinthandTenthCircuitsonwhetherrenewaldecisionsonmorethan

 

 

18,000grazingpermits,regulating155-millionacresoffederalland,aresubjecttoAPAreview.

ThedecisionbelowalsoholdsthattheSecretary’srefusaltorenewapermitforapre-existingactivityisnotsubject to NEPA ifthe refusalischaracterized asa“conservation effort,”relyingonthe NinthCircuit’sholdinginDouglasCountyv.Babbitt,48F.3d1495,1505-06(9thCir.1995)(criticalhabitatdesignationundertheEndangeredSpeciesActnotsubjecttoNEPAbecause“ESAfurthersthegoalsofNEPA”).DrakesBay,2014WL114699,at*12.TheNinthCircuitalsoconflictswiththeTenthCircuitontheapplicationofNEPAtoagencyactionsthatpurporttobenefittheenvironment.CatronCountyBd.ofComm’rs,NewMexicov.U.S.Fish&WildlifeServ.,75F.3d1429,1437(10thCir.1996)(environmentalconservationpurposedoesnotexemptfederalactionfromNEPA).BecauseDrakesBayextendsDouglasCountytopermitnonrenewals,itisprecedentthatNEPAdoesnotapplytorefusalstorenewfederalgrazingpermitsintheNinthCircuit.Assuch,DrakesBayalsoconflictswiththeTenthCircuit’sdecisioninCatronCounty.

TheCourtshouldgrantthePetitiontoresolvethesplitsbetweentheNinthandTenthCircuitsonwhetherapermitrenewaldecisionissubjecttoAPAreview,andwhetherNEPAappliestoarefusaltorenewapermitiftheagencycharacterizestherefusalasenvironmentallybeneficial.

 

 

REASONSFOR  GRANTINGTHEPETITION

I

Bureaugrazingpermitdecisionsregulateapredominantuseofover150millionacresofthenation’sfederallands,almostallofwhichfallwithintheNinthorTenthCircuits.

LivestockgrazingunderBureaupermitsisoneofthemajorusesoffederallandinelevenwesternstatescomprisingmuchoftheNinthandTenthCircuits.TheBureau managesroughly 245-million acres of federalland.Ofthoseacres,155million—orapproximately63%—areusedforlivestock grazingundermorethan18,000Bureaupermitscovering21,000separategrazingallotments.2

Asthetablebelowshows,almostalloftheseallotmentsareineithertheNinthorTenthCircuits.WhiletheNinthCircuithasappellatejurisdictionoverabouttwo-thirdsofthefederalgrazingacreage,thenumberofgrazingpermitsisfairlyevenlydividedbetweenthetwocircuits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Bureauwebsite,availableathttp://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/grazing.html(lastvisitedMay12,2014).

 

 

Circuit/State BureauAllot-ments3 Allot-mentAcres(millions) %federallyownedland4
NinthCircuit
California 681 7.2 45.30%
Oregon/Washington 2,028 13.6 53.11%/30.33%
Arizona 820 11.4 48.06%
Nevada 798 43.4 84.48%
Idaho 2,175 11.5 50.19%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3ThenumberofallotmentsandallotmentacreagefromtheBureau’s2012RangelandInventory,Monitoring,andEvaluationReport,Table6,availableathttp://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/wo/Planning_and_Renewable_Resources/rangeland.Par.30896.File.dat/Rangeland2012.pdf(lastvisitedMay12,2014).

 

4Percentageofeachstatewhichisfederallyowned,fromU.S.GeneralServicesAdministration,FederalRealPropertyProfileasofSeptember30,2004,Table16,at18-19,availableathttp://www.gsa.gov/graphics/ogp/Annual_ReportFY2004_Final_R2M-n11_0Z5RDZ-i34K-pR.pdf(lastvisitedMay12,2014).

 

 

Montana/Dakotas5 5,222 8.2 29.92%/4.49%
TotalNinthCircuit 11,724 95.3 48.58%
TenthCircuit
NewMexico 2,282 12.8 41.77%
Utah 1,393 21.6 57.45%
Wyoming 3,531 17.6 42.33%
Colorado 2,416 7.9 36.63%
TotalTenthCircuit 9,622 59.9 43.77%

 

ThisdatashowsthatabouthalfofthelandinthewesternUnited States isfederallyowned.Accordingto the U.S. General ServicesAdministration, grazingisthesecondmostpredominantspecificuseoffederallands,6andthefivestateswiththelargestfederallandholdingsareallintheNinthCircuit.AccordingtothePublicLandsCouncil,anorganizationofstateandnationalcattle,sheep,andgrasslandassociations,

 

5Montana,intheNinthCircuit,andtheDakotas,intheEighthCircuit,aremanagedbyoneBureaustateoffice,anddataonallotmentsandacresexclusivelyforMontanaarenotreadilyavailable.ThelowpercentageoffederallandintheDakotassuggeststhatmostoftheallotmentsandgrazingacresshownareinMontana.ThetotalsfortheNinthCircuitstatesincludethecombinedallotmentandallotmentacresfiguresforMontanaandtheDakotas,butdonotincludetheDakotasinthetotalpercentageoffederallandownedintheNinthCircuitstates.

 

6   FederalRealPropertyProfile2004,supra,Table14,at16.

 

 

approximately40%ofthebeefcowsinthewesternUnitedStates,andhalfofthenation’ssheepherds,spendsometimeingrazingallotmentsonpubliclands.Averylargenumberofruralcommunitiesaredependentonfederallypermittedgrazingforemployment,commerce,andtaxrevenuetosupportpublicservices.7

WiththeNinthandTenthCircuitseachgoverningabouthalfofallfederalgrazingpermits,thesetwocircuits mustbealigned on fundamentalquestions oflawrelatingtorenewalofgrazingpermits,includingtheapplicationofNEPA,andjudicialreviewundertheAPA.

II

TheCourtshouldgrant

thePetitionbecausetheNinthandTenthCircuitsaresplitontwolegalstandardsforgrazingpermitrenewals.

  1. TheNinthCircuitholdsthatadecisionnottorenewanaturalresourcepermitisexemptfromNEPAiftheagencycharacterizesthedecisionasaconservationeffort,whiletheTenthCircuitrejectspreciselysuchanexemption.

Bycharacterizingtherefusaltorenewafederalgrazingpermitasaconservationaction,theBureauneednotcomplywithNEPAforpermitsthroughout

 

7PublicLandsCouncil,PublicLandsGrazing,AnIntegralSegmentoftheU.S.LivestockIndustry,availableathttp://publiclandscouncil.org/CMDocs/PublicLandsCouncil/New

%20Website/Public%20Lands%20Ranching%20Overview.pdf(lastvisitedMay12,2014).

 

 

 

 

 

10

 

theNinthCircuit,includingjustinsidetheeasternbordersofArizona, Nevada,andIdaho.But,theagencymustcomplywithNEPAforidenticaldecisionsintheneighboringTenthCircuitstatesofNewMexico,Utah,andWyoming.

Thedecisionbelowholdsthatafederalagency’srefusaltorenewanexistingpermitisnotsubjecttoNEPAiftherefusalpurportstobea“conservationeffort,”evenwheretherecordshowsthatfailuretorenewhasadverseimpacts. DrakesBay,2014WL114699,at*12.8DrakesBayechoestheNinthCircuit’sdecisioninDouglasCounty,48F.3dat1506(designationofcriticalhabitatundertheEndangeredSpeciesActexemptfromNEPAbecausehabitatdesignationfurthersNEPA’spurpose).DrakesBayandDouglasCountybothrestontherationalethatactionsintendedtobenefittheenvironmentshouldnotbesubjectedtothe“obstructionisttactic”ofcomplyingwithNEPA.DrakesBay,2014WL114699,at*13(citingDouglasCounty,48F.3dat1508).

DouglasCountyaddressedtheapplicationofNEPAtocriticalhabitatdesignationsasanissueoffirstimpressionin1995.48F.3dat1501.DouglasCountyfirstheldthatdesignationofcriticalhabitatisexemptfromNEPAbyanalogizingtoMerrellv.Thomas,807F.2d776,778-80(9thCir.1986),which

 

8TheNinthCircuitrecentlystatedinSanLuis&Delta-MendotaWaterAuthorityv.Jewell,No.11-15871,2014WL975130,at*54(9thCir.Mar.13,2014),thatDrakesBaydoesnot“stand forthepropositionthateffortstopreservethenaturalenvironmentareperseexemptfromNEPA.”But,thisispreciselywhatDrakesBaydoessay.DrakesBay,2014WL114699,at*12(“TheSecretary’sdecisionisessentiallyanenvironmentalconservationeffort,whichhasnottriggeredNEPAinthepast.”).

 

 

 

 

 

11

 

heldthatproceduresthatduplicateorpreventcompliancewithNEPAindicatecongressionalintenttoexempttheprocessfromNEPA.9DouglasCounty,48F.3dat1502-04.DouglasCountyalsoheldthatNEPAdoesnotapplytocriticalhabitatdesignation“becausetheESAfurthersthegoalsofNEPAwithoutdemandinganEIS.”Id.at1506.ThisholdinginDouglasCountyreliesonthepropositionthatNEPAdoesnotapplytofederalactionsthatdonothingtoalterthenaturalphysicalenvironment.Id.at1505-06(“[W]henafederalagencytakesanactionthatpreventshumaninterferencewiththeenvironment,itneednotprepareanEIS.”).

TheTenthCircuitcomprehensivelyreviewedDouglasCountyinCatronCountyBd.ofComm’rs,NewMexicov.U.S.Fish&WildlifeServ.,75F.3dat1435-38,andrejecteditentirely,includingthe“conservationeffort”holding.TheTenthCircuitdirectlyrejectedthepropositionthatprojectsintendedtobenefittheenvironmentshouldnotbesubjecttoreviewunderNEPA,becausethisbegsthequestionthatNEPAisspecificallyenactedtoanswer.Id.at1437.AmorerecentdecisionoftheTenthCircuitfollowsCatronCountyinholdingthatNEPAappliestocriticalhabitat

 

 

9DouglasCountyalsoofferstheputativeassurancethatexcusingafederalagencyfromNEPAincriticalhabitatdesignationswouldnotyield“uncheckeddiscretioninmakingcriticalhabitatdesignations,”since“theproceduralrequirementsoftheESA,combinedwithreviewofdecisionspossibleundertheAdministrativeProcedureAct,areadequatesafeguards.”48F.3dat1505.Yetwhilethedecisionbelowreliesonthe“conservationeffort”holdingofDouglasCountytoexemptarefusaltorenewapermitfromNEPA,thesamedecisionalsoholdsthatthereisnojurisdictiontoreviewtherefusalundertheAPA.DrakesBay,2014WL114699,at*1.

 

 

 

 

 

12

 

  1. MiddleRioGrandeConservancyDist.v.Norton,294F.3d1220,1230(10thCir.2002)(FishandWildlifeServicerequiredtoprepareEIStodesignatecriticalhabitatforsilveryminnow.).10

TheUnitedStatesDistrictCourtfortheDistrictofColumbiaalsofollowedCatronCountyinrejectingthegovernment’sassertionthatNEPAdoesnotapplytocriticalhabitatdesignations.CapeHatterasAccessPres.Alliancev.Dep’tofInterior,344F.Supp.2d108,136(D.D.C.2004)(becausecriticalhabitatdesignationsignificantlyaffectsthehumanenvironment,governmentmust“determinetheextentoftheimpactincompliancewithNEPA”).Inanothercase,thesamecourtrejectedtheSecretary’sarguments,basedonDouglasCounty,thatNEPAdoesnotapplytoSpecialRulesunderSection4(d)oftheESA,andheldthatNEPArequiresatleastthepreparationofanEnvironmentalAssessment.InrePolarBearEndangeredSpeciesActListingand§4(d)RuleLitigation,818F.Supp.2d214,236-38(D.D.C.2011)

(citingandapplyingreasoningofCatronCountytoESASection4(d)SpecialRules).

ThecircuitsplitbetweentheNinthandTenthCircuitsonNEPAcreatesregionallegalvariationsforrenewalofgrazingpermits,inwhichpermitsintheNinth Circuit are exposed to greater risk of

 

 

10           InUtahSharedAccessAlliancev.Carpenter,theTenthCircuitruledthatclosureofcertainpubliclandstooff-roadvehicleswasnotsubjecttoNEPA,and commented in a footnotethatifthepartieshadarguedthattheclosurewereamajorfederalaction,therationaleofDouglasCountymightapply.463F.3d1125,1136n.4(10thCir.2006).ThisdiscussionistangentialatbesttotheNEPAholdinginUtahSharedAccess,andthecasedoesnotexamineDouglasCountyinanydepth.

 

 

 

 

 

13

 

  1. AmicusCCAmembersholdmanyofthe572federalgrazingpermitsissuedbytheBureauinCalifornia.BecausetheNinthCircuitexcusesagenciessuchastheBureaufromcomplyingwithNEPAwheretheagencypurportstoacttoimprovetheenvironment,theBureauhasanincentivetoavoidNEPAresponsibilitiesbythesimpleexpedientofrecastingeveryrefusaltorenewapermitasenvironmentallybeneficial.ThelackofaNEPAanalysisin suchcircumstanceshamstringspermitholdersandmembersofthepublicintheirefforttolearnmoreaboutthedecision,provideinput,andtesttheassertionthatthedecisionisbeneficial.SharonBuccino,NEPAUnderAssault:CongressionalandAdministrativeProposalsWouldWeakenEnvironmentalReviewandPublicParticipation,12

N.Y.U.Envtl.L.J.50,53(2003)(“CourtshaveconsistentlyrecognizedNEPA’sdualgoalsof‘informeddecisionmakingandinformedpubliccomment.’”)(citingUtahnsforBetterTransp.v.UnitedStatesDep’tofTransp.,305F.3d1152,1163(10thCir.2002)).Excusingagenciesthatpermitthe useofnaturalresourcesonpubliclandsfromcomplyingwithNEPAiftheyrefusetorenew(whilerequiringcompliancewithNEPAforrenewingthesamepermits)improperlytipsthebalancetowardnonrenewal.

Meanwhile,federalgrazingpermitholdersinthestatescomprisingtheTenthCircuitarefreeofthischicanery,becauseCatronCountyrejectsDouglasCounty’s“conservationeffort”holding.TheCourtshouldgrantthePetitiontoestablishauniformnationalrulefortheapplicationofNEPAtoagencyrefusals torenewpermits,whentheagencycontendstherefusalsare“conservationefforts.”

 

 

  1. TheBureaucannotarbitrarilyorcapriciouslyrefusetorenewa

grazingpermitwithoutanswering  tothefederalcourtsundertheAdministrativeProcedureActin    theTenthCircuit,butitcanrefuserenewalswithimpunityintheNinth.

TheNinthCircuithasdisclaimedjurisdictionundertheAdministrativeProcedure Acttoreviewanarbitraryorcapriciousrefusaltorenewanexistinggrazingpermit.SeeMollohanv.Gray,413F.2dat352(decisionsorrefusalstoissueorrenewagrazingpermitundertheTaylorGrazingActarenotsubjecttoreviewundertheAPA).FollowingthisCourt’ssubsequentdecisioninCitizenstoPreserveOvertonPark,Inc.v.Volpe,401U.S.402,410(1971),that5

U.S.C.§ 701(a)(2)deprives federalcourts ofAPAjurisdictiononly“inthoserareinstanceswhere‘statutesaredrawninsuchbroadtermsthatinagivencase there isnolaw to apply,’” (citationomitted),theNinthCircuitre-examinedandaffirmedtheprinciplesinMollohan,holdingthatfederalcourtslackedjurisdictiontohearachallengetothedenialofahomesteadapplicationundertheClassificationandMultipleUseActof1964.Stricklandv.Morton,519F.2d467,468-70(9thCir.1975).SeealsoNess,512F.2dat716(“wesharetheviewofthepanel[]whichdecidedMollohan”).Inturn,DrakesBayreliesonNessinholdingthattheSecretary’srefusaltorenewPetitioner’spermitisnotreviewableundertheAPA.DrakesBay,2014WL114699,at*6.11

 

11      EvenwithoutitsrelianceonNessandMollohan,DrakesBay

isprecedentthatarefusaltorenewagrazingpermitisnot

(continued…)

 

 

WhentheBureauarbitrarilyorcapriciouslyrefusestorenewagrazingpermitintheTenthCircuit,thefederalcourtshavejurisdictiontoreviewtheactionundertheAdministrativeProcedureAct.DiamondRingRanch,Inc.v.Morton,531F.2dat1406,statessquarelythat“[t]heTaylorGrazingActdoesnotfallwithinthelimitedclassofnon-reviewability,seeSabinv.Butz,515F.2d1061,1064-65(10thCir.1975).”

SabindeclinestofollowMollohan.515F.2dat1065(federalcourtshavejurisdictionundertheAPAtoreviewForestServicerefusaltoissueapermitforskiinstruction).InSabin,theTenthCircuitconstruedCitizenstoPreserveOvertonParknarrowly,butnotedthebroaderinterpretationofthefederaldistrictcourtinNessInv.Corpv.USDA,ForestService,360F.Supp.127(D.Ariz.1973).12

 

11 (…continued)

reviewableundertheAPA.Bothofthefederalstatutes,forrenewalofPetitioner’sspecialusepermitinthePointReyesNationalSeashore,andforrenewalofgrazingpermitsonfederalland,extendverybroaddiscretiontotherelevantagencytograntordenypermits.ComparePub.L.No.111-88,§124,123Stat.2904,2932(2009)(“Section124”inthedecisionbelow)(“[T]heSecretaryoftheInteriorisauthorizedtoissueaspecialusepermitwiththesametermsandconditionsastheexistingauthorization[.]”),with43U.S.C.§315b(“Such[grazing]permitsshallbeforaperiodofnotmorethantenyears,subjecttothepreferencerightofthepermitteestorenewalinthediscretionoftheSecretaryoftheInterior….”).

 

12Bacav.King,92F.3d1031,1037(10thCir.1996),citesMollohanfortheinabilityofthecourtstoorderBureautorenewagrazingpermit.TheplaintiffinBacawaschallengingalandexchangeundertheFederalLandPolicyandManagementAct,id.at1032,thatledtothecancellationofhisgrazingpermit,id.at1033.TheTenthCircuitruledthattheplaintifflackedstandingbecausehisinjurieswerenotredressablebasedonthereliefhe

(continued…)

 

 

 

 

 

16

 

DrakesBayreliesonNess(noAPAreviewofdenialofForestServicepermit),whichreliesinturnonMollohan(noAPAreviewofcancellationofgrazingpermit).TheseNinthCircuitdecisionsconflictwiththeTenthCircuit’sdecisionsinSabin(APAreviewofdenialofForestServicepermit)andDiamondRingRanch(APAreviewofgrazingpermitdecision).So,grantingthePetitionwillnotjustresolvewhethertheSecretary’srefusaltorenewPetitioners’permitissubjecttoAPAreview.GrantingthePetitionwillresolvethecircuitsplitsonAPAreviewofgrazingpermits (Mollohan/DiamondRingRanch) andForestServicediscretionarypermits(Ness/Sabin).

ThecircuitsplitonAPAreviewofgrazingpermitdecisionsresultsinatypeofsecond-classcitizenshipforgrazingpermitholdersintheNinthCircuit.TheyholdapermitwhichtheBureaucanarbitrarilyorcapriciouslyrefusetorenew,foranyreasonornoreason,withoutbeingaccountabletothefederalcourtsundertheAPA.Grazingpermitholdersin theTenthCircuit,however,areabletobringidenticalrefusalsbeforethefederal courtsundertheAPA.Asaresult,grazingpermitholdersintheTenthCircuithaveamoreusefulandvaluableFirstAmendmentrighttopetitiontheirgovernment,becausetheycanpetitionboththeExecutiveandJudicialBranches.ThoseintheNinth,meanwhile,mayonlypetitionthesameExecutiveBranchagencythatrefusestorenewtheirpermits,secureintheknowledgeitisunaccountabletothefederalcourts.

 

 

12 (…continued)

  1. Id.at1037.TheplaintiffhadnotdirectlychallengedthecancellationofhispermitundertheAPA,onlythelandswap.

 

 

 

 

 

17

 

TheCourtshouldgrantthePetitiontoeliminatethisregionallybasedsecond-classcitizenshipforgrazingpermitholdersandestablishauniformruleofjurisdictionundertheAPA.

CONCLUSION

TheCourtshouldgrantthePetition.DATED:May,2014.

Respectfullysubmitted,

 

DAMIENM.SCHIFFANTHONYL.FRANÇOIS

CounselofRecordPacificLegalFoundation930GStreet

Sacramento,California95814

Telephone:(916)419-7111

Facsimile:(916)419-7747

E-mail:dms@pacificlegal.orgE-mail:alf@pacificlegal.org

CounselforAmiciCuriaePacificLegalFoundationandCaliforniaCattlemen’sAssociation

05-19-2014 Monte Wolfe Foundation Amicus Curiae Brief

 (Unfortunately, Adobe PDF file converter has a tendency to run words together

so I am providing access both through the link below as well as by scrolling down to read the ‘converted file.)

 

05-19-2014 Monte Wolfe Foundation DBOC brief

NO.13-1244

 

 

INTHE

SupremeCourtoftheUnitedStates

 

DRAKES BAY OYSTER COMPANY, et al.,

Petitioners,

SALLY JEWELL, SECRETARY OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, et

 

On Petition ForWrit Of Certiorari To The United States Court Of Appeals

ForThe Ninth Circuit

 

AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF OF THE MONTE WOLFE FOUNDATION

IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONERS

 

JAMESTALCOTTLINFORD

Counsel of Record

ATTORNEYATLAW

42RHINESTONE TERRACESANRAFAEL,CA94903(415) 831-8761

jimtlinford@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Table of Authorities                                          iii

Identity and Interest of Amicus Curiae              1

Summary of the Argument                                 2

A:Thedecision’simplicationsforfederal stewardshipofhistoricresourcespose an imminent threat to “other litigants

in other situations”                                        4

1)     A hypothetical example of Drakes BayOyster’s threat to historic resources               4

2)      Evenifthejurisprudentialsourceof DrakesBayOysterwerestillgood law, it would only be good in the

Ninth Circuit, where the threat is posed.      6

B:DrakesBayOyster’sNEPAholdingcreatesanintolerablesplitthatencouragesnon-acquiescenceby Federal agencies in their stewardship

of historic resources                                     7

C:TheNinthCircuithasrecentlyminim- izedDouglas County’sapplicabilitytoESAhabitatdesignationswhile upholding “the reasoning” of Douglas

County andDrakes Bay Oyster                         10

D:DrakesBayOyster’sanomalous holdingisoddenoughtosuggest havingbeen,insomesubtleway,a resultofconfutingtheNational Environmental Policy Act with the

Wilderness Act.                                           13

 

CONCLUSION                                                  18

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX

  • NationalHistoricPreservationActof1966 (NHPA) 16 U.S.C. 470, etseq. (excerpts)
  • RegulationsoftheAdvisoryCouncilonHistoric Preservation(ACHP)“ProtectionofHistoric Properties” 36 CFR Part 800 (excerpts)
  • RegulationsoftheCouncilofEnvironmental Quality (CEQ), 40 CFR 1500-1508 (excerpts)

 

 

 

 

 

iii

TABLE OF AUTHORITIES

 

P.APP.=Petitioner’sAppendix;MWF.APP.=Amicus’sAppendix

Cases

Blonder-Tongue Laboratories, Inc. v. University of IllinoisFoundation,

402 U.S. 313, 320 n.6 (1971)                             3

Caltron County v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife

Service,75 F.3d 1429(10thCir. 1996)           6, 11

Douglas County v. Babbitt,

48F.3d1495(9thCir. 1995)            2, 6, 7, 10-13

Drakes Bay Oyster Company v. Jewell, 792F.3d967 (9thCir.2013),

[PACERref:9thCir.Case13-15227;

DktEntry:100;Pages2-51]P.APP.2-51    passim

High Sierra Hikers v. Blackwell,

390F.3d 630 (9thCir. 2004)                           16

San      Luis      &     Delta-Mendota       Water

 

Authorityv.Jewell,

 

F.3d

 

(9th

 

Cir–3/13/2014).[PACERref:9thCir.Case 11-15871; DktEntry: 118-1;

Pages 1-173]                                             11-13

Summers v. Earth Island Inst.,

555 U.S. 488 (2009)                                       15

Wilderness Watch v. USF&W

629F3d 1024 (9thCir 2010)                           16

 

Statutes

 

Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA)

7 U.S.C. §136, 16 U.S.C. §1531 etseq.

[referenced but not cited]                            6, 10

National Environmental Policy Act of 1969(NEPA) 42 U.S.C. §4321 etseq.

[P.APP.171-177;excerpts]                         passim

National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) 16 U.S.C. §470 etseq

[MWF.APP.2;excerpts]                       1, 3, 4, 7, 8

Point Reyes Wilderness Act of 1976 Pub.L.No. 94-544, 90 Stat.2515

[referenced but not cited]                                  16

Wilderness Act of 1964, 16 U.S.C. 1131-1136

[referenced but not cited]                                 16

 

42 U.S.C. §4331(a) 17
42 U.S.C. §4331(b)(3), (4) & (6) 2, 4
42 U.S.C. §4331(b)(4) 2, 4, 9, 17

 

Regulations

 

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP)36 CFR Part 800

[MWF.APP.3-9;excerpts]                         8, 16

Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) 40 CFR 1500-1508

[MWF.APP.9-15;excerpts]                 7, 8, 9, 12

 

 

 

 

IDENTITY AND INTEREST OFAMICUS CURIÆ 1

 

TheMonteWolfeFoundationisaCalifornianon-profitpublicbenefitcorporationwithamission toprotectlogcabinsinourwesternmountains.2LogcabinsareaniconicAmericanvernacular architecture.However,itisnotunknownfor officialswithinfederalagenciestodecide, unilaterallyandwithoutnotice,toburnor otherwisedemolishsuchhistoricresources. Althoughhistoricresourcesgenerallybenefitfrom areviewprocessundertheNationalHistoric PreservationActof1966(NHPA),someofthem,

 

1: PursuanttoSupremeCourtRule37.6,AmicusMonteWolfeFoundation(“Amicus”)affirmsthat(1)thepresentamicusbriefwasauthoredentirelybycounselforAmicus,andnotauthored inwholeorinpartbycounselfora partynorbyanyoneelse,and(2)nocounselorpartyotherthanAmicusanditscounselmadeanymonetaryorothermaterialcontributiontothepreparationandsubmissionofthepresentamicusbrief.

Amicusfurtheraffirms,pursuanttoRule37.1,thatallcounsel of recordreceived timely notice of the intent tofilethepresentbriefandallgavewrittenconsenttoitsfiling.

2:AcoremissionoftheFoundationistopreservetheMonteWolfeCabin,aspecificlogcabinlocatedwithintheMokelumneWildernessAreaintheCentralSierraNevadaMountains.However,sincetheForestServicehasdeterminedthattheMonteWolfeCabiniseligibleforlistingontheNationalRegisterofHistoricPlaces,itisundertheaegisoftheNationalHistoricPreservationAct.of1966(NHPA),specificallyits§106(16U.S.C.§470f).TheMonteWolfeCabinitselfisthusnotdirectlyatriskfromtheconsequencesoftheNinthCircuitdecisionthatpromptedthepresentpetitionforcertiorari.

 

 

 

havinggonethroughNHPAreviewonlytobefound ineligibleforlistingontheNationalRegisterof HistoricPlaces,donotbenefitfromNHPA protection.However,theseotherwiseunprotected historicresourcesshouldbenefitfromaparallel processundertheNationalEnvironmentalPolicy Actof1969(NEPA)(42U.S.C.§4321etseq.).OneofthegoalsofNEPAisto“preserveimportant historic…aspectsofournationalheritage.” 42

U.S.C.§4331(b)(4)[PETITIONERS’APPENDIX,“P.APP.”below,p.171].TheNinthCircuitdecisionchallengedherewouldfrustratethatgoalbyimperilingunlistedlogcabinswithinAmicus’s scope of concern.

 

SUMMARY OF THE ARGUMENT

 

DrakesBayOysterCompanyv.Jewell,792F.3d 967(9thCir.2013),P.APP.2-51,holdsthatthereisnoNEPAreviewforthedecisiontoclosetheoyster farm and destroy its structures:

[It]isessentiallyanenvironmentalconser- vationeffort…[b]ecauseremovingtheoyster farmisasteptowardrestoringthe“natural, untouchedphysicalenvironment”[andit]… “protectstheenvironmentfromexactlythe kindofhumanimpactsthatNEPAisdesigned to foreclose.”

  1. at984,P.APP.30-31,quotingDouglasCountyv.Babbitt, 48 F.3d 1495, 1505, 1507

(9th Cir.1995).

Theholding,thatnoNEPAreviewisneededwhere agencyactionseekstorestoreapristinestateof nature,appearsuniquetotheNinthCircuit. It

 

 

 

meansthathistoricresourcesonNinthCircuit federalwildlandsareendangeredbecausethey cannotdependonNEPAforprotection.Absentotherprotection,theymaybe–indeed,given DrakesBayOyster’sreadingoftheintentofNEPA,should be – summarily removed.

AlthoughtheNHPAdoesyeoman’sworkin protectingthemostnotableofournation’s federally-ownedhistoricresources,itcannotreach all that are worthy of protection.

DrakesBayOysterwouldhavesucha disastrouseffectonthoseofustryingtopreserve logcabinswithinourwesternwildlandsthat DrakesBayOysterhastransformedusinto“other litigantsinothersituations.”Anditisprecisely our“othersituation”thatwillbegintheargument whythe petitionshould be granted.3

However,theactualcasebeforetheCourtalso containsanirreplaceable,uniquehistoricresource thatwouldbedestroyediftheoysterfarmwereto beremoved,the“hangingcultch”oysterracksofDrakesEstero.Howthispreciousresourceslipped betweenthecracksofanNHPAprocesswillbe addressedbelow,butforpurposesofthis introduction, it is sufficient to affirm that many

 

3    ThehistoricresourceargumentinsupportofthequestionofNEPAreviewwasnotraisedbelowuntilthetimeofthepetitionforrehearing.(CompareBlonder-TongueLabs.v.Univ.Illinois Foundation,402U.S.313,319-320,n.6(1971).)However,thedisastrousimpactofDrakes Bay Oysteronhistoricpreservationinfederalwildlandscouldwellsupportprudentialconsideration.Furthermore,therewouldbenoadvisoryopinionontheargumentsincePetitionerisactuallythreatenedwiththedestructionofitsownhistoricresource,the“hangingcultch”oysterracksofDrakesEstero.

 

 

 

valuablehistoricresourcesfailtomeetNHPA’s rigorousstandards,andthosethatdofailarelefttotheprotectionofNEPA.AmongNEPA’sgoalsisto “preserveimportanthistoric…aspectsofour nationalheritage.”42U.S.C.§4331(b)(4) P.APP.171.TheholdinginDrakesBayOysterwould prevent NEPA from reaching that goal.

 

A:Drakes Bay Oyster’simplications forfederalstewardshipofhistoricresourcespose animminentthreattootherlitigantsinother situations.

 

Thedemonstrationoftheimminentthreatthat DrakesBayOysterpresentstohistoricresourcesin wildlands begins with a hypothetical example:

 

1:      A hypothetical example of Drakes BayOyster’s threat to historic resources

 

Imaginearusticlogcabinthathasbeenused sincetheearlydecadesofthelastcenturyby stockmenwhodrivetheirherdstothehighcountry everyyearforsummergrazing.Thecabinison federalland.Theagencythatadministers thatlandfollowstheadviceofhistoricpreservation officialsbymakinganinventoryofpossiblehistoric resourcesunderitssupervision.Anhistoric resourcesprofessionalevaluatesthecabinto determineitseligibilityforlistingontheNational Register.Theagencyhistorianfindsthatitwould beeligible,exceptthatseveralelementsdefeatthe integrityoftheresourcebecausetheyareadditions madewithinthepastcoupleofdecades. Theyare

 

 

 

thusoutsidethe“periodofhistoricsignificance”of fiftyyearsormore,generallyneededtoqualifyfor listing   on                 the             National   Register.   In                  thishypotheticalcase,imaginethatonenon-conforming elementconsistsofrecently-installedcoppertubing laiddowntobringwaterfromaspringtoasink andsideboard.4   However,thestockmen,whouse thecabineverysummer,liketheirwatersystem anddonotseethepointofremovingit. Asaresult, an historic resource with “impeccable bones” is found ineligible for listing on the National Register. Since Drakes Bay Oyster, this ineligible but valuableresourcewouldreceivedifferenttreatment dependingwhetheritbein,forexample,theUinta MountainsofUtahandWyoming,ortheWarner

Mountains of Oregon and California.

TheTenthCircuitrejectsthejurisprudential linethatincludesDrakesBayOyster.Iftheagency administeringthelandwantedtoremovethecabin, itwouldneedaNEPAreviewthatwouldbringthe stockmeninonthedecision.NEPAreviewwould alsobring in the historic preservation community.

IntheNinthCircuit,DrakesBayOysterwould allowtheagencytoremovethecabinwithoutany warning.Onesummer,thestockmenwouldarrive attheirsummercamptofindthecabingone.Andthe historic preservation community would be confrontedwiththedestructionofyetanother irreplaceable historic resource.

 

 

 

4    Thishypotheticalisrealistic:Justsuchacoppertubingwater systemhadtoberemovedfromtheMonteWolfeCabinsitebeforetheForestServicehistoriancouldfindtheCabineligibleforlistingontheNationalRegister.

 

 

 

Alloftheineligiblehistoricresourceswithin NinthCircuitwildlandsareunderimminent threat.

 

2:EvenifthejurisprudentialsourceofDrakesBayOysterwerestillgoodlaw,itwouldonlybegoodintheNinthCircuit,where the threat is posed.

 

DrakesBayOysterreliesuponandenlargesthe holdingofthe1995NinthCircuitopinion,Douglas County, supra.Douglas County’sinnovationwasto holdthatNEPAreviewisnottriggeredbythe designationofendangeredspecieshabitatunder theEndangeredSpeciesActof1973(ESA).The rationalewasthatmeredesignationdoesnot physicallychangetheenvironment,andthe designatingagencycannotbeaskedtoundertake NEPAreview“inordertoleavenaturealone.” Douglas County, supra, 48 F.3d at 1505.

However,fromthebeginning,DouglasCounty hasbeencriticizedandexpresslyrejectedbyother Circuits.ThefirstandbestexamplewasCaltronCountyv.U.S.Fish&WildlifeService,75 F.3d 1429 (10thCir.1996), holdingthat they

disagreewiththe[NinthCircuit]panelthatno actualimpactflowsfromthecriticalhabitat designation….Therecordinthiscase suggeststhattheimpactwillbeimmediateand theconsequencescouldbedisastrous[by precluding proper flood control].

Ibid. at 1436.

We will see below how the Ninth Circuit has recentlybackedoffitspositionofnoNEPAreview

 

 

 

forcriticalhabitatdesignation,althoughwithout backingupfarenoughtooverturnDouglasCounty. However,thepertinentpointhereisthatDouglas CountyhasneverbeengoodlawintheTenthandotherCircuits,althoughitremainsvalidprecedentintheNinth.SinceDrakesBayOysterrelieson DouglasCounty,DrakesBayOystercannotbe considered good law outside the Ninth Circuit.

WithDrakesBayOysterthereisanintolerablesplit between the Circuits.

 

B:DrakesBayOyster’sNEPAholdingcreatesanintolerablesplitthatencouragesnon- acquiescencebyfederalagenciesintheir stewardship of historic resources.

 

DrakesBayOyster’sNEPAholdingputs administrativeagenciesinabind,especiallyforhistoricresourcesfoundineligibleforlistingonthe NationalRegister.Iftheresourceisfoundeligible forlisting,thenitisprimarilyundertheaegisof theNHPA,andNEPAbecomesofsubsidiaryimportance.Ifitisineligible,theNHPAbowsout of the NEPA process.

Assumethatatypicalfederalagencywith responsibilityformanagingfederalwildlands–the ForestService,theNationalParkService,andthe BureauofLandManagementcometomind– wantstopromulgateagencyprocedureswith respecttoman-madehistoricresources,suchaslogcabins,in wildlands it administers.

Generally,theNEPAprocessinvolvesfirst,an Environmental Assessment (EA) [see   40CFR1508.9, Amicus Monte Wolfe Foundation

 

 

 

Appendix,“MWF.APP.”below,p.12]leadingtothedecisioneithertoproduceafullEnvironmental ImpactStatement(EIS)[see§1508.11,MWF.APP.12]ortoissueaFindingofNoSignificantImpact(FONSI)[see§1508.13,MWF.APP.13].HoweversomeclassesofactionsneverevengetanEAbecausetheyarethesubject ofaCategoricalExclusion(CE)[see§1508.4,MWF.APP.11]

IntheNinthCircuit,theDrakesBayOyster holdingwouldimplyaCEforanyremovalof historicresourcesfromwildlands,thusnoEAor EIS.BeyondthereachofDrakesBayOyster,therewouldbenoCE,rathertherewouldbeanEAandeventuallyanEIS.However,thisdifference betweenthecircuitswouldhavenopractical consequenceforhistoricresourcesthathavenotyet beenevaluatedunderNHPA:AspartoftheNEPA reviewprocess,theNHPArequirestheagencyto identify   possible   historic   resources   (36CFR800.3(a),MWF.APP.3),arequirementthattrumpsanyCategoricalExclusionthatwouldotherwiseprecludeNEPAreview.36CFR800.8(b), MWF.APP.5.Thus,intheNinthCircuitaswellasintheothers,theunevaluatedresourcewouldbe undertheprotectionofNHPA,atleastuntil determinationofeligibilityforlistingonthe National Register.

DrakesBayOyster’sthreattoanhistoric resourcewouldbecomeactualonlyiftheresourceis foundineligibleforlistingontheNationalRegister, thus solely protected by NEPA.

NEPAdoesprovideforprotectionofhistoric resources independently of NHPA.     In the

 

 

 

definitionof“Significantly,”theCouncilon EnvironmentalQuality(CEQ)regulationsrequire consideration of adverse effects on resources

listedinoreligibleforlistingintheNational RegisterofHistoricPlacesor…lossor destruction of significant … historical resources. 40CFR1508.27(b)(8),MWF.APP.15.(Emphasis

Supplied.)

AndhistoricpreservationitselfisanexplicitstatutorygoalofNEPA.Itcallsforgovernmental action that will

attainthewidestrangeofbeneficialusesof theenvironmentwithoutdegradation…; preserveimportanthistoric,culturalandnaturalaspectsofournationalheritage,… [and]enhancethequalityofrenewable resources.

42U.S.C.§4331(b)(3),(4)&(6),P.APP.172-

  1. (Emphasis supplied.)

Under 40 CFR 1507.3(b)(2), MWF.APP.10-11,

thetypicalagencypromulgatesprocedures regardinggivenclassesofaction,forexample,here, anydecisiontoremoveineligiblehistoricresources from wildlands.

ForwildlandsoutsidetheNinthCircuit,the agencywilllooktothepotentialeffectsofthe action,where,forexample,theeffectsare “ecological…,aesthetic,historic,[or]cultural….”

40CFR 1508.8, MWF.APP.12.Theagency willthenbelikelytodeterminethat,giventhe complexityofeffects,aCategoricalExclusionwould beinappropriate,thatthereshouldbean EnvironmentalAssessmentthatwouldlikelyleadto a full Environmental Impact Statement.

 

 

 

However,forineligiblehistoricresourcesin wildlandswithintheNinthCircuit,theagencywill beboundbytheDrakesBayOysterholding:Iftheeffectis“restoringuntouchedphysical environment,”theagencyshoulddispensewiththe NEPAprocess.DrakesBayOyster,supra,729F.3d at984,P.APP.30-31.DrakesBayOysterimpliesthatthereshouldbeaCategoricalExclusion, precludinganyEAorEIS.NoNEPAoranyother processwouldbeneededtoremoveanineligible historicresourcefromwildlands.Thehistoric resource would face an imminent threat.

Thus,thetypicalfederalagencywouldfindit impossibletopromulgatethesameproceduresfor ineligiblehistoricresourcesonwildlandswithinthe NinthCircuitasforthosewithinotherCircuits. There is an intolerable split.

 

C:TheNinthCircuithasrecentlyminimized DouglasCounty’sapplicabilitytoESAhabitatdesignations,allthewhile upholding“thereasoning”ofDouglas County and Drakes Bay Oyster.

 

ItappearsthatonlyintheNinthCircuitandonlyinDrakesBayOysteristhereanactual holdingthatthe“restoration”ofa“naturalsetting,”involvingachangeinthephysicalenvironment, neednottriggerNEPAreview.DrakesBayOyster isaninnovativeexpansionofDouglasCounty,whichhadheldthatdesignationofcriticalhabitat undertheEndangeredSpeciesActdoesnottrigger NEPAreviewbecausedesignationdoesnoteffect anychangeinthephysicalenvironment. Douglas

 

 

 

County,supra,48F.3dat1505.Asseenabove, thatholdingcreatedasplit,notablywiththeTenth Circuit in Caltron County, supra, 75 F.3dat 1436.

Now,theNinthCircuitappearstohavebacked awayfromthesplit,awayfromtheDouglas CountypositionregardingtheinapplicabilityofNEPAto ESA habitat designations.

With    San      Luis      &     Delta-Mendota       Water

 

Authority v. Jewell ,

 

F.3d

 

(9th   Cir –

 

3/13/2014).[PACERref:NinthCircuitCase11- 15871;DktEntry:118-1;Pages1-173]5,aNinthCircuitpanelhasessentiallydistinguishedDouglas CountyintoirrelevancewheretheESAis concerned.ItappearstohavetacitlyacceptedmanyofthecriticismsofDouglasofferedinCaltron Countyandelsewhere,thusattenuatingthesplit betweenCircuits,atleastregardingNEPAreview ofESAhabitatdesignation.Ibid.at[PACERat146-150].

Demonstratingthemajority’smovementawayfromthesplit,thedissentinSanLuis&Delta- MendotawouldapplyDouglas County’snowlargelysupersededESArule.Ibid.at[PACERat167-168].

However,themajorityinSanLuis&Delta- MendotadoesnotcleanlyoverruleDouglasCounty: Itisnotsittingenbanc.Instead,themajorityaffirmsthevalidityofDouglasCounty’s“reasoning,”allthewhilevitiatingitsprincipalpracticalresult.Itisaskillfulholdingthatminimizesthelikelihoodofsuccessfulenbancor

 

5:PetitionsforrehearingenbanchavebeenfiledandthecourthasinvitedoppositiontobefiledbyJune16,2014.NEPAdoesnotappeartobeatissueinthepetitions.

 

 

 

certiorarichallenge,atleastongroundsrelatingto the ESA.

Butinanapparentneedtodemonstratethatit wasnotoverrulingDouglasCounty,thepaneldid offerasacrificiallamb,trussedforslaughter, throughareaffirmationofDrakesBayOyster.The SanLuis&Delta-Mendotamajoritydistinguishes themodestfamilyoysterfarmfromthemassive California Delta water project:

Whatevereffectsimplementingthe[studies oftheimpactoftheprojectonthe endangereddeltasmelt]mighthaveonthe humanenvironment,itisapparentthatthey aremorecomplexandwide-rangingthantheremovalofafewbuildingsinDrakesBay Oyster.

Ibid. at         [PACERat 149]

Dismissingtheimpactonthe“human environment”inDrakes Bay Oysteras“theremoval ofafewbuildings”maybemerelycavalier,orit maybecallousandcruel:Thefarmingfamilyloses itsbusiness,thefarmworkerslosetheirlivelihood, theregionlosesasustainablefoodsourcethatalso happenstobeajewelinthegastronomiccrownof thegreaterSanFranciscoBayArea,andour nationalheritagelosesapreciousresource,the historic“hangingcultch”oysterracksinDrakes Estero. See40CFR1508.14, MWF.APP.13.

AproperNEPAprocess,nottruncatedasitwas here,wouldhavehelpedtheunderlyingDrakes BayOystercourtformulateanopinionthataccurately reflectedtheenvironmentalconsequencesofthe proposedaction.Itcertainlywouldhavehelpedthe court flesh out real-world costs of what it

 

 

 

erroneouslypresentedinitsopinionastrivial.Asitwas,theonlyadverseeffectthattheunderlyingDrakesBayOysterpanelrecognizedwas“short- termharmssuchasnoiseassociatedwithheavy machineryneededtoremoveDrakesBay’s structures.”DrakesBayOyster,supra,729F.3dat 984,P.APP.31.TheDrakesBayOystermajoritydrasticallyunderstatedtheharminflictedbythe decision

 

D:DrakesBayOyster’sanomalousholdingisoddenoughtosuggesthavingbeen,in somesubtleway,aresultofconfutingtheNationalEnvironmentalPolicyActwith the Wilderness Act.

 

AfterSanLuis&Delta-Mendota,allthatisreallyleftoftheDouglasCounty/DrakesBay Oysterlineofcasesistheisolatedholdingthata decisionto“restore”pristinewildnessdoesnot triggerNEPAreview.ThedecisioninDrakesBay Oysterhasbecomeananomaly,adangerousanomaly.Itsoddityraisesthequestion,whereon earthcouldithavecomefrom?WhydidtheDrakes BayOystermajorityputforwardsuchaneccentric holding?

Theanswermaylieinthelargercontextofthe DrakesBayOystercase,ofthePointReyes NationalSeashore,andevenoftheenvironmental movement.

Thenubwouldbedivergentviewsabouthow theSeashoreshouldbemanaged,andespecially abouttheroleofsustainableagricultureinit. Environmental purists believe that the entire

 

 

 

Seashoreshouldbereturnedasfaraspossibleto theconditioninwhichSirFrancisDrakefounditin 1579.Othersrememberthattherewouldbeno NationalSeashoreiftheagriculturalistshad decidedinthe1960’stoselltheirlandto commercialrealestatedevelopersratherthanto the National Park Service.

Giventhattheunderlyingcaseisembeddedin thismatrix,itisimportanttounderstandhowthe oyster farm fits into the Seashore.

TheoysterfarmisentirelywithinthePoint ReyesNationalSeashore.TheSeashorehastwo principalzones,thepastoralzoneandthe wildernesszone.Thepastoralzoneisgenerallyin thewesternpartofthePointReyesPeninsulaand includesmanydairyfarms.Mostoftherestofthe Seashore,includingalltheestuarialwaters,is designated wilderness.

Theoysterfarmhastwodistinctparts,the onshorefacilities,entirelywithinthepastoralzone, andtheoysterbeds,entirelywithindesignated wilderness.Theoysterfarm’sonshorefacilitiesare analogoustothebarns,outbuildingsand habitationsinthedairyfarms.Theoysterbedsare the equivalent to the dairy farm pastures

Theoysterbedsarebasicallyoftwotypes: Firstareoysterbedsthatsimplyrestonthe bottom,oftencoveredwithalayerofoystershells, andsecondaretheoysterbedsthatuseoyster rackstosuspendtheoystersabovethebottom. Thesearethehistoricallyinvaluable“hanging cultch” oyster racks.

TheNationalParkServicecontractedastudy of the oyster farm as an historic resource, the

 

 

 

NationalParkServiceNationalRegisterofHistoric PlacesRegistrationForm,March21,2011,by CaywoodandHagen,CRCS,Missoula,Montana; (“National Registerstudy”).6 TheNationalRegisterstudypresentstheoysterracksasthecentral element of the overall site’s historical significance:

[T]hesiteissignificantforitsassociation withtheintroductionofJapaneseoff-bottom growingmethods,specificallythehanging cultchmethod.Intheearly1960s,Johnson OysterCompanysuccessfullyadaptedthis methodtoconditionsintheestero,andindoingso,becameoneofthelargest commercial oyster producers in the state….

Whenconsideringonlyhistoricalsignif- icance,JohnsonOysterCompanyfacility wouldbeeligibleforlistingunderNational RegisterCriterionA….Theareaof significancewouldbeMaritimeHistory….. [T]heracksintheesteroareintheiroriginal locations,andtheproperty’ssetting—the pastorallandscapesurroundingthebay— hasbeenlittlealteredsincetheearly1930s. (Ibid., p.12)

TheNationalRegisterstudyconcludedthat thesiteasawholewasnoteligibleforlisting,but thereasonsforthenegativedeterminationdidnot involvetheoysterracks. (Ibid.,pp.12-13.) The

 

6:<http://www.nps.gov/pore/parkmgmt/upload/planning_dboc_sup_background_nrhp_doe_with-shpo_letter_110804.pdf>

AmicusmodelsitsreferencetoaNationalParkServiceURLonthisCourt’sreferencetoaForestServiceURLinSummersv.EarthIslandInst., 555 U.S. 488,495(2009). Counselfor Amicushasafilecopyofthedocumentin“pdf”format,downloadedonMay10,2014.

 

 

 

reasonshadtodowithchangesthathadbeenmade totheOnshoreFacilitiesoverrecentdecades, includingthosemadeinresponsetoupdatedpublic healthregulations.(Ibid.)Itmaybethatsomeof thereasonsderivefromasensethatthe architecture,constructionandupkeepofthis working oyster farm are a bit too vernacular.

However,thepertinentpointisthattheoyster rackswouldbeeligibleiftakenalone:An“historic property”includes“anyhistoric…structure… eligibleforinclusionintheNationalRegister.”36 CFR800.16(l)(1),MWF.APP.6.Theoysterracksareeligibleandshouldhavebeenprotectedunderthe NHPA.Iftheyhadbeen,theprocessforremoving theoysterfarmwouldhavehadtogothroughthe ACHP,whichwouldnothaveletgoofsucha precioushistoricresourceaseasilyastheSecretary of the Interior did.

Ultimately,thedecisionbytheSecretaryofthe Interiortoclosetheoysterfarmwasshapedbyhis misunderstandingoftheWildernessActof1964,mistakenlybelievingittobeonlyconsistentwith pristine wildness.7

TheDrakesBayOystermajority’ssupportfor theSecretary’spositiononpristinewildnessmay

 

7  :FocusingnarrowlyonthePointReyesWildernessActof1976,neitherdissentnormajorityevokedlong-standingNinthCircuitjurisprudencethatconstruestheover-archingWildernessActof1964assupportingapragmaticratherthanpuristunderstandingof“wilderness,”onethatimpliesanuancedlegalframework wherethe idealofpristine wildnesscancoexistwithawiderrangeofuseandpurpose.See,forexample,WildernessWatchv.U.S.FishandWildlifeService,629F.3d1024,1033(9thCir.2010)andHighSierraHikersv.

Blackwell,390F.3d630,646-648(9thCir.2004)

 

 

 

well have shaped its holding that NEPA review was notneeded“[b]ecauseremovingtheoysterfarmisa steptowardrestoringthenatural,untouched physicalenvironment.”Ibid.at984,P.APP.31(quotation marks omitted).

ButNEPAdoesnotcallfortherestorationof someidealofpristinewildness.Rather,NEPA recognizes

thecriticalimportanceofrestoringand maintainingenvironmentalqualitytothe overall welfare and development of man,

(42U.S.C.§4331(a)[P.APP.171])

and to that end seeks

tocreateandmaintainconditionsunder whichmanandnaturecanexistin productiveharmony,andfulfillthesocial, economicandotherrequirementsofpresent and future generations of Americans. (Ibid.)

Morespecifically,NEPAcallsforgovernmental action that will

attainthewidestrangeofbeneficialusesof theenvironmentwithoutdegradation…; preserveimportanthistoric,culturalandnaturalaspectsofournationalheritage,… [and]enhancethequalityofrenewable resources.

42U.S.C.§4331(b)(3),(4)&(6)[P.APP.172-

173](Emphasis supplied.)

 

Historicpreservationisanexplicitstatutorygoalof NEPA.“Restoration”ofpristinewildness,assuch,is not.

 

 

 

DrakesBayOyster’smisapplicationofNEPA isnotmerelyerroneous;itisanerrorthatcreates anintolerablesplitbetweenCircuitsandposesanimminentthreattohistoricresourcesinfederally administered wildlands.

 

CONCLUSION

 

ThePetitionforWritofCertiorarishouldbe granted.

 

 

DATED: May 15, 2014

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

JAMES TALCOTT LINFORD

Attorney for Amicus Curiae The Monte Wolfe Foundation

 

 

 

AMICUS MONTE WOLFE FOUNDATION APPENDIX

[“MWF.APP.”]

 

INDEX

 

 

Excerpts from National Historic Preservation Act of 1966(NHPA)

 

Sec. 106: Advisory Council on

 

 

page

 

Historic Preservation (ACHP)             2

Sec.211:Regulations for Sec. 106                        2

Excerpts from “Protection of Historic Properties” regulations implementing Sec. 106,

36 CFR Part 800

page

§ 800.3Initiation of the section 106 process        3

§ 800.16: Definitions                                           6

APPENDIXATOPART800                                     7

ExcerptsfromCouncilonEnvironmentalQuality (CEQ) regulations:40 CFR 1500-1508

page

§ 1507.3Agency procedures                                 9

§ 1508.4“Categorical Exclusion”(CE)                11

§ 1508.8“Effects”                                               11

§ 1508.9“Environmental assessment” (EA)        12

§ 1508.11“Env’l impact statement” (EIS)          12

§ 1508.13“Finding of no significant impact”      13

 

§ 1508.14“Human environment”                         13

§ 1508.27“Significantly”                                      13

 

 

Excerpts from

National Historic Preservation Act of 1966

 

Section106[16U.S.C.470f—AdvisoryCouncil onHistoricPreservation,commentonFederal undertakings]

TheheadofanyFederalagencyhavingdirector indirectjurisdictionoveraproposedFederalor federallyassistedundertakinginanyStateand theheadofanyFederaldepartmentor independentagencyhavingauthoritytolicense anyundertakingshall,priortotheapprovalof theexpenditureofanyFederalfundsonthe undertakingorpriortotheissuanceofany license,asthecasemaybe,takeintoaccountthe effectoftheundertakingonanydistrict,site, building,structure,orobjectthatisincludedin oreligibleforinclusionintheNationalRegister. TheheadofanysuchFederalagencyshallafford theAdvisoryCouncilonHistoricPreservation establishedunderTitleIIofthisActa reasonableopportunitytocommentwithregard to such undertaking.

 

Section211[16U.S.C.470s—Regulationsfor Section 106 . . ..]

TheCouncilisauthorizedtopromulgatesuch rulesandregulationsasitdeemsnecessaryto governtheimplementationofsection106ofthis Act in its entirety . . ..

 

 

 

Excerpts from “Protection of Historic Properties”

regulations implementing Section 106 36 CFR Part 800

 

§ 800.3 Initiation of the section 106 process.

(a)   Establishundertaking. Theagencyofficialshall determinewhethertheproposedFederalactionis anundertakingasdefinedin§800.16(y)and,ifso, whetheritisatypeofactivitythathasthe potential to cause effects on historic properties.

(1)  Nopotentialtocauseeffects. Iftheundertaking isatypeofactivitythatdoesnothavethepotential tocauseeffectsonhistoricproperties,assuming suchhistoricpropertieswerepresent,theagency officialhasnofurtherobligationsundersection106 or this part.

*        *        *        *        *        *

 

800.4 Identification of historic properties

*        *        *        *        *        *

(c)  Evaluate historic significance—

(1)  ApplyNationalRegistercriteria. Inconsultation withtheSHPO/THPOandanyIndiantribeor NativeHawaiianorganizationthatattaches religiousandculturalsignificancetoidentified propertiesandguidedbytheSecretary’sstandards andguidelinesforevaluation,theagencyofficial shallapplytheNationalRegistercriteria(36CFR part63)topropertiesidentifiedwithintheareaof potentialeffectsthathavenotbeenpreviously evaluated for National Register eligibility. The

 

 

 

passageoftime,changingperceptionsof significance,orincompletepriorevaluationsmay requiretheagencyofficialtoreevaluateproperties previouslydeterminedeligibleorineligible.The agencyofficialshallacknowledgethatIndiantribes andNativeHawaiianorganizationspossessspecialexpertiseinassessingtheeligibilityofhistoric propertiesthatmaypossessreligiousandcultural significance to them.

(2)  Determinewhetherapropertyiseligible. Ifthe agencyofficialdeterminesanyoftheNational RegistercriteriaaremetandtheSHPO/THPO agrees,thepropertyshallbeconsideredeligiblefor theNationalRegisterforsection106purposes.If theagencyofficialdeterminesthecriteriaarenot metandtheSHPO/THPOagrees,theproperty shallbeconsiderednoteligible.IftheagencyofficialandtheSHPO/THPOdonotagree,orifthe CouncilortheSecretarysorequest,theagency officialshallobtainadeterminationofeligibility fromtheSecretarypursuantto36CFRpart63.If anIndiantribeorNativeHawaiianorganizationthatattachesreligiousandculturalsignificanceto apropertyofftriballandsdoesnotagree,itmay asktheCounciltorequesttheagencyofficialto obtain a determination of eligibility.

(d)    Results of identificationand evaluation—

(1)   Nohistoricpropertiesaffected. Iftheagencyofficialfindsthateithertherearenohistoric propertiespresentortherearehistoricproperties presentbuttheundertakingwillhavenoeffect upon them as defined in §800.16(i), the agency

 

 

 

officialshallprovidedocumentationofthisfinding, assetforthin§800.11(d),totheSHPO/THPO.Theagencyofficialshallnotifyallconsultingparties, includingIndiantribesandNativeHawaiian organizations,andmakethedocumentation availableforpublicinspectionpriortoapproving the undertaking.

*        *        *        *        *        *

§ 800.8 Coordination With NEPA.

*        *        *        *        *        *

3)  Inclusionofhistoricpreservationissues. Agency officialsshouldensurethatpreparationofan environmentalassessment(EA)andfindingofno significantimpact(FONSI)oranEISandrecordof decision(ROD)includesappropriatescoping, identificationofhistoricproperties,assessmentof effectsuponthem,andconsultationleadingto resolution of any adverse effects.

(b)Actionscategoricallyexcludedunder NEPA. Ifaproject,activityorprogramiscategoricallyexcludedfromNEPAreviewunderan agency’sNEPAprocedures,theagencyofficialshall determineifitstillqualifiesasanundertaking requiringreviewundersection106pursuantto§ 800.3(a).Ifso,theagencyofficialshallproceedwith section106reviewinaccordancewiththe procedures in this subpart.

*        *        *        *        *        *

 

 

 

§ 800.16 Definitions.

*        *        *        *        *        *

(g) CouncilmeanstheAdvisoryCouncilon HistoricPreservationoraCouncilmemberor employee designated to act for the Council.

*        *        *        *        *        *

(i) Effectmeansalterationtothecharacteristicsof ahistoricpropertyqualifyingitforinclusioninor eligibility for the National Register.

(j)   Foreclosuremeansanactiontakenbyanagency officialthateffectivelyprecludestheCouncilfrom providingcommentswhichtheagencyofficialcan meaningfullyconsiderpriortotheapprovalofthe undertaking.

*        *        *        *        *        *

(l)(1)Historicpropertymeansanyprehistoricor historicdistrict,site,building,structure,orobject includedin,oreligibleforinclusionin,theNational RegisterofHistoricPlacesmaintainedbythe SecretaryoftheInterior.Thistermincludes artifacts,records,andremainsthatarerelatedto andlocatedwithinsuchproperties.Theterm includespropertiesoftraditionalreligiousand culturalimportancetoanIndiantribeorNative HawaiianorganizationandthatmeettheNational Register criteria.

(2)   ThetermeligibleforinclusionintheNational Registerincludesbothpropertiesformally determinedassuchinaccordancewithregulations oftheSecretaryoftheInteriorandallother properties that meet the National Register criteria.

*        *        *        *        *        *

 

 

 

(q)   NationalRegistermeanstheNationalRegister ofHistoricPlacesmaintainedbytheSecretaryof the Interior.

(r)   NationalRegistercriteriameansthecriteria establishedbytheSecretaryoftheInteriorforuse inevaluatingtheeligibilityofpropertiesforthe National Register (36 CFR part 60).

*        *        *        *        *        *

(y) Undertakingmeansaproject,activity,or programfundedinwholeorinpartunderthe directorindirectjurisdictionofaFederalagency, including those carried out by or on behalf of a Federalagency;thosecarriedoutwithFederal financialassistance;andthoserequiringaFederal permit, license or approval.

 

APPENDIXATOPART800—CRITERIAFORCOUNCILINVOLVEMENTINREVIEWINGINDIVIDUALSECTION106CASES

(a)  Introduction.Thisappendixsetsforththe criteriathatwillbeusedbytheCouncilto determinewhethertoenteranindividualsection 106reviewthatitnormallywouldnotbeinvolved in.

(b)  Generalpolicy.TheCouncilmaychooseto exerciseitsauthoritiesunderthesection106 regulationstoparticipateinanindividualproject pursuanttothefollowingcriteria.However,the Councilwillnotalwayselecttoparticipateeven though one or more of the criteria may be met.

 

 

 

(c)  Specificcriteria.TheCouncilislikelytoenter thesection106processatthestepsspecifiedinthe regulations in this part when an undertaking:

(1)  Hassubstantialimpactsonimportanthistoric properties.Thismayincludeadverseeffectson propertiesthatpossessanationallevelof significanceoronpropertiesthatareofunusualor noteworthyimportanceorareararepropertytype; oradverseeffectstolargenumbersofhistoric properties,suchasimpactstomultipleproperties within a historic district.

(2)  Presentsimportantquestionsofpolicyor interpretation.Thismayincludequestionsabout howtheCouncil’sregulationsarebeingappliedor interpreted,includingpossibleforeclosureor anticipatory demolition situations; situations where theoutcomewillsetaprecedentaffectingCouncil policiesorprogramgoals;orthedevelopmentof programmaticagreementsthatalterthewaythe section106processisappliedtoagrouportypeof undertakings.

(3)  Hasthepotentialforpresentingprocedural problems.Thismayincludecaseswithsubstantial publiccontroversythatisrelatedtohistoric preservationissues;withdisputesamongorabout consultingpartieswhichtheCouncil’sinvolvement couldhelpresolve;thatareinvolvedorlikelytobe involvedinlitigationonthebasisofsection106;or carriedoutbyaFederalagency,inaStateor locality,orontriballandswheretheCouncilhas previouslyidentifiedproblemswithsection106 compliance pursuant to §800.9(d)(2).

 

 

 

(4)  PresentsissuesofconcerntoIndiantribesor NativeHawaiianorganizations.Thismayinclude caseswheretherehavebeenconcernsraisedabout theidentificationof,evaluationoforassessmentof effectsonhistoricpropertiestowhichanIndian tribeorNativeHawaiianorganizationattaches religiousandculturalsignificance;whereanIndian tribeorNativeHawaiianorganizationhas requestedCouncilinvolvementtoassistinthe resolutionofadverseeffects;orwherethereare questionsrelatingtopolicy,interpretationor precedentundersection106oritsrelationtoother authorities,suchastheNativeAmericanGraves Protection and Repatriation Act.

 

Excerpts from

Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations: 40 CFR 1500-1508

 

§ 1507.3 Agency procedures.

(a)  Notlaterthaneightmonthsafterpublication oftheseregulationsasfinallyadoptedinthe FederalRegister,orfivemonthsafterthe establishmentofanagency,whichevershall comelater,eachagencyshallasnecessaryadopt procedurestosupplementtheseregulations. Whentheagencyisadepartment,major subunitsareencouraged(withtheconsentofthe department)toadopttheirownprocedures.Such proceduresshallnotparaphrasethese regulations.Theyshallconfinethemselvesto implementingprocedures.Eachagencyshall consult with the Council while developing its

 

 

 

proceduresandbeforepublishingtheminthe FederalRegisterforcomment.Agencieswith similarprogramsshouldconsultwitheachother andtheCounciltocoordinatetheirprocedures, especiallyforprogramsrequestingsimilar informationfromapplicants.Theprocedures shallbeadoptedonlyafteranopportunityfor publicreviewandafterreviewbytheCouncilfor conformitywiththeActandtheseregulations. TheCouncilshallcompleteitsreviewwithin30 days.Onceineffecttheyshallbefiledwiththe Councilandmadereadilyavailabletothepublic. Agenciesareencouragedtopublishexplanatory guidancefortheseregulationsandtheirown procedures.Agenciesshallcontinuetoreview theirpoliciesandproceduresandinconsultation withtheCounciltorevisethemasnecessaryto ensurefullcompliancewiththepurposesand provisions of the Act.

(b)    Agencyproceduresshallcomplywiththese regulationsexceptwherecompliancewouldbe inconsistentwithstatutoryrequirementsand shall include:

  1. ThoseproceduresrequiredbySecs. 1501.2(d),1502.9(c)(3),1505.1,1506.6(e), and 1508.4.
  2. Specificcriteriaforandidentificationof those typical classes of action:

(i)     Whichnormallydorequireenviron- mental impact statements.

(ii)  Whichnormallydonotrequireeitheran environmentalimpactstatementoran environmentalassessment(categorical exclusions (Sec. 1508.4)).

 

 

 

(iii)   Whichnormallyrequireenvironmental assessmentsbutnotnecessarily environmental impact statements.

*        *        *        *        *        *

§ 1508.4 Categorical exclusion.

Categoricalexclusionmeansacategoryofactions whichdonotindividuallyorcumulativelyhavea significanteffectonthehumanenvironmentand whichhavebeenfoundtohavenosucheffectin proceduresadoptedbyaFederalagencyin implementationoftheseregulations(§1507.3)andforwhich,therefore,neitheran environmentalassessmentnoranenvironmental impactstatementisrequired.Anagencymay decideinitsproceduresorotherwise,toprepare environmentalassessmentsforthereasons statedin§1508.9eventhoughitisnotrequired todoso.Anyproceduresunderthissectionshall provideforextraordinarycircumstancesinwhich anormallyexcludedactionmayhavea significant environmental effect.

 

§ 1508.8 Effects. Effectsinclude:

(a)  Directeffects,whicharecausedbytheaction and occur at the same time and place.

(b)  Indirecteffects,whicharecausedbythe actionandarelaterintimeorfartherremoved indistance,butarestillreasonablyforeseeable. Indirecteffectsmayincludegrowthinducing effectsandothereffectsrelatedtoinduced changesinthepatternoflanduse,population densityorgrowthrate,andrelatedeffectsonair andwaterandothernaturalsystems,including ecosystems.

 

 

 

Effectsandimpactsasusedintheseregulations aresynonymous.Effectsincludesecological(such astheeffectsonnaturalresourcesandonthe components,structures,andfunctioningofaffected ecosystems),aesthetic,historic,cultural,economic, social,orhealth,whetherdirect,indirect,or cumulative.Effectsmayalsoinclude those resultingfromactionswhichmayhaveboth beneficialanddetrimentaleffects,evenifon balancetheagencybelievesthattheeffectwillbe beneficial.

 

§ 1508.9 Environmental assessment.

Environmental assessment:

(a)   Meansaconcisepublicdocumentforwhicha Federal agency is responsible that serves to:

(1)   Brieflyprovidesufficientevidenceandanalysis fordeterminingwhethertopreparean environmentalimpactstatementorafindingofno significant impact.

(2)   Aidanagency’scompliancewiththeActwhen no environmental impact statement is necessary.

(3)   Facilitatepreparationofastatementwhenone is necessary.

(b)   Shallincludebriefdiscussionsoftheneedfor theproposal,ofalternativesasrequiredbysection 102(2)(E),oftheenvironmentalimpactsofthe proposedactionandalternatives,andalistingof agencies and persons consulted.

 

§ 1508.11 Environmental impact statement. Environmentalimpactstatementmeansadetailed written statement as required by §102(2)(C) of Act.

 

 

 

 

§ 1508.13 Finding of no significant impact.

Findingofnosignificantimpactmeansadocument byaFederalagencybrieflypresentingthe reasonswhyanaction,nototherwiseexcluded (§1508.4),willnothaveasignificanteffectonthehumanenvironmentandforwhichan environmental impact statement therefore will notbeprepared.Itshallincludethe environmentalassessmentorasummaryofit andshallnoteanyotherenvironmental documentsrelatedtoit(§1501.7(a)(5)).Iftheassessmentisincluded,thefindingneednot repeatanyofthediscussionintheassessment but may incorporate it by reference.

 

§ 1508.14 Human environment.

Humanenvironmentshall be interpreted compre- hensivelytoincludethenaturalandphysical environmentandtherelationshipofpeoplewith thatenvironment.(Seethedefinitionof“effects” (§1508.8).)Thismeansthateconomicorsocialeffectsarenotintendedbythemselvestorequire preparationofanenvironmentalimpactstatement.Whenanenvironmentalimpact statement is prepared and economic or social and naturalorphysicalenvironmentaleffectsare interrelated,thentheenvironmentalimpact statementwilldiscussalloftheseeffectsonthe human environment.

 

§ 1508.27 Significantly.

SignificantlyasusedinNEPArequiresconsider- ations of both context and intensity:

 

 

 

(a)   Context. Thismeansthatthesignificanceof anactionmustbeanalyzedinseveralcontexts suchassocietyasawhole(human,national),the affectedregion,theaffectedinterests,andthe locality.Significancevarieswiththesettingof the proposed action. For instance, in the case of a site-specificaction,significancewouldusually dependupontheeffectsinthelocaleratherthan intheworldasawhole.Bothshort-andlong-term effects are relevant.

(b)   Intensity. Thisreferstotheseverityofimpact.Responsibleofficialsmustbearinmind thatmorethanoneagencymaymakedecisions aboutpartialaspectsofamajoraction.The followingshouldbeconsideredinevaluating intensity:

(1)   Impactsthatmaybebothbeneficialand adverse.Asignificanteffectmayexistevenif theFederalagencybelievesthatonbalancethe effect will be beneficial.

(2)   Thedegreetowhichtheproposedaction affects public health or safety.

(3)   Uniquecharacteristicsofthegeographic areasuchasproximitytohistoricorcultural resources,parklands,primefarmlands, wetlands,wildandscenicrivers,orecologically critical areas.

(4)   Thedegreetowhichtheeffectsonthe qualityofthehumanenvironmentarelikelyto be highly controversial.

 

 

 

(5)   Thedegreetowhichthepossibleeffectson thehumanenvironmentarehighlyuncertain or involve unique or unknown risks.

(6)   Thedegreetowhichtheactionmayestablishaprecedentforfutureactionswith significanteffectsorrepresentsadecisionin principle about a future consideration.

(7)   Whethertheactionisrelatedtoother actionswithindividuallyinsignificantbut cumulativelysignificantimpacts.Significance existsifitisreasonabletoanticipatea cumulativelysignificantimpactonthe environment.Significancecannotbeavoidedby terminganactiontemporaryorbybreakingit down into small component parts.

(8)   Thedegreetowhichtheactionmay adverselyaffectdistricts,sites,highways, structures,orobjectslistedinoreligiblefor listingintheNationalRegisterofHistoric Placesormaycauselossordestructionof significantscientific,cultural,orhistorical resources.

(9)   Thedegreetowhichtheactionmay adverselyaffectanendangeredorthreatened speciesoritshabitatthathasbeendetermined tobecriticalundertheEndangeredSpeciesAct of 1973.

(10)    Whethertheactionthreatensaviolationof Federal,State,orlocallaworrequirements imposed for the protection of the environment.

05-19-2014 Goodman Houser AMICI CURIAE Brief

(Unfortunately, Adobe PDF file converter has a tendency to run words together

so I am providing access both through the link below as well as by scrolling down to read the ‘converted file.)

05-19-2014 Goodman Houser DBOC brief

No. 13-1244

————————————————————————

In the Supreme Court of theUnited States

——————

DRAKES BAY OYSTER COMPANY AND KEVIN LUNNY,

Petitioners,

SALLY JEWELL, SECRETARY OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR; ETAL.,

——————

On Petition For WritOf Certiorari To The UnitedStates Court Of Appeals For The Ninth Circuit

——————

BRIEF OF DR. COREY S. GOODMAN AND DR.PAUL R.HOUSER

AS AMICI CURIAE

SUPPORTING PETITIONERS AND REVERSAL

 

PETERS.PROWS

Counsel of Record JOHN BRISCOE LAWRENCE S.BAZEL BRISCOE IVESTER &

BAZEL LLP

155 Sansome Street

Seventh Floor

San Francisco, CA 94104(415) 402-2700

pprows@briscoelaw.net

CounselFor Amici Curiae

 

 

TABLE OFCONTENTS

INTEREST OF AMICI CURIAE…………………………. 1

SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT:SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY IS

CENTRAL TO OUR DEMOCRACY…………… 6

ARGUMENT………………………………………………….. 8

  1. SCIENTIFIC MISCONDUCT UNDERMINES OUR DEMOCRACY:

THREE EXAMPLES……………………………….. 8

  1. Drakes Bay Oyster Company………….. 8
  2. KlamathRiver DamsRemoval……….. 13
  3. Department of Justice………………….. 16
  1. THERE ISA LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY FOR SCIENTIFIC

MISCONDUCT IN GOVERNMENT………… 17

  1. Need For Scientific Integrity

Policy BecomesApparent………………. 17

  1. The Rocky Development And Implementation Of The President’s Scientific Integrity

Policy…………………………………………. 19

  1. COURTS HAVE AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN ENSURING SCIENTIFIC

INTEGRITY IN GOVERNMENT…………….. 22

CONCLUSION……………………………………………… 26

 

Cases

 

TABLE OF AUTHORITIES

 

Daubertv.Merrell Dow Pharms.,

509 U.S. 579 (1993)……………………………….7, 22, 23

General Electric,Inc.v. Joiner,

522 U.S. 136 (1997)……………………………………. 25

San Luis & Delta-MendotaWater Auth. v.

Salazar,

(E.D. Cal. no. 1:09-cv-00407)………………………23,24

United States v. Olsen,

737 F.3d 625 (9th Cir.2013)…………………16, 17, 21

Statutes and Other Authorities

33 U.S.C.§1251(a)(2)………………………………………. 9

Fed. R. Evid. R. 702……………………………………….. 22

P.L. 106-554 § 515, 114 Stat. 2763A-153-154

(December 21,2000)…………………………………… 20

Delta Smelt Cases,Bench Rulingon Motion toStay Pending Appeal (Sept. 16, 2011), dkt. no.1056, availableat http://plf.typepad.com/

files/9-16-11-motion-to-stay-final-1.pdf………………… 23

Department of Justice, Scientific and ResearchIntegrityPolicy, at 1,available athttp://www.justice.gov/open/doj-scientific-

integrity-policy.pdf…………………………………….. 21

Department of theInterior, Integrity ofScientific and Scholarly Activities (January28, 2011),available at http://elips.doi.gov/

elips/0/ doc/3045/Page1.aspx………………………… 10

 

 

Emily Yehle, “Rushed USGSReport OnOysterFarm Misrepresented Biologist’sFindings”,Greenwire(May 14, 2013), availableathttp://www.eenews.net/greenwire/

stories/1059981143……………………………………… 20

“In Private Letter, Tim Ragen Admits NoEvidenceFor Seal Study”,Point Reyes Light(August 9, 2012), available at http://www.ptreyeslight.com/article/private-letter-tim-

ragen-admits-no-evidence-seal-study…………….. 13

John Bowman,“Secretary Of InteriorAnnouncesResignation”, Taft MidwayDriller(Jan. 17, 2013), availableat http://www.taftmidwaydriller.com/article/20130117/NEW

S/130119808/0/FRONTPAGE……………………….. 14

John P. Holdren, Director, Officeof Science andTechnology Policy,Memorandum on Scientific Integrity, (December 17, 2010),available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/scientific-

integrity-memo-12172010.pdf………………………. 19

Letter from Dr. Paul Houser, Scientific IntegrityOfficer, Bureauof Reclamation, to theDepartment of theInterior, Allegation OfScientific And Scholarly Misconduct AndReprisal For A Disclosure ConcerningTheBiased Summarization Of Key ScientificConclusionsFor The Klamath River DamRemoval Secretarial Determination Process(February 24, 2012), available athttp://www.peer.org/assets/docs/doi/8_8_12_H

ouser_sci_integ_complaint.pdf…………………. 14-15

 

 

Letter from JonathanB. Jarvis,Director,National Park Service, to Amber D. Abbasi,counsel for Dr. Goodman(Dec. 21, 2012),available athttp://causeofaction.org/assets/uploads/2013/03/FINAL-Report_Exhibits.pdf

at Exhibit 51 (page 1003)…………………………….. 20

Marine Mammal Commission,Mariculture AndHarbor Seals In Drakes Estero,California at

27 (November 22, 2011)………………………………. 12

National Academy of Sciences, ResponsibleScience: Ensuringthe Integrityof theResearchProcess at 27 (1992),availableat

http://nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=1864.…………. 18

National ResearchCouncil, EndangeredAndThreatenedFishes In The Klamath RiverBasin: Causes Of Decline And Strategies ForRecovery at 5-6 (2004), availableat http://

www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10838…………. 13

Presidential Memorandum on Scientific Integrity (March 9, 2009), availableat http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/memorandum-heads-executive-departments-

and-agencies-3-9-09……………………………………. 19

RemarksBy The President At The NationalAcademy Of Sciences Annual Meeting(April28, 2009),available at http://www.whitehouse. gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-at-the-National-Academy-of-

Sciences-Annual-Meeting………………………………. 6

 

 

RESOLVE,IndependentEvaluationOf TheScientific Record Pertaining To TheAllegations Of Dr. Paul Houser(August 2012)available at http://www.doi.gov/scientificintegrity/upload/DOI-SI-Case-313-

Independent-Report.pdf………………………………. 15

U.S. House of Representatives,Committee onNatural Resources,Officeof Oversight andInvestigations:Holding InteriorWatchdogAccountable, 59-66 (February 21, 2013),available at http://naturalresources.house.gov/uploadedfiles/oversightreportdepartment

ofinterior.pdf…………………………………………….. 15

William Broad and NicholasWade, Betrayers OfThe Truth: Fraud And Deceit In The Halls Of

Science(1982)……………………………………………. 18

 

 

INTERESTOFAMICICURIAE1

  1. CoreyS.Goodman
  2. CoreyS.Goodman’sinterestinthiscasedatesbacktoApril28,2007whenMarinCountySupervisor Steve Kinsey (then President of the BoardofSupervisors,andtodayChairoftheCalifornia CoastalCommission)contactedDr.Goodman,baseduponhisscientificcredentialsandexperienceinscienceandpublicpolicy,andaskedhimtoanalyzetheNationalParkServicescienceconcerningDrakesEstero.SupervisorKinseyinvitedDr.GoodmantotestifyasanindependentscientistattheMay 8,2007CountyhearingastowhetherPark ServicedatasupportedParkServiceclaims.Atthetime,Dr.GoodmandidnotknowKevinLunny,ownerofDrakesBayOysterCompany.Dr.GoodmantestifiedthatParkServiceofficialsmisrepresentedtheirown dataineverycategoryofenvironmentalharm.HisanalysisshowedParkServicedatadidnotsupportPark Serviceclaims.
  3. Goodman’sknowledgeofthescience involvingtheoysterfarmledhimtowritenumerousreportstoFederal,State,andCountyagenciesandcommittees,toworkwithelectedofficialsatalllevelsofgovernment,andtopublishnumerousarticles/op-edsinlocalmediaabouttheoysterfarmcontroversy

 

 

 

1    Counselforpetitionersis alsocounselforamiciDr.GoodmanandDr.Houser,and,withtheassistanceofamici,preparedthisbriefinitsentirely.Allhardcostsarebeingpaidbyamici,andcounsel’stimehasbeengivenprobono.Amicigavetimelynoticetoallpartiesoftheirintenttofilethisbrief.Allpartiesgavetheirconsenttothisfiling,andthoseconsentsarebeingsubmittedwiththisbrief.

 

 

withafocusonthemisrepresentationofsciencebyNPSandtheirsupporters,andthelackofevidenceshowingenvironmentalharmbytheoysterfarm.Dr.Goodmanalsofiledanamicusbriefinsupportoftheoysterfarm’spetitionforrehearingenbancwiththeNinthCircuitCourtofAppeals.Hisfocushascontinuedtobeontheimportanceofscientificintegrity in guiding policy decisions.

  1. GoodmanwasProfessorofBiologyatStanfordUniversityandEvanRauchChairofNeurobiologyatUniversityofCaliforniaBerkeleyfortwenty-fiveyearsbeforeretiringandmovingintotheprivatesectorwhereheisManagingPartnerofvenBioPartnersLLC,alifesciencesventurecapitalfirm.Dr.GoodmanremainsAdjunctProfessorof AnatomyandBiochemistry&BiophysicsattheUniversityofCaliforniaSanFrancisco.Hehaspublishedover200peer-reviewedscientificpapers.HeisanelectedmemberoftheNationalAcademyofSciences,AmericanAcademyofArtsandSciences,andAmericanPhilosophicalSociety,andrecipientofmany honorsincludingtheAlanT.WatermanAward,CanadaGairdnerBiomedicalAward,March-of-DimesPrizeinDevelopmentalBiology,Reeve-IrvineResearchMedal,andDawsonPrizein Genetics.

Sinceretiringfromhisacademiccareer,Dr.Goodmanhasworkedintheprivatesector,firstasPresidentandCEOofabiotechnologycompanyheco-founded,tookpublic,and thensoldtoalargercompany,thenasPresidentofPfizer’sBiotherapeuticsandBioinnovationCenterandamemberofPfizer’sexecutiveleadershipteam,and todayasmanagingpartnerofaventurecapitalfirmheco-foundedandChairofsixbiotechnologycompanies. Inthesecapacities, hehasoverseentech-

 

 

nologyinnovationsfornewtherapeuticapproachestohumandisease,anddrugdiscoveryanddevelopmentprogramsindiverseareasincludingneurologicaldisease,pain,cancer,metabolicdisease,immunedisease, and cardio-vascular disease.

Amongsthispublicpolicyroles,Dr.GoodmanistodayChairoftheCaliforniaCouncilonScienceandTechnology(advisingtheGovernorandStateLegislature)andisformerChairoftheNationalResearchCouncil’sBoardonLifeSciences(advisingtheFederalGovernment).Inthesecapacities,hehas overseenarangeofstudiesandreportstotheFederalandCaliforniaGovernmentontopicsincludingstemcells,humancloning,waterborne pathogens,thenation’senvironmentalchallenges,reorganizationoftheNationalInstitutesofHealth,hydraulicfracking, and water policy management.

  1. Goodman’sanalysisofthedatabehindtheParkService’sclaimsabouttheoysterfarmhasallbeen done pro bono as a public service.
  2. PaulR.Houser’sinterestinthiscase focusesonitsscientificintegrityandethicalissues. Dr.Houseriskeenlyinterestedintheissueofscientificintegrity,andhaspursuedinitiativestorestore public trust in government science.
  3. Houserisaninternationallyrecognizedexpertinsurface-atmosphericremotesensing,in-situobservation,numericalsimulation,hydrologicdataassimilation,scientificintegrityandpolicy, andglobalwaterandenergycycling.Hiscareerbeganin1988exploringsurfacewaterqualityissuesintheYakimaRiverBasin(WashingtonState)attheU.S.Geological Survey, followed by thedevelopmentoflandfill cover technology at Los Alamos National

Dr.PaulR.Houser

 

 

Laboratoryin1991.In1997,Dr.HouserjoinedtheNASA-GSFCHydrologicalSciencesBranchandtheDataAssimilationOffice,servedasmanagerofNASA’sLandSurfaceHydrologyProgramfrom1999-2000,andservedasbranchheadoftheHydrologicalScienceBranchfrom2000-2005.In2005,Dr.HouserjoinedtheGeorgeMasonUniversityClimateDynamicsProgramandtheGeographyandGeo-informationSciencesDepartmentasProfessorofGlobalHydrology,andformedtheCenterforResearchforEnvironmentandWaterwiththe missiontoquantifyandpredictwatercycleandenvironmentalconsequencesofearthsystemvari-ability and change.

  1. Houserhaslednumerousscientificcontributions,includingthedevelopmentofLandDataAssimilationSystems,theHydrosphericStatesMission, theLand InformationSystem, theNASAEnergyandWatercycleStudy,andtheWaterCycleSolutionsNetwork(WaterNet).Hehaspublishedover120peer-reviewpublications.In2000,Dr.HouserwonthePresidentialEarlyCareerAwardforScientistsandEngineers(PECASE),andin2005hewon the NASA Softwareof theYear Award.

In2011-2012,Dr.Houserserved asScience AdvisortotheU.S.BureauofReclamation,wherehe wasresponsiblefordevelopingscientificintegrity,peerreview,anddatastewardshippolicies,aswellascoordinatingReclamationactivitieswithotheragenciesandthescientificcommunity.Afterraisingconcernsaboutthescientificintegrityofbiased sciencereportingconcerningtheproposedKlamathdamremovals,Dr.HouserwasfiredfromReclamation.HeraisedhisconcernstotheOfficeofSpecialCouncilinaformalwhistleblowercase,andwith the Department of the Interior in a formal

 

 

scientificintegrityallegation.The whistleblowercasewassettledwithafavorableoutcome,andthescientificintegritycasewasdismissedlargelybecauseanindependentreviewfoundthatbiasin science-basedpressreleaseswasstandardbusinesspracticeattheDepartmentoftheInterior.Dr.HouserhadnofiduciarytiesorconflictsassociatedwiththeKlamathRiverdecisionprocess.Heisnotfororagainstdamremoval,butratherisforthebestscienceinformingpolicydecisionsthatobeythelaw,protect the environment and advance society.

  1. HouserhasauniqueperspectiveontheDepartmentoftheInterior’sScientificIntegrityPolicybecausehe:(i)servedontheteamthatwrote Interior’sScientificIntegrityPolicy;(ii)servedasReclamation’sScientificIntegrityOfficerwhere heprocessedscientificintegrityallegations(e.g.,JudgeWanger’sSeptember2011allegationsonDelta-Smeltissues);and(iii)wasthesubjectofwhistleblowerretaliationrelatedtohisscientificintegrityconcernswiththeKlamathDamremoval.HehasusedhisuniqueexperiencetoofferacritiqueofDOI’sScientificIntegrityPolicy(August2012)whichispartiallyreportedin this brief.
  2. Houserhashadnoinvolvementin decisionsaboutDrakesBayOysterCompany,andisnotadvisingthecompanyinitslitigationagainsttheDepartment of the Interior.

 

 

 

SUMMARYOF ARGUMENT:SCIENTIFICINTEGRITYIS CENTRAL TO

OUR DEMOCRACY

TheEinsteinMemorialoutsidetheNationalAcademyofSciencesbuildinginWashingtonD.C.isinscribedwithaquotationfromAlbertEinstein:Therighttosearchfortruthimpliesalsoaduty;onemustnotconcealanypartofwhatonehasrecognizedto be true.”

Inthesamevein,PresidentObamareceivedastandingovationfromthecountry’stopscientistsattheNationalAcademyofSciencesannualmeetingin2009whenhesaid:“thedaysofsciencetakingabackseattoideologyareover.Ourprogressasanation–andourvaluesasanation–arerootedinfreeandopeninquiry.Tounderminescientificintegrityis to undermine our democracy.”2

Nowherearetheseprinciplesmoreimportantthaningovernment decision-making. WhenCongresspasseslaws,agenciesmakedecisions,andcourtshanddownrulings,people’slivesandlivelihoods—andtheenvironmentalfutureofourplanet—areontheline.Ensuringthatdecisionsusethe best science is central to good government.

Buttoooften,asthisbriefexplains,scientificmisconduct—definedasfabrication,falsification,plagiarism,orretaliation—isusedtosupportgovernmentdecisions. Thegovernmentdecisionat

 

 

2   RemarksByThePresidentAtTheNationalAcademyOfSciencesAnnualMeeting(April28,2009),availableathttp://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-at-the-National-Academy-of-Sciences-Annual-Meeting.

 

 

issueinthiscasewasthedenialofanewpermittoahistoricoysterfarminCalifornia.Thatdecisionwasbasedinpartonanenvironmentalanalysisthatfalselyclaimedtofindasignificantadverseimpact,eventhoughtheagency’sownanalysisofthedata,confirmedbytheagency’soutsideexpert,found“no evidence”ofanyimpact.Thefalseclaimofharmfollowedayears-longpatternofotherfalse,andnowretracted,claimsbytheParkServicethattheoyster farmcausesenvironmentalharm.Inothercases,agencieshaveoverstatedprojects’benefitswhilehidingnegativeimpacts,retaliatedagainstwhistleblowers,andhidexculpatorylaboratoryevidence from the criminally accused.

Worse    still    is     the     persistent    lack    ofaccountability    for    scientific   misconduct.                        Theexecutivebranchhasrecentlydevelopedascientificintegritypolicy,andyetmisconductcomplaintscanstill go unaddressed and scientific whistleblowersstillsufferretaliation. Andinthiscase,thefederalcourtshavedeclaredthattheylackjurisdictiontosetasideagencydecisionsforabuseofdiscretionevenwhen they are based in part on scientificmisconduct.

Althoughmostjudgesprofessnospecialscientificexpertise,theydohaveanimportantroleinensuringscientificintegrityingovernmentdecision-making.InDaubert,theSupremeCourtrecognizedthatjudgescanandshouldactasgatekeepersto screenunreliablesciencefromthereliable. Theabuseofscienceinthiscasegoes far beyondharmlesserrors,unreliabledata,differencesofopinion,orhonestmistakes.TheCourtshouldtake thiscasetomakeclearthatjudgescanandshouldprovidearemedywhengovernmentdecisionsarebased on scientific misconduct.

 

 

 

ARGUMENT

 

  1. SCIENTIFIC MISCONDUCTUNDERMINES OURDEMOCRACY:THREE EXAMPLES

A.          Drakes Bay Oyster Company

OnthewesterncoastofthecontinentalUnitedStates,inPointReyes,California,justnorthofSanFrancisco,isan80-yearoldfamily-runoysterfarm,DrakesBayOysterCompany.When Point ReyeswasacquiredbytheNationalParkService(creatingPointReyesNationalSeashore),thePark Serviceandeveryinterestedcivicandenvironmentalgroupsupportedthelong-termcontinuationofthefarm.Itwasahistoriccollaborationbetweenenviron-mentalistsandagriculturalistsinwhathasbecomeahugelysuccessfulmodelfortherestoftheworld–thatproductionofwholesomefoodcanexistin harmonywith protectionof the environment.3

Forthepasteightyears,however,apatternhasdevelopedoftheParkServiceandsomeofthosesameenvironmentalgroupsmakingonefalseclaimofenvironmentalharmafteranotheragainstthe oysterfarm.Thefalseclaimsofenvironmentalharmbeganin2006,whenlocalParkServiceofficialsbeganclaimingthattheoysterfarmwaspolluting

 

 

3    ForanextendeddiscussionofthesupportthefarmenjoyedfromtheParkService,andenvironmentalgroupsliketheSierraClubandtheEnvironmentalActionCommitteeofWestMarin,duringthecreationoftheSeashoreandthepassageofwildernesslegislationthere,seegenerallyBriefOfDr.LauraWatt,AmicusCuriaeInSupportOfPetitionForRehearingEnBanc(Oct.25,2013),NinthCircuitdocket(“CA9dkt.”)no.78-1.

 

 

the water,smotheringeelgrass,harmingfish,anddegradingtheecology.Mostalarmingly,in 2007,ParkServiceofficialssaidtheoysterfarm’sownersshouldbeprosecutedforcommitting“environmentalfelonies”becausethefarmallegedlycausedan80%declineinthelocalharborsealpopulation,a protected marine mammal.4

Thesechargesweresurprising.Clams,oysters, and other shellfish were an important part oftheenvironmentalbaselineforDrakesEstero,5justastheywereforSanFranciscoBayandothercoastalbaysandestuariesaroundtheworldbeforemostwerefishedoutordestroyedbypollution.Oystersactuallyprovideenvironmentalbenefitsbyclarifyingwater.Thosebenefitsarewhyoystersarebeingrestoredinprojectsaroundtheworld.AndthosebenefitsarewhyCongress,intheCleanWaterAct, listedthe“protectionandpropagationof…shellfish”asoneofthegoalsofreducedpollutionandcleanerwater.33 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(2).

TheParkService’ssurprisingchargespromptedthePresidentoftheMarinCountyBoardofSupervisorstoaskDr.Goodmantoreview theParkService’sdata.Dr.Goodmanfoundthatthepubliclyavailabledatadidnotsupporttheclaimsofmajoradverseimpactsonwaterquality,sediments,eelgrass, fish, or the ecology.

TheParkService’sharborsealclaimswerealsofalse. HarborsealpopulationsinDrakesBay

 

 

4Districtcourtdocket(“N.D.Cal.dkt.”)no.39-1at38.ReferencestopagenumbersindocumentsfiledbelowaretothepagenumberECF-stampedtothetopofthedocument.

5N.D.Cal.dkt.no.39-2at20.

 

 

werestable,withsomedisturbancescomingfromwildlife,othersfromparkvisitors,butnonefromtheoysterfarm.Threeyearslater,theParkServiceformally retracted its 80%-decline claim.

In2009,theNationalAcademyreleasedareportontheParkService’sclaims.6ItfoundthattheParkServicehad“selectivelypresented,overinterpreted, ormisinterpreted”the availabledata,andconcludedthat,atDrakesBay,“thereisa lackofstrongscientificevidencethatshellfish farminghas major adverse ecological effects”.7

Bythatpoint,theParkServicehadretractedmostoftheclaimsitmadeagainsttheoysterfarmin2006.InJanuary2011,theDepartmentoftheInteriorreleasedascientificintegritypolicy.8Aroundthesametime,theSolicitor’sOfficeoftheDepartmentofInteriorconcludedthatParkServicescientistsshowed“bias”,“advocacy”,a“troublingmind-set”,andthatfiveemployeeshad“violated[theParkService]CodeofScientificandScholarlyConduct”.9

With the retractionof the false claims, rebukesbytheNationalAcademyandtheParkService’sownlawyers,andtheinstitutionofanewscientificintegritypolicy,therewasreasontohopethattheParkService’suseofscienceconcerningtheoyster

 

 

 

 

6Id.

7Id.at85-86,99.

8DepartmentoftheInterior,IntegrityofScientificandScholarlyActivities(January28,2011),availableathttp://elips.doi.gov/elips/0/doc/3045/Page1.aspx.

9N.D.Cal.dkt.no.40-1at36-37.

 

 

farmwouldimproveasthedecisionontherenewalofthe farm’s permit approached in 2012.

Instead,thepatternoffalseclaimscontinued.Again,themainculpritwastheParkService’sclaimsaboutadverseimpactstoharborseals.In2009,theNationalAcademyconcludedthatinadequatedataexistedtosupporttheParkService’sclaimthatthefarmdisturbstheseals,butrecommendedthatthecontroversycouldberesolvediftheParkServiceestablishedacamerasurveillancesystem.10Infact,suchaprogramhadsecretlybeeninplacesince2007,collectingphotographsofsealsandoysterboatseveryminuteofthedayduringpuppingseasonforoverthreeyears—foratotalofmore than 300,000 photographs.11                                                                 TheParkService’sprivateanalysisofthosephotographswaswithheldfromtheNationalAcademyandthepublic,presumablybecausethatanalysisdidnotrevealdisturbances by the farm.12

Inearly2012,theParkServicecontractedoneoftheworld’sforemostmarinemammalbehaviorexperts,Dr.BrentStewart,tore-analyzethephotos.Dr.StewartsubmittedhisreportinMay2012.13Dr.Stewartfound“noevidenceofdisturbance”ofsealsbyoysterboats.14Dr.Stewart’sreportshouldhavefinally put the issueto rest.

 

 

 

 

10N.D.Cal.dktno.39-2at59-60.

11N.D.Cal.dktnos.40-1at17and41-3at5.

12N.D.Cal.dktno.40-1at13-14.

13ExcerptsofRecord(“ER”)279-285.

14Id.; see also N.D. Cal. dkt. no. 52-1 at 29-35 (Dr.Goodman’sanalysisofDr.Stewart’sreport).

 

 

Unfortunately,itdidn’t.OnNovember20,2012,theParkService released anenvironmentalimpactstatement(EIS)ontheoysterfarm.TheEISconcludedthattheoysterfarmhasasignificant “adverseimpact” onharborseals.15Dr.Stewart’sfinding of “noevidence of disturbance”wastransformedintoafalsefindingthatthefarmdidinfactcauseseriousdisturbances.16Thismanipulationofresearchresultsisaformofscientificmisconduct known as falsification. SeePart II.A below.

Aweeklater,SecretarySalazardecidednottorenewtheoysterfarm’spermit,citing,inpart,theconclusionsaboutenvironmentalharmintheEIS.17Ideology had triumphed over science.18

 

 

 

15SupplementalExcerptsofRecordat58.

16ER284-285.

17Petitioners’Appendixat162.

18Inthedistrictcourt,Dr.Goodman’sopinionthattheEIS“misrepresents”Dr.Stewart’sconclusionsaboutharborsealswentunrebutted.ER188.InitsbrieftotheNinthCircuit,InteriortriedtodefendtheEISbycitingastudyfromtheMarineMammalCommission(“MMC”).CA9dkt.no.36-1at55n.10.ButtheMMCreportdoesnothingtosupporttheEIS’sharborsealconclusions.AfterreviewingthethreeyearsofParkServicephotographsatissuehere,theMMCdescribedasinglepotentialoyster-boat-relateddisturbanceonMay15,2008,andadvisedthata“fullerexamination”ofthephotographswasnecessarytoformanyconclusions“withareasonablelevelofconfidence”.MarineMammalCommission, Mariculture AndHarbor Seals In DrakesEstero,Californiaat27(November22,2011).Dr.Stewartconductedjustsuchafullerexaminationofthephotographs,andheconcluded,withparticularreferencetothepotentialdisturbanceonMay15,2008,thatthere

 

 

B.          KlamathRiverDams Removal

WateruseintheKlamathBasininOregonandCaliforniahasbeenasourceofconflictbetweentribes,farmers,environmentalists,apowercompany,andthegovernmentsfordecades.In2002,manyblamedamassiveChinooksalmonkillonanallegedlypoliticallymotivateddecisiontodivertwatertofarmersratherthantoinstreamflows.A2004NationalAcademyofSciencesreportcomplicatedthepicturebyconcludingthatpoorwaterquality,ratherthanlowinstreamflows,wasthemainrisktothreatenedandendangered species.19

WhentheObamaadministrationcameintooffice,itbeganconsideringabillion-dollarprojecttoremovefourdamsontheKlamathRiver.Therewasnevermuchdoubtabouttheoutcome:in2009,InteriorSecretarySalazariswidelyreportedtohave

 

 

 

 

 

 

was“noevidenceofdisturbance”.N.D.Cal.dkt.no.52-1at15.TheDirectoroftheMMClateradmittedinalettertoDr.Goodman(blindcopiedtotheParkService)thattherewasnoevidencesupportingtheMMCclaimsofharborsealdisturbancesbytheoysterfarm.Editorial,“InPrivateLetter,TimRagenAdmitsNoEvidenceForSealStudy”,PointReyesLight(August9,2012),availableathttp://www.ptreyeslight.com/article/private-letter-tim-ragen-admits-no-evidence-seal-study.

19NationalResearchCouncil,EndangeredAndThreatenedFishesInTheKlamathRiverBasin:CausesOfDeclineAndStrategiesForRecoveryat5-6(2004),available              at             http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10838.

 

 

proclaimed that the proposal to remove the dams“will not fail”.20

InApril2011,theBureauofReclamation(anagencywithinInterior)hiredDr.PaulHouserasitsScienceAdvisorandScientificIntegrityOfficer—apositioncreatedafterInteriorreleaseditsscientificintegrity policy in January 2011.

InSeptember2011,InteriorreleasedadraftEISforthedamremovalproject.Dr.HousercomplainedtohissuperiorsthatthedraftEISanditsaccompanyingpressreleasemisrepresentedthesciencepanelreportsthathadbeencommissionedonthedamremovalproject,emphasizingthepositivebenefitswithouttheuncertaintiesornegativesidentifiedbythepanel.InFebruary2012,justonemonthbeforeSecretarySalazarwasscheduledtoformallymakehisdecision,Dr.Houserwasterminated.HebelievedthiswasretaliatoryandintendedtopreventhimfrominvestigatingwhetherthefinalEISwasalsotaintedbyscientificmisconduct.Inresponse,hefiledawhistleblowercomplaintwithInterior’sInspectorGeneralaswellasascientificmisconductcomplaintwithInterior’sScientific Integrity Officer.21

 

 

20JohnBowman,“SecretaryOfInteriorAnnouncesResignation”,TaftMidwayDriller(Jan.17,2013),availableathttp://www.taftmidwaydriller.com/article/20130117/NEWS/130119808/0/FRONTPAGE.

21LetterfromDr.PaulHouser,ScientificIntegrityOfficer,BureauofReclamation,totheDepartmentoftheInterior,AllegationOfScientificAndScholarlyMis-conductAndReprisalForADisclosureConcerningTheBiasedSummarizationOfKeyScientificConclusionsForTheKlamathRiverDamRemovalSecretarialDeterminationProcess(February24,2012),availableat

 

 

InMarch2013,InteriorreleasedareportonDr.Houser’sscientificintegritycomplaint.22ThereportwaswrittenbyanoutsideconsultantwhosemainclientisInterior.23Interiortaskedtheconsultantwithansweringagivenasetofquestions,andtheconsultantdidnotinterview witnesses.24Thereportdismissedthechargeof“misconduct”asbut“normalpractice”.25Interior’sScientificIntegrityOfficer,whoreportstotheSecretaryofInterior,agreed and closed the case.

InMay2013,theHouseofRepresentatives CommitteeonNaturalResourcesreleasedareportonInterior’sInspectorGeneral,highlightingtheKlamathRiverscientificintegritycomplaintbecauseofwhattheCommitteeconcludedwerefailuresofbothInteriorandInterior’sInspectorGeneral(IG).26The   House   Committee   reported   that   an   IG

 

 

http://www.peer.org/assets/docs/doi/8_8_12_Houser_sci_integ_complaint.pdf.

22RESOLVE,IndependentEvaluationOfTheScientificRecordPertainingToTheAllegationsOfDr.PaulHouser(August2012)(“RESOLVEreport”),availableathttp://www.doi.gov/scientificintegrity/upload/DOI-SI-Case-313-Independent-Report.pdf.

23      SeeRESOLVEReportsandPapers,availableathttp://www.resolv.org/resources/reports-papers(listingRESOLVEreportsdoneforInterior).

24   RESOLVEreport,supra,at4-7.

25   Id.at9.

26U.S.HouseofRepresentatives,CommitteeonNaturalResources,OfficeofOversightandInvestigations:HoldingInteriorWatchdogAccountable,59-66(February21,2013),availableathttp://naturalresources.house.gov/uploadedfiles/oversightreportdepartmentofinterior.pdf.

 

 

investigatorthoughtitwaslikelythatDr.HouserwasterminatedbecauseInteriordisagreedwithhisscientificanalysis.Theinvestigatorsthoughtthe reasonscitedbyInteriorfortheterminationwere“trivial”.Still,Dr.Houserhasnotbeenreinstated,andbothhiswhistleblowerandscientificmisconductcomplaintshave been quietly dismissed.

C.          DepartmentofJustice

Inawidelynoticedrecentdissent,ChiefJudgeAlexKozinskioftheNinthCircuitCourtofAppealscriticizedan“epidemic”ofDepartmentofJusticeprosecutorsfailingtodiscloseexculpatoryscientificinformationtodefendantsandthecourts.UnitedStatesv.Olsen,737F.3d625,626(9thCir.2013)(Kozinski,C.J.,dissentingfromdenialofreh’genbanc),petitionforcertiorarifiledApril24,2014(no.13-1287).InOlsen,theprosecutorfailedtodisclosethatthekeypieceofforensicevidence—labresultsfindingthatpillswerelacedwith poison—wascreatedbyapolicetechnicianwhohadbeenterminatedfor“grossmisconduct”incontaminating manyotherlabsamplesinothercases.Id.at627.ChiefJudgeKozinskiconcludedaboutthescience:“nearlyeverythingthedistrictjudgeunderstood tobetrue was false”.Id.at 628.

But that was not an isolated case.ChiefJudge Kozinskicitedthe“distressinglycommon”phenomenonthathascometolightinrecentyears,involvingmanythousandsofcases,oflabtechniciansfalsifyingtheirresultstosupportaprosecution.Id.at632.AndprosecutorsfromJusticehavetoooftenobliged:“IwishIcouldsaythattheprosecutor’sun-professionalismhereistheexception…[b]utitwouldn’tbetrue”.Id.at631.Insupport,hecited29publishedappellateopinionsfromjustthelastten yearsinwhichcourtsaroundthecountryfoundthat

 

 

prosecutorshadfailedtodiscloseexculpatoryevidence.Id.at631-632.Presumablymanymorecaseshavegoneundiscoveredbecause“alltheincentivesprosecutorsconfrontencouragethemnottodiscoverordiscloseexculpatoryevidence”.Id.at630.

ChiefJudgeKozinskirecognizedthatscientific misconductbyJusticeiscorrosivetooursystemofgovernment,andthatcourtshaveashareoftheresponsibility:

Whenapublicofficialbehaveswithsuchcasualdisregardforhisconstitutionalobligationsandtherightsoftheaccused,iterodesthepublic’strust inourjusticesystem,andchipsawayatthefoundationalpremisesoftheruleoflaw.Whensuchtransgressionsareacknowledgedyetforgivenbythecourts,weendorseandinvite their repetition.

  1. at632.Heconcludedbyurgingcourtsto“sendprosecutorsaclearmessage”byvacatingthe“ill-gotten conviction”. Id.at 633.

 

II.         THEREISALACKOF ACCOUNTABILITYFOR SCIENTIFICMISCONDUCTINGOVERNMENT

  1. Need For Scientific IntegrityPolicyBecomesApparent

Historically,scientificresearchreliedonaself- regulatinghonorsystem.Inthe1980’s,however,thescientificcommunitywasrockedbyaseriesofhighlypublicizedcasesofscientificmisconduct.Asaresult,thefederalgovernmentsetintomotionpoliciesto

 

 

oversee research conduct, and adjudicate researchmisconduct.

In1981,asubcommitteeofCongress,undertheleadershipofthen-CongressmanAlGore,heldhearingsonfraudinbiomedicalresearchinresponsetowidespreadreportsofscientistsfalsifyingtheirdata. Such cases wereexposedin several books.27

Congress,thepublic,andmanyothersinthescientificcommunitywantedoversightoffederally fundedresearch.CongressionalhearingscalledforinvestigationoftheNationalInstitutesofHealth(“NIH”)andotherfederalagencies.Inresponse,variousscientificsocietiesissuedguidelinesforresearchconduct.Thetwofederalagenciesthatsponsorthemostfederallyfundedresearch,NIHandtheNationalScienceFoundation(“NSF”),releasedscientificmisconductpoliciesinthemidtolate1980’s.Bythelate1980’s,theNationalAcademyofScienceswasaskedtoproposeaunifiedfederalpolicy.

In1992,theNationalAcademyrespondedbyreleasingareportthatproposedadefinitionofscientificmisconduct:“fabrication,falsification,orplagiarism,inproposing,performing,orreportingresearch”.28(NSFaddedretaliationagainstwhistleblowerstoitsdefinition.)ThereportrecommendedthatanofficeintheWhiteHouse,the

 

 

27E.g.,WilliamBroadandNicholasWade,BetrayersOfTheTruth:FraudAndDeceitInTheHallsOfScience(1982).

28NationalAcademyofSciences,ResponsibleScience:EnsuringtheIntegrityoftheResearchProcessat27(1992),availableathttp://nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=1864.

 

 

OfficeofScienceandTechnologyPolicy(OSTP),establishcommongovernment-widedefinitionsandproceduresforconfrontingtheproblem.Aunifiedfederalpolicy,soitseemedatthetime,waswithingrasp.

Eightyearslater,in2000,OSTPfinallyissueda“FederalPolicyonResearchMisconduct”thatinstructedagenciestoimplementthepolicy.Someagenciescomplied; others—including theDepartment of the Interior—did not.

B.          The RockyDevelopmentAndImplementationOf The President’sScientificIntegrityPolicy

InMarch 2009,shortly aftercoming into office,PresidentObamareleasedaMemorandumonScientificIntegrityanddirectedOSTPtoprovidedetailed guidelines within120 days.29

ThePresident’spolicygotofftoarockystart.IttookOSTPeighteenmonthstoreleaseamerefourpagesofguidelines.30Thoseguidelines providedlittleguidance.Insteadofprovidingconcretestan-dardsorcommonproceduresforeverygovernmentagencytofollow,astheNationalAcademyhadrecommendedin1992,theguidelinesgaveindividualagencies     nearly     complete     discretion     by

 

 

29      Presidential      Memorandumon  Scientific     Integrity(March          9,         2009),          available           at           http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/memorandum-heads-executive-departments-and-agencies-3-9-09.

30   John P. Holdren, Director, Office of Science andTechnologyPolicy,MemorandumonScientificIntegrity,(December     17,             2010),              available                         at         http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/scientific-integrity-memo-12172010.pdf.

 

 

recommendingthateachagencydevelopitsownpolicies.Andtheguidelinessaidnothingatallabouthowscientificmisconductshouldbeinvestigatedorhowerrors shouldbe corrected.

TheshortcomingsofthePresident’sscientificintegritypolicyandtheOSTPguidelinesaremanifest in each of the cases discussed in Part I.

InthecaseofDrakesBayOysterCompany,effortstogetthefalsifiedscienceintheEIScorrectedhavebeenrejectedorignored.InDecember2012,theParkServiceDirectordismissedaformalcomplaintundertheDataQualityAct31onthegroundthattheSecretary’sdecision“mooted”anyrequirementtocorrectthescienceintheEIS.32AndtheDepartmentofInteriorhasstillnotevendecidedwhether itwill openaformalinvestigation intoaformalscientificmisconductcomplaintDr.GoodmanfiledoneyearagoinMay2013.33(Todate,nearlyeveryoneinvolvedwiththeParkService’sfalsescience in this casehas been promoted.)

Meanwhile,initsbriefstotheNinthCircuitin this case, Interior has continued to cite the EIS’s

 

 

31P.L.106-554§515,114Stat.2763A-153-154(December

21,2000).

32 Letter from Jonathan B. Jarvis, Director, NationalPark Service, to Amber D. Abbasi, counsel for Dr.Goodman          (Dec.         21,         2012),         available          athttp://causeofaction.org/assets/uploads/2013/03/FINAL-Report_Exhibits.pdfatExhibit51(page1003).

33See Emily Yehle, “Rushed USGS Report On OysterFarm Misrepresented Biologist’s Findings”, Greenwire(May     14,               2013),               available                  at           http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059981143   (describing complaint).

 

 

conclusionsaboutadverseimpactstoharborsealsasareason why the farmshould be removed.34

InthecaseoftheKlamathRiver damsremovalproject,thewhistleblowerDr.Houserwasfiredandhismisconductcomplaintshavebeendismissedbyaprocessripewithconflictsandlacking independence, transparency,and accountability.

AndintheOlsencase,thegovernmenthassofarnotconcedederror,andtheJusticeprosecutorwhohidtheexculpatoryevidencehas(toourknowledge)notbeenheldaccountable,eventhoughJusticehasascientificintegritypolicythatacknowledgesthattheDepartmentis“entrustedwithawesomeresponsibilities”andcommitsto“pursue,relyuponandpresentevidencethatiswell-foundedinfactand veracity”.35

Unfortunately,thePresident’sscientificintegritypolicyandOSTP’sguidelineshavefailedtoensureindependentinvestigations,accountabilityfor

 

 

34InopposingDrakesBay’smotionforaninjunctionpendingappeal,InteriorquotedtheParkService’sEIS’sconclusionthatDrakesBaycauses“long-termmoderateadverseimpacts”toharborsealsinsupportoftheargumentthat“thepublicinterestinthequalityoftheDrakesEsteroenvironmentweighsagainstaninjunction”.CA9dkt.no.17-1at20-21.AndinInterior’soppositiontoDrakesBay’smotionforastayofthemandatependingcertiorari,Interioragainarguedthat“theParkService’sinterestinprotectingharborsealsinDrakesEsteroduringpuppingseasonisanequitablefactor”supportingclosureofthefarm.CA9dkt.no.105at11-12.

35   DepartmentofJustice,ScientificandResearchIntegrityPolicy,at1,availableathttp://www.justice.gov/open/doj-scientific-integrity-policy.pdf.

 

 

scientificmisconduct,whistleblowerprotections,andcorrectionof egregious errors.

 

III.       COURTS HAVE ANIMPORTANTROLEINENSURINGSCIENTIFIC INTEGRITYIN GOVERNMENT

Twentyyearsago,inDaubert,thisCourtheldthatfederaljudgeshavethe“gatekeeping”roleinensuringthatonly“scientific…knowledge”isusedasexpertevidenceincourt.Daubertv.MerrellDowPharms.,509U.S.579,590,597(1993)(quotingFed.

  1. Evid.R.702).Whatconstitutesscientificknowledge?ThisCourtexplainedthatitisbasednoton“subjectivebelieforunsupportedspeculation”,buton“themethodsandproceduresofscience”(i.e.,thescientificmethod).Id.at590(internalcitationandquotationmarks omitted).

Mostjudgesarenotscientists,andmany openlystrugglewithscreeningscientificknowledgefromtheunscientific.OnremandinDaubert,forexample,(then)JudgeKozinskicandidlyacknowledgedthatthisCourt’sholding“putsfederaljudges in an uncomfortable position”:

[S]cientistsoftenhavevigorousandsinceredisagreementsastowhatresearchmethodologyisproper,whatshouldbeacceptedassufficientprooffortheexistenceofa“fact,”andwhetherinformationderivedbyaparticularmethodcantellusanythingusefulabout the subject under study.

Ourresponsibility…istoresolvedisputesamongrespected,well-credentialedscientistsaboutmatterssquarelywithintheirexpertise,inareaswherethereisnoscientificconsensusas

 

 

towhatisandwhatisnot“good science,”andoccasionallytorejectsuchexperttestimonybecauseitwasnot “derived by the scientific method.”

Daubertv.MerrellDowPharmaceuticals,43F.3d1311, 1315-16 (9th Cir. 1995).

Ratherthanshirkingthisresponsibility,JudgeKozinskivowedto“takeadeepbreathandproceedwith this heady task”.Id.at 1316.

Intheyearssince Daubert,federaljudgeshaveprovencapableofmanagingthistask. JudgeOliver

  1. WangeroftheEasternDistrictofCalifornia,forexample,presidedoverextremelycomplexandcontentiousEndangeredSpeciesActlitigationabouttheDeltasmelt.SanLuis&Delta-MendotaWaterAuth.v.Salazar(the“DeltaSmeltCases”)(E.D.Cal.no.1:09-cv-00407).ThemainissueinDeltaSmeltCaseswaswhetherthesciencejustifiedrestrictingwaterexportsinCaliforniainordertoprotectthesmelt.Atthecloseofthetrialcourtproceedings,JudgeWangerfoundthatthetestimonyofthegovernment’sexpertslackedcredibility.36ToJudgeWanger,thoseexpertsweredrivenbyapolicygoaltorestrictexports,regardlessofwhatthescientificdatashowed.JudgeWangerexpectedbetterfromthegovernment:

I’mgoingtobemakingafindinginthiscaseofagencybadfaith.Thereissimplynojustification.Therecanbenoacceptance by a Court of the United

 

 

36    DeltaSmeltCases,BenchRulingonMotiontoStayPendingAppeal(Sept.16,2011),dkt.no.1056,availableathttp://plf.typepad.com/files/9-16-11-motion-to-stay-final-1.pdf

 

 

Statesoftheconductthathasbeenengagedininthiscasebythesewitnesses.

And I am going to make a very clear andexplicitrecordtosupportthatfindingofagencybadfaithbecause,candidly,theonlyinferencethattheCourtcandrawisthatitisanattempttomisleadandtodeceivetheCourtintoacceptingwhatisnotonlynotthebestscience,it’snotscience.37

JudgeWangerstressedthatthegovernmenthas a “duty” to use good science in its decisions:

[T]heUnitedStates,asasovereign,hasadutynotonlyindealingwiththeCourt,butindealingwiththepublictoalwaysspeak thetruth,whether itisgoodorbad.It’sneveraboutwinningorlosing,it’s always about doing justice.38

JudgeWangersawpasttheagency’spolicygoalsandtheflawedtestimonyofitsscientistsandruledthatthesciencedidnotsupporttheproposednewrestrictions,showingtheextremeimportanceofthe court’s role in scientific integrity.

Inthepresentcase,however,thepanelthrewupitshandsatthescience.Itproclaimedthatit lackedjurisdictiontoreviewpetitioners’claimsthatSecretarySalazar’sdecisionwasanabuseofdiscretionbecauseitwasbased,inpart,onfalsescience.PetitionforCertiorariat11-12.Andit createdaruleof“harmlesserror”inwhichagencies

 

 

37Id.at17:15-25.

38Id.at33:18-22.

 

 

canavoidresponsibilityforscientificmisconductsimplybyassertingthattheirdecisionsarenotbasedon flawed data. Id.at 32-33.

Thepanel’sdecision,ifallowedtostand,createsadangerous precedent.Ifcourtslack jurisdictiontoreviewclaimsthatagencydecisionsarebasedonscientificmisconduct,andifcourtsare requiredtoforgivescientificmisconductwheneveranagencymakesassurancesthatthemisconductwasimmaterial,thenagenciesarelikelytofeelless constrainedaboutfalsifyingscientificinformationtothecourtsandthepublic.Thisdecisionislikelytoresultinmorescientificmisconductingovernmentdecisions,and thus undermine our democracy.

TheSupremeCourtshouldtakethiscaseto makeclearthatthecourtscan,andshould,remedyscientificmisconduct.SeeGeneralElectric,Inc.v.Joiner,522U.S.136,146(1997)(courtscanrejectscientificclaimswhen“thereissimplytoogreatananalyticalgapbetweenthedataandtheopinionproffered”).Scientificmisconductisnotqualitativelydifferentfromthekindsofissuescourtshavenotroubleadjudicatinginothercaseseveryday.Ineventhemostcomplexbreachofcontractcases,forexample,courtsareroutinelyaskedtodetermine whetherapartyhasmadeamaterialmisrepresentationofthefacts.Inanalyzingthesetypesofclaims,courtscananddocomparetheunderlyingfactsagainsttherepresentationtoassesswhether they are consistent.

Thescientificmisconductclaimhereisreallynodifferent.ThefactsarethattheinternalanalysisbytheParkServiceanditsoutsideexpertwasthat thereisnoevidencethattheoysterfarmdisturbsharborseals.SeePartI.Aabove.Andyettherepresentation in the EIS, relied upon by the

 

 

Secretaryinmakinghisdecision,wasthattheoysterfarmcausessignificantadverseimpactstoharborseals.Thiswasnotacase wherethecourtwasaskedtochoosebetweenconflictingexpertopinions.Itisnotaboutunreliabledataorharmlesserrors.Thereisnothing“harmless”aboutaneight-yearpatternofParkServicemisrepresentationsaboutahistoricfamilyfarm.Thisisacasewheretheagencysimply falsifiedthescience,andthepanelshouldnothaverefusedto say so.

 

CONCLUSION

The petitionshould be granted.

 

Respectfully submitted,PETERS.PROWS

Counsel of Record

BRISCOEIVESTER&BAZELLLP

155 SansomeStreet,

Seventh Floor

San Francisco, CA 94104(415) 402-2700

pprows@briscoelaw.net

05-19-14 25 “Friends” File 4 Briefs Supporting DBOC effort to have Supreme Court hear its case

Twenty-Five “Friends” File Supreme Court Briefs Supporting

Drakes Bay Oyster Company

Farmers, Environmentalists, Scientists, Chefs, and Preservationists All Support Historic Oyster Farm

 

INVERNESS, CALIF. — Twenty-five “friends” of Drakes Bay Oyster Company have filed four significant amicus briefs in support of the farm’s efforts to have the U.S. Supreme Court hear its case. Together, the briefs make compelling arguments for why the Supreme Court should take the case.

 

At stake is whether the government, in making countless everyday decisions, can be taken to court when it abuses its power, misinterprets the law, or misrepresents science. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that a federal court does not have jurisdiction to review a discretionary agency decision for abuse of discretion. Drakes Bay Oyster Company petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on April 14, 2014 for a writ of certiorari to review that judgment.

 

Elder environmentalists and agriculturalists support aquaculture

 

Former California Assemblyman William T. Bagley and former Congressman Paul Norton “Pete” McCloskey (co-author of the Endangered Species Act and co-chair of the first Earth Day) are among the elder environmentalists supporting the oyster farm’s petition. Also joining the brief are Patricia Unterman, chef-owner of Hayes Street Grill in San Francisco; chefs and owners of many of West Marin’s farm-to-table restaurants; and a host of agriculturalists and agriculture associations. The brief argues the importance of aquaculture and agriculture in the San Francisco North Bay, and for the support and development of innovative, ecologically sound and sustainable agriculture practices consistent with the purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA].

 

Rural communities dependent on fair federal permitting

 

In its amicus brief, the Pacific Legal Foundation and California Cattlemen’s Association point out that roughly half of the land in the western United States is federally owned, and that grazing is one of the largest uses of federal lands. Together the Ninth and Tenth Federal Circuit courts each govern about half of all federal grazing permits, yet the two circuits are not aligned on fundamental questions of law relating to renewal of grazing permits, including the application of NEPA, and judicial review under the Administration Procedure Act [APA]. The brief argues that the high court should take Drakes Bay’s case in order to resolve this issue, since “a very large number of rural communities are dependent on federally permitted grazing for employment, commerce, and tax revenue to support public services.”

 

Scientific misconduct undermines our democracy

 

Two preeminent scientists, Dr. Corey Goodman (elected member, National Academy of Sciences) and Dr. Paul Houser (former Scientific Integrity Officer, Bureau of Reclamation, Department of the Interior, and Professor, George Mason University), filed a brief to argue that the Supreme Court should take this case as an opportunity to make clear that courts have an important role in ensuring scientific integrity in government. When he came into office, President Obama made clear that “to undermine scientific integrity is to undermine our democracy.” Yet for Drakes Bay Oyster Company, and too many other cases, the government has falsified and abused science to further predetermined ideological agendas. The Ninth Circuit held that a federal court does not have jurisdiction to reject false science, whereas the Supreme Court has historically held that they do. This brief asks the Supreme Court to reaffirm their commitment to the integrity of science both in government decision-making and as presented to federal courts.

 

Ninth Circuit decision endangers historic resources

 

The Monte Wolfe Foundation argues that the Ninth Circuit’s ruling hampers the protection of historic and cultural resources, writing: “the ruling of the Ninth Circuit, that no NEPA review is needed where agency action seeks to restore a pristine state of nature, appears unique to the Ninth Circuit. It means that historic resources on Ninth Circuit federal wildlands are endangered because they cannot depend on NEPA for protection. Absent other protection, they may be – indeed, given [the Ninth Circuit decision] Drakes Bay Oyster’s reading of the intent of NEPA, should be – summarily removed.”

 

Oyster farm remains open for now

 

At issue is former Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar’s denial of Drakes Bay’s permit to continue operating the 80-year-old oyster farm, even though the original deal for the creation of Point Reyes National Seashore was that the oyster farm was always supposed to stay. The Secretary’s decision was informed by a falsified environmental report. Because Drakes Bay showed that there is a “reasonable probability” that the Supreme Court will take this case and a “significant possibility” that the oyster farm will win, the Ninth Circuit has allowed Drakes Bay to remain open while it takes its case to the Supreme Court.

 

About Drakes Bay Oyster Company

The historic oyster farm in Drakes Estero, located in Point Reyes, Marin County, has been part of the community for nearly 100 years. The Lunnys, a fourth-generation Point Reyes ranching family, purchased the oyster farm in 2004. Modern environmentalists and proponents of sustainable agriculture praise Drakes Bay Oyster as a superb example of how people can produce high-quality food in harmony with the environment. The farm produces approximately one third of all oysters grown in California, and employs 30 members of the community. The Lunnys also contribute the oyster shells that make possible the restoration of native oysters in San Francisco Bay and the oyster shells used to create habitat for the endangered Snowy Plover and Least Tern. As the last oyster cannery in California, Drakes Bay is the only local (and thus the only safe and affordable) source of these shells. The Lunny family is proud of its contributions to a sustainable food model that conserves and maintains the productivity of the local landscapes and the health of its inhabitants. For more information, please visit www.drakesbayoyster.com and www.savedrakesbay.com

For Immediate Release

May 19, 2014

Contacts: Tina Walker

Office: 415.227.9700

Cell: 650.248.1037

Email: tina@singersf.com

 

Peter Prows

Counsel for Drakes Bay Oyster

Email: pprows@briscoelaw.net

09-03-2013 Judge Watford’s Dissenting Opinion on the Appeal to the 9th Circuit

“The government will suffer only modest harm if oyster
farming’s eighty-year history in the Estero continues a bit
longer.

But if a preliminary injunction is erroneously denied,
Drakes Bay’s business will be destroyed.

That is all Drakes Bay must show to demonstrate that the balance of equities
tips in its favor here.”

 

Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Northern District of California
Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, District Judge, Presiding
Argued and Submitted
May 14, 2013—San Francisco, California
Filed September 3, 2013
Amended January 14, 2014

 

