In the controversy over the Drake’s Bay Oyster Farm, one question has stood out. What did the Lunny family think would happen when their lease ran out at Point Reyes National Seashore?

The lease had a clear expiration date: November 30, 2012, and the Lunnys knew that when they took over the farm in 2004.

In a new PBS Newshour report produced by former KQED reporter Spenser Michels, Kevin Lunny explains his thinking.

“This lease has a renewal clause,” he says. “It was always anticipated that it could be renewed. … this is exactly what was planned for the seashore. An oyster farm is part of the working landscape. It’s part of the agriculture. It’s really part of the fabric, part of the history, part of the culture that was always expected to be preserved.”

Here’s that report, which aired on Wednesday:

Watch Strange Bedfellows Fight to Keep Oyster Farm in Operation on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

The report also quotes opponents of the farm, such as Amy Trainer, director of the Environmental Action committee of West Marin, who says the farm is polluting the bay.

Drake