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

 

 

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.

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