page 38 CO. V. JEWELL
WATFORD, Circuit Judge, dissenting:
The majority states that, by enacting § 124, “Congress did
nothing more than let the Secretary know his hands were not
tied.” Maj. op. at 24. I think Congress, by including the
“notwithstanding” clause in § 124, intended to do more than
that. In particular, it sought to override the Department of the
Interior’s misinterpretation of the Point Reyes Wilderness
Act, Pub. L. No. 94-544, 90 Stat. 2515 (1976).
The Department had concluded, in 2005, that the Act
barred issuance of a special use permit authorizing continued
operation of Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s oyster farm. The
Department thought Congress had “mandated” that result by
designating Drakes Estero, where the oyster farm is located,
as a “potential wilderness addition” in the Point Reyes
Wilderness Act. The Act’s legislative history makes clear,
however, that by divining such a mandate, the Department
simply misinterpreted the Act’s provisions and misconstrued
Congress’s intent. The Department’s misinterpretation of the
Point Reyes Wilderness Act prompted Congress to enact
§ 124 in 2009. In my view, by including a notwithstanding
clause in § 124, Congress attempted to supersede the
Department’s erroneous interpretation of the Act.
In the 2012 decision challenged here, the Secretary
nonetheless denied Drakes Bay’s permit request based
primarily on the very same misinterpretation of the Point
Reyes Wilderness Act that Congress thought it had
overridden. As a result, I think Drakes Bay is likely to
prevail on its claim that the Secretary’s decision is arbitrary,
capricious, or otherwise not in accordance with law. See
5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A). Because the other preliminary
injunction factors also weigh in Drakes Bay’s favor,
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DRAKES BAY OYSTER CO. V. JEWELL 39
injunctive relief preserving the status quo should have been
granted here.
I
To explain why I think the Interior Department (and later
the Secretary) misinterpreted the Point Reyes Wilderness Act,
a fairly detailed discussion of the Act’s legislative history is
necessary.
The events leading up to passage of the Point Reyes
Wilderness Act begin in 1962, when Congress authorized
creation of the Point Reyes National Seashore and
appropriated funds for land acquisition within the Seashore’s
designated boundaries. Act of Sept. 13, 1962, Pub. L. No.
87-657, 76 Stat. 538 (1962). As part of that process, in 1965,
the State of California conveyed ownership of the submerged
lands and coastal tidelands within the Seashore’s boundaries
to the federal government. See Act of July 9, 1965, ch. 983,
§ 1, 1965 Cal. Stat. 2604, 2604. Those lands included Drakes
Estero. The conveyance reserved certain mineral and fishing
rights, which allowed the State to “prospect for, mine, and
remove [mineral] deposits from the lands,” and “reserved to
the people of the state the right to fish in the waters
underlying the lands.” Id. §§ 2–3, 1965 Cal. Stat. at 2605. At
the time of the State’s conveyance, oyster farming was
already a well-established fixture in Drakes Estero, with roots
dating back to the 1930s.
In 1973, the President recommended that Congress
preserve 10,600 acres within the Point Reyes National
Seashore as “wilderness,” under the terms of the Wilderness
Act of 1964, Pub. L. No. 88-577, § 3(c), 78 Stat. 890, 892
(1964). Members of California’s congressional delegation
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DRAKES BAY OYSTER 40 CO. V. JEWELL
found that recommendation woefully inadequate, and soon
thereafter introduced identical bills in the House and Senate
designating far larger areas of the Seashore as wilderness. In
the House, Congressman John Burton introduced H.R. 8002,
94th Cong. (1975); in the Senate, Senator John Tunney
introduced S. 2472, 94th Cong. (1975). H.R. 8002 is the bill
that eventually became the Point Reyes Wilderness Act.
As originally proposed, H.R. 8002 and S. 2472 would
have designated more than thirty-eight thousand acres as
wilderness. Included within that designation was Drakes
Estero, as well as most of the other submerged lands and
coastal tidelands conveyed by California in 1965. The
sponsors of H.R. 8002 and S. 2472 were well aware of the
oyster farm in Drakes Estero. They nonetheless included
Drakes Estero within the wilderness designation because they
did not view the farm’s operations as incompatible with the
area’s wilderness status. Commenting on the Senate bill,
Senator Tunney left no doubt on that score, declaring,
“Established private rights of landowners and leaseholders
will continue to be respected and protected. The existing
agricultural and aquacultural uses can continue.” Wilderness
Additions—National Park System: Hearings Before the
Subcomm. on Parks and Recreation of the S. Comm. on
Interior and Insular Affairs, 94th Cong. 271 (1976)
[hereinafter Senate Hearing].
During hearings on H.R. 8002 and S. 2472, various civic,
environmental, and conservation groups supported Drakes
Estero’s designation as wilderness. They explained in detail
why neither the State’s reserved mineral and fishing rights
nor the oyster farm precluded such a designation. No one
advocating Drakes Estero’s designation as wilderness
suggested that the oyster farm needed to be removed before
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DRAKES BAY OYSTER CO. V. JEWELL 41
the area could become wilderness. See id. at 324–33,
344–61; H.R. 7198, H.R. 8002, et al., To Designate Certain
Lands in the Point Reyes National Seashore, California as
Wilderness: Hearing Before Subcomm. on Nat’l Parks and
Recreation of the H. Comm. on Interior and Insular Affairs,
94th Cong. (1976) [hereinafter House Hearing], prepared
statements of Jim Eaton, William J. Duddleson, Ms. Raye-
Page, and Frank C. Boerger.
The comments Congress received from those who were
advocating Drakes Estero’s designation as wilderness stressed
a common theme: that the oyster farm was a beneficial preexisting
use that should be allowed to continue
notwithstanding the area’s designation as wilderness. For
example, a representative from the Wilderness Society stated:
“Within Drakes Estero the oyster culture activity, which is
under lease, has a minimal environmental and visual
intrusion. Its continuation is permissible as a pre-existing
non-conforming use and is not a deterrent for inclusion of the
federally owned submerged lands of the Estero in
wilderness.” House Hearing, prepared statement of Ms.
Raye-Page, at 6. The Chairman of the Golden Gate National
Recreation Area Citizens’ Advisory Commission noted that
the oyster-farming operations “presently carried on within the
seashore existed prior to its establishment as a park and have
since been considered desirable by both the public and park
managers.” Senate Hearing, at 361. He therefore
recommended that specific provision be made to allow such
operations “to continue unrestrained by wilderness
designation.” Id. Others observed, echoing the comments of
Senator Tunney, that the proposed House and Senate bills
already provided for that. See House Hearing, prepared
statement of William J. Duddleson, at 3–4 (“H.R. 8002 would
allow continued use and operation of Johnson’s Oyster
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DRAKES BAY OYSTER 42 CO. V. JEWELL
Company at Drakes Estero, as a pre-existing non-conforming
use.”); Senate Hearing, at 357 (“S. 2472 would allow the
continued use and operation of Johnson’s Oyster Company in
Drakes Estero.”). A local state assemblyman succinctly
summed it up this way: “Finally, I believe everyone
concerned supports the continued operation of oyster farming
in Drakes Estero as a non-conforming use.” Senate Hearing,
at 356.
The view expressed by these speakers—that continued
operation of the oyster farm was fully compatible with
Drakes Estero’s designation as wilderness —was not some
wild-eyed notion. It was firmly grounded in the text of the
Wilderness Act itself. The Act generally bans commercial
enterprise within wilderness areas, but does so “subject to
existing private rights.” 16 U.S.C. § 1133(c). Drakes Bay’s
predecessor, the Johnson Oyster Company, had existing
private rights in the form of water-bottom leases issued by
California that pre-dated both the passage of the Wilderness
Act and creation of the Point Reyes National Seashore. The
Act also generally prohibits the use of motorboats within
wilderness areas, see id., but the Secretary of Agriculture may
permit continued use of motorboats when, as here, such use
has “already become established.” Id. § 1133(d)(1). To the
extent there is any ambiguity in these provisions, the Act’s
legislative history makes clear that Congress believed the new
wilderness-preservation system would not affect the
economic arrangements of business enterprises “because
existing private rights and established uses are permitted to
continue.” S. Rep. No. 88-109, at 2 (1963).
The only party opposed to designating Drakes Estero as
wilderness was the Department of the Interior. At first, the
Department took the position that none of the submerged
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DRAKES BAY OYSTER CO. V. JEWELL 43
lands and coastal tidelands conveyed by California in 1965
could be designated as wilderness, because the State’s
reserved mineral and fishing rights were “inconsistent with
wilderness.” House Hearing, letter from John Kyl, Assistant
Secretary of the Interior, at 3. When the Department’s view
came under attack by those who argued that the State’s
reserved rights were not in any way inconsistent with
wilderness, see, e.g., Senate Hearing, at 327–28, the
Department backpedaled. It proposed placing most of the
lands subject to the State’s reserved rights into a new
legislative classification—“potential wilderness addition”—
which it had developed in connection with similar wilderness
proposals. See House Hearing, at 11–12; id., letter from John
Kyl, Assistant Secretary of the Interior, at 1. That
designation was intended to encompass “lands which are
essentially of wilderness character, but retain sufficient nonconforming
structures, activities, uses or private rights so as
to preclude immediate wilderness classification.” S. Rep. No.
94-1357, at 3 (1976).
Four areas subject to the State’s reserved rights were at
issue: the coastal tidelands, Limantour Estero, Abbotts
Lagoon, and Drakes Estero. The original version of H.R.
8002 designated all four areas as wilderness, not just potential
wilderness additions. But in the spirit of compromise,
Congressman Burton, the sponsor of H.R. 8002, agreed to
amend the bill by designating those areas as potential
wilderness additions, rather than as wilderness. See House
Hearing, prepared statement of Rep. John Burton, at 2. In
doing so, he made clear that all four areas were being
designated as potential wilderness additions due to
California’s reserved mineral and fishing rights. See id. He
noted that, “[a]s ‘potential wilderness,’ these areas would be
designated as wilderness effective when the State ceeds [sic]
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DRAKES BAY OYSTER 44 CO. V. JEWELL
these rights to the United States.” Id. (emphasis added). As
so amended, H.R. 8002 was enacted as the Point Reyes
Wilderness Act in 1976.
Fast forward now to 2005. Shortly before Drakes Bay’s
purchase of the oyster farm closed, the Park Service reiterated
its view that, based on a legal analysis performed by the
Interior Department, no new permits authorizing oyster
farming in Drakes Estero could be issued. The Department’s
legal analysis concluded—bizarrely, given the legislative
history recounted above—that by designating Drakes Estero
as a potential wilderness addition in the Point Reyes
Wilderness Act, Congress had “mandated” elimination of the
oyster farm. The Department never identified anything in the
text of the Act to support that view; it cited only a passage
from the House Report accompanying H.R. 8002. But that
passage “is in no way anchored in the text of the statute,”
Shannon v. United States, 512 U.S. 573, 583–84 (1994), and
thus provides no support for the Department’s interpretation
of the Act.
Even taken on its own terms, however, the passage from
the House Report does not support the Department’s
interpretation. The passage states in full: “As is well
established, it is the intention that those lands and waters
designated as potential wilderness additions will be
essentially managed as wilderness, to the extent possible, with
efforts to steadily continue to remove all obstacles to the
eventual conversion of these lands and waters to wilderness
status.” H.R. Rep. No. 94-1680, at 3 (1976) (emphasis
added). But the oyster farm was not an “obstacle” to Drakes
Estero’s conversion to wilderness status, and no one in
Congress ever expressed that view. To the contrary, as
discussed above, all indications are that Congress viewed the
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DRAKES BAY OYSTER CO. V. JEWELL 45
oyster farm as a beneficial, pre-existing use whose
continuation was fully compatible with wilderness status.
II
With that background in mind, we can now turn to the
legal issue at the heart of this appeal, which is how to
construe § 124.
Everyone appears to agree that the Park Service’s
conclusion in 2005 that it was legally prohibited from
granting Drakes Bay a special use permit prompted Congress
to enact § 124. If all Congress had wanted to do was “let the
Secretary know his hands were not tied,” as the majority
asserts, § 124 could simply have stated, as it does, that “the
Secretary of the Interior is authorized to issue a special use
permit . . . .” Act of Oct. 30, 2009, Pub. L. No. 111-88,
§ 124, 123 Stat. 2904, 2932. But Congress went further and
added a notwithstanding clause, so that the statute as enacted
reads, “notwithstanding any other provision of law, the
Secretary of the Interior is authorized to issue a special use
permit . . . .” Id. (emphasis added). Our task is to determine
what effect Congress intended the notwithstanding clause to
have.
Given the historical backdrop against which § 124 was
enacted, I think Congress intended the clause to override the
Interior Department’s misinterpretation of the Point Reyes
Wilderness Act. Reading the clause in that fashion is
consistent with the way courts have typically construed
notwithstanding clauses. The Supreme Court has held that
the use of such a clause “clearly signals the drafter’s intention
that the provisions of the ‘notwithstanding’ section override
conflicting provisions of any other section.” Cisneros v.
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DRAKES BAY OYSTER 46 CO. V. JEWELL
Alpine Ridge Grp., 508 U.S. 10, 18 (1993). And we have said
that the basic function of such clauses is to “sweep aside” and
“supersede” any potentially conflicting laws. United States
v. Novak, 476 F.3d 1041, 1046 (9th Cir. 2007) (en banc);
Student Loan Fund of Idaho, Inc. v. U.S. Dep’t of Educ.,
272 F.3d 1155, 1166 (9th Cir. 2001). A notwithstanding
clause often targets those laws that were the “legal sticking
point” for the action Congress intends to authorize.
Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Fla. v. U.S. Army Corps of
Eng’rs, 619 F.3d 1289, 1301 n.19 (11th Cir. 2010).
In this case, no conflicting laws actually prevented the
Secretary from issuing a permit to Drakes Bay. Continued
operation of the oyster farm is fully consistent with the
Wilderness Act, and the farm’s existence is therefore not an
“obstacle” to converting Drakes Estero to wilderness status as
directed by the Point Reyes Wilderness Act. Instead, it was
the Interior Department’s misinterpretation of the Point
Reyes Wilderness Act that proved to be the “legal sticking
point” here. I think the best reading of the notwithstanding
clause is that Congress meant to “override” (“sweep aside,”
“supersede”) that misinterpretation of the law when it enacted
§ 124. Alpine Ridge Grp., 508 U.S. at 18; Novak, 476 F.3d at
1046; Student Loan Fund, 272 F.3d at 1166.
If you accept what I have said so far, only two questions
remain. The first is whether Congress, having overridden the
Department’s misinterpretation of the Point Reyes
Wilderness Act, nonetheless authorized the Secretary to rely
on that misinterpretation as a basis for denying Drakes Bay a
permit. I cannot see any reason why we would construe
§ 124 in that fashion. Under the Administrative Procedure
Act (APA), if an agency bases its decision on a legally
erroneous interpretation of the controlling statute, its decision
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DRAKES BAY OYSTER CO. V. JEWELL 47
will be deemed arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise not in
accordance with law. See Safe Air for Everyone v. EPA,
488 F.3d 1088, 1091, 1101 (9th Cir. 2007) (involving an
erroneous interpretation of a state implementation plan that
had the force and effect of federal law). Thus, even without
the notwithstanding clause, it would make no sense to assume
that Congress authorized the Secretary to base his decision on
a misinterpretation of the Point Reyes Wilderness Act. With
the clause, adopting any such construction of § 124 would be
entirely indefensible.
The second (and admittedly closer) question is whether
the Secretary in fact based his decision on the
misinterpretation of the Act that Congress intended to
override by enacting § 124. The majority suggests that the
Secretary based his decision instead on the Interior
Department’s own policies, see Maj. op. at 20 & n.5, 27–28
n.8, but I do not think the Secretary’s written decision
denying the permit supports that view. The Secretary’s
decision states that he gave “great weight” to what he called
“the public policy inherent in the 1976 act of Congress that
identified Drakes Estero as potential wilderness.” The
Secretary read that Act as expressing Congress’s intention
that all “obstacles” to converting Drakes Estero to wilderness
status should be removed. But he erroneously deemed the
oyster farm to be such an obstacle (“DBOC’s commercial
operations are the only use preventing the conversion of
Drakes Estero to designated wilderness”), because he
erroneously assumed that the oyster farm’s continued
operation was “prohibited by the Wilderness Act.” That in
turn led him to conclude— again erroneously—that his
decision to eliminate the oyster farm “effectuate[d]”
Congress’s intent as expressed in the Point Reyes Wilderness
Act.
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DRAKES BAY OYSTER 48 CO. V. JEWELL
These are precisely the same errors of statutory
interpretation the Interior Department made back in 2005.
They are precisely the same errors that prompted Congress to
enact § 124 in the first place. And, in my view, they are
precisely the same errors Congress attempted to supersede by
inserting the notwithstanding clause. Contrary to the
majority’s assertion, the Secretary had no authority to rely on
this misinterpretation of “Congress’s earlier expressed goal”
because the notwithstanding clause eliminated any such
authority. See Maj. op. at 27–28 n.8.
What does the majority offer in response to this analysis?
Some hand waving, to be sure, but nothing of any substance.
Most tellingly, the majority never attempts to argue that the
Interior Department’s interpretation of the Point Reyes
Wilderness Act was correct. Nor could it make that
argument with a straight face given the Act’s clear legislative
history, which the majority never attempts to address, much
less refute. The majority thus has no explanation for
Congress’s inclusion of the notwithstanding clause in § 124
other than the one I have offered: that it was included to
override the Department’s misinterpretation of the Point
Reyes Wilderness Act. The majority claims that the clause
“has a clear function—to convey that prior legislation should
not be deemed a legal barrier” to permit issuance. See Maj.
op. at 20. But that reading of the clause supports my position
because the Secretary did treat “prior legislation”—namely,
the Point Reyes Wilderness Act—as a “legal barrier” to
permit issuance. As I have argued, that is exactly what the
notwithstanding clause was intended to prohibit.
The majority also claims that I have not accorded the
Secretary’s decision the deference it is owed under the
arbitrary and capricious standard, which requires us to give
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DRAKES BAY OYSTER CO. V. JEWELL 49
due regard to an agency’s exercise of discretion within its
sphere of expertise. See Maj. op. at 27–28 n.8. But I am not
arguing here that the Secretary’s decision must be set aside
because it reflects faulty weighing of permissible policy
factors. We would have no authority to second guess a
decision of that order. What I am saying, instead, is that
§ 124’s notwithstanding clause precluded the Secretary from
basing his decision on the very misinterpretation of the Point
Reyes Wilderness Act that Congress intended to override. A
decision will normally be deemed arbitrary and capricious if
an agency “has relied on factors which Congress has not
intended it to consider.” Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass’n v. State
Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 463 U.S. 29, 43 (1983). That,
unfortunately, is just what the Secretary did.
In short, I would hold that Drakes Bay is likely to prevail
on the merits of its APA claim. The Secretary’s
misinterpretation of the Point Reyes Wilderness Act, and his
mistaken view that denying the permit request effectuated
Congress’s intent, were “fundamental” to his decision,
rendering the decision “arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise not
in accordance with law.” Safe Air for Everyone, 488 F.3d at
1101 (internal quotation marks omitted).
III
Like the majority, I will not spend much time addressing
the remaining preliminary injunction factors—irreparable
harm, balance of the equities, and the public interest. See
Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20
(2008). Considered together, those factors tip in Drakes
Bay’s favor.
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DRAKES BAY OYSTER 50 CO. V. JEWELL
Drakes Bay will suffer irreparable injury to its business
and real-property rights if a preliminary injunction is
erroneously denied. See, e.g., Sundance Land Corp. v. Cmty.
First Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass’n, 840 F.2d 653, 661 (9th Cir.
1988); Am. Passage Media Corp. v. Cass Commc’ns, Inc.,
750 F.2d 1470, 1474 (9th Cir. 1985). The loss of “an ongoing
business representing many years of effort and the livelihood
of its [owners] constitutes irreparable harm.” Roso-Lino
Beverage Distribs., Inc. v. Coca-Cola Bottling Co., 749 F.2d
124, 125–26 (2d Cir. 1984) (per curiam).
The balance of equities favors Drakes Bay. The majority
concludes otherwise by noting that Drakes Bay knew when it
acquired the oyster farm that its permit would expire in 2012.
Maj. op. at 37. But that is not the relevant consideration.
Rather, the controlling consideration is that the harm Drakes
Bay will suffer from the erroneous denial of a preliminary
injunction far outweighs the harm the government will suffer
from an erroneous grant of such relief. See Alliance for the
Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1137–38 (9th Cir.
2011); Scotts Co. v. United Indus. Corp., 315 F.3d 264, 284
(4th Cir. 2002); Am. Hosp. Supply Corp. v. Hosp. Prods. Ltd.,
780 F.2d 589, 593 (7th Cir. 1986); Roso-Lino, 749 F.2d at
126. The government will suffer only modest harm if oyster
farming’s eighty-year history in the Estero continues a bit
longer. But if a preliminary injunction is erroneously denied,
Drakes Bay’s business will be destroyed. That is all Drakes
Bay must show to demonstrate that the balance of equities
tips in its favor here.
Finally, the public interest favors neither side. As the
district court observed, federal judges are ill equipped to
weigh the adverse environmental consequences of denying a
preliminary injunction against the consequences of granting
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DRAKES BAY OYSTER CO. V. JEWELL 51
such relief, or the relative interests in access to Drakes Bay’s
oysters as opposed to unencumbered wilderness. It is the
equities that carry the day in this case, see Nken v. Holder,
556 U.S. 418, 435 (2009) (when the United States is a party,
equities and the public interest merge), and the equities
strongly favor Drakes Bay.

 

For the entire amended opinion 13-15227_order_amended_opinion

04-16-14 Marin Superior Court Judge Chernus says “will take it under advisement” at end of hearing

04-16-14 Judge Chernus listened attentively to arguments from both sides, took notes, and at the end of the hearing stated “You’ve given us a lot to think about. I will take it under advisement and get back to you.”

His honor did not specify a date by which he will let us know his decision. Nevertheless, the attorneys are speculating the final ruling may be out within the next three weeks. The ruling could come as early as tomorrow yet on the other hand, it doesn’t have to be out for months from now.

04-15-14 Judge Ruled Ca. Coastal Comm. Violated Environmental Law & Abused its Discretion

04-15-14

Marin Superior Court, Judge Chernus,

issued his temporary ruling today stating the

California Coastal Commission violated environmental law

by not conducting an environmental review, and

abused its discretion by excluding Drakes Bay Oyster Farm evidence.

 

Racks and buildings need not be removed.

Didemnum measures struck down.

Existing Manila clams can stay.

 

To read the ruling, please click on the link below.

tentative 15 apr 2014

This is a tentative ruling.

All parties will appear in Marin County Superior Court, Department B, tomorrow morning, 04-16-14 at 8:30 AM to present arguments.

 

04-14-14 Videos originally aired on Marin TV RE: DBOC, by Peggy Day of “Seriously Now”

Peggy Day, Producer of Seriously Now on Marin TV has posted to Vimeo 8 programs on aired on the DBOC story.

Please click on or copy and paste into your web browser the link below to watch them. You will need to scroll down the page and / or click next to view all the videos posted to the YouTube channel.

http://vimeo.com/channels/723685

04-14-14 Attorney asks: “Are federal agencies immune from judicial review of their decisions?”

Drakes Bay Oyster Company seeks review in US Supreme Court

Today, Drakes Bay Oyster Company filed its petition for certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the federal government’s decision to shut down the oyster farm is immune from judicial review.

The petition raises a fundamental question that strikes at the heart of the administrative state: exactly how often are federal agencies immune from judicial review of their decisions?  The Administrative Procedure Act authorizes review in federal courts of federal agency decisions when they are arbitrary, capricious, abusive of the agency’s discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law.  But many courts across the nation have held that they have no jurisdiction to review agency decisions unless Congress specifically provides statutory guidelines for the exercise of agency discretion.  This legal perspective boils down to the proposition that Congress can (and frequently does) delegate unlimited power to executive agencies to make permitting and other regulatory decisions for any reason or no reason, subject to no substantive or even procedural safeguards for citizens and their liberty and property.

Fortunately, many other federal courts have ruled the opposite: that courts can and must review whether discretionary agency actions are arbitrary, capricious, abusive, or otherwise contrary to law.  The oyster farm’s petition to the Supreme Court clearly identifies the scope of this ongoing conflict within the federal courts of appeals, making this a very good opportunity for the Supreme Court to resolve this fundamental question of executive accountability and availability of judicial review.

You can learn more about the oyster farm’s fight for justice from our video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4j2Om3W-Ofo

 

Or listen to our January 15 podcast.

04-14-14 Drakes Bay Oyster Files Petition for Writ of Certiorari in U.S. Supreme Court

April 14, 2014

 Contacts: Tina Walker

Office: 415.227.9700

Cell: 650.248.1037

Email: tina@singersf.com

 

Peter Prows

Counsel for Drakes Bay Oyster

Email: pprows@briscoelaw.net

 

 

 Drakes Bay Oyster Files Petition for Writ of Certiorari in U.S. Supreme Court

Petition asks high court to review Ninth Circuit decision


INVERNESS, CALIF. — Drakes Bay Oyster Company has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari to review the judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in its case.

 

At issue is former Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar’s denial of Drakes Bay’s permit to continue operating the 80-year-old oyster farm, even though the original deal for the creation of Point Reyes National Seashore—supported by the Park Service, the Sierra Club, the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin, and every other interested environmental and civic group—was that the oyster farm was always supposed to stay.  The Ninth Circuit held that a federal court does not have jurisdiction to review a discretionary agency decision for abuse of discretion.  At stake is whether the government, in making countless everyday decisions, can be taken to court when it abuses its power.

 

“If this judgment is not overturned, government agencies will have the power to deny a permit to any individual or business for any reason, without judicial review,” said Kevin Lunny, owner of Drakes Bay Oyster Company.  “Citizens must have recourse in the face of an arbitrary and capricious decision.”

 

The small, family-owned farm has been in a heated legal battle with federal regulators for its survival.  Because Drakes Bay showed that there is a “reasonable probability” that the Supreme Court will take this case and a “significant possibility” that the oyster farm will win, the Ninth Circuit has allowed Drakes Bay to remain open while it takes its case to the Supreme Court.

 

One reason the Supreme Court might want to hear the case is to resolve fifteen circuit splits on three issues—that is, issues on which two or more circuits in the U.S. court of appeals system have given different interpretations of federal law. The splits in this case are on important issues:  jurisdiction to review agency actions for abuse of discretion, applicability of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and prejudicial error under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Read the Petition for Writ of Certiorarihere.

 

About Drakes Bay Oyster Company

The historic oyster farm in Drakes Estero, located in Point Reyes, Marin County, has been part of the community for nearly 100 years. The Lunnys, a fourth-generation Point Reyes ranching family, purchased the oyster farm in 2004. Modern environmentalists and proponents of sustainable agriculture praise Drakes Bay Oyster as a superb example of how people can produce high-quality food in harmony with the environment. The farm produces approximately one third of all oysters grown in California, and employs 30 members of the community. The Lunnys also contribute the oyster shells that make possible the restoration of native oysters in San Francisco Bay and the oyster shells used to create habitat for the endangered Snowy Plover and Least Tern. As the last oyster cannery in California, Drakes Bay is the only local (and thus the only safe and affordable) source of these shells. The Lunny family is proud of its contributions to a sustainable food model that conserves and maintains the productivity of the local landscapes and the health of its inhabitants. For more information, please visit www.drakesbayoyster.com and www.savedrakesbay.com

 

04-14-14 US Suprem