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

 

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

04-17-14 Pt Reyes Light: In draft ruling, state told to backtrack on oyster farm orders

In draft ruling, state told to backtrack on oyster farm orders

04/17/2014

A Marin judge issued a tentative ruling on Tuesday that the California Coastal Commission failed to comply with state environmental law when it issued enforcement orders to Drakes Bay Oyster Company without undertaking a review of potential harmful impacts. Judge Roy Chernus also ruled that the commission abused its discretion last year by excluding from the administrative record documents the oyster farm submitted, also a violation of the California Environmental Quality Act.

But Mr. Chernus also ruled against Drakes Bay’s claims that the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s jurisdiction in Drakes Estero meant the commission had no authority to issue the orders in the first place, and denied the oyster farm’s request to expand its due process allegations. He allowed some of the commission’s cease-and-desist orders to stand and be immediately enforced, although Drakes Bay says it is already complying with those orders.

Drakes Bay lawyer Peter Prows called it an overall win for the farm. “He found the commission broke the law and has to do an environmental review and that they abused their discretion by kicking out our evidence,” he said.

Mr. Chernus, a bespectacled man who exudes a cut-to-the-chase demeanor in the court room, heard oral arguments from both sides on Wednesday—the commission asking him to reinstate all the orders because no CEQA review was necessary and Drakes Bay claiming the abuse of discretion and exclusion of evidence should invalidate all the orders.

The judge has 90 days to issue a final ruling.

The C.C.C. issued cease-and-desist and restoration orders to Drakes Bay in February 2013, leading environmentalist and biologist Phyllis Faber, along with Drakes Bay itself, to file suits against the commission. (Those suits were subsequently combined.)

Both suits alleged that the commission violated CEQA because portions of the orders—including orders to remove clams and an invasive tunicate, and, if and when the farm shuts down, the oyster racks and oysters themselves—could have significant environmental consequences for plants, wildlife, water quality and more.

The commission believes that under state code, its orders typically qualify for a categorical exemption from CEQA. There are exceptions

to the exemptions, but the commission says none apply here.

The tentative ruling agreed with Drakes Bay that the removal of things like racks, clams, the tunicate and abandoned equipment and structures comprised an unusual circumstance that require an environmental review. Although the restoration orders were only to be implemented if the farm shuts down, the cease and desist orders—which included the mandates to remove the tunicate and clams—were to be undertaken immediately.

During oral arguments on Wednesday, Joel Jacobs, the state’s deputy attorney general, said that if any adverse environmental impact triggers CEQA, agencies—particularly the commission, which has jurisdiction over sensitive coastal habitat—might never be exempted. “The exception [would] swallow the entire rule,” he said.

But a lawyer for Ms. Faber, Zachary Walton, countered that requiring the removal of items such as oyster racks that have been in the estuary for close to a century and two million clams that filter the water is unusual enough to trigger CEQA.

Mr. Jacobs also refuted Drakes Bay’s rights to make such arguments about many of the items the judge said needed environmental review because the farm had not sufficiently brought them up at the administrative hearing last year. (He conceded that they might have sufficiently raised the issue of the racks.)

Drakes Bay also argued that the commission violated the company’s right to due process because the commission refused to include hundreds of pages of documents submitted before the administrative hearing last year, documents that countered allegations that the farm was causing environmental harm.

The judge tentatively ruled that the commission abused its discretion by excluding them, citing state code that stipulates that all “documents submitted by any person relevant to any findings” should be allowed. On Wednesday, Mr. Jacobs said the farm could have filed it much sooner and referred to the submission as “document dump,” though Mr. Prows said they only saw the staff report 10 days before the hearing.

Mr. Prows also asked the judge to throw out all the orders, not just some of them, because of that abuse. “There’s no room for the court to pick bits and pieces” to preserve, he said.

Drakes Bay recently filed a motion to expand their due process claim, arguing that the commission’s prohibition on cross-examination of its lawyers also violates due process. Mr. Chernus refused to accept the motion on the grounds that it was not submitted in a timely fashion; Drakes Bay asked him to reconsider on the grounds that motions to amend are usually granted liberally, which Mr. Chernus himself noted when he was hearing a previous case Wednesday morning. (“I knew that would come back to haunt me,” he said.)

Mr. Chernus sided with the commission on the issue of whether the Fish and Wildlife’s jurisdiction precluded the orders altogether. “Without a doubt, the Fish & Game Commission is tasked with authority to issue permits and to regulate certain aspects of the business of Aquaculture,” he wrote. But, he continued, the Coastal Act does give the commission jurisdiction over aquaculture in the coastal zone, and the farm’s offshore and onshore operations comprise the kind of development the Coastal Act regulates.

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 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 Supreme Court Cert Petition Press Release With Links

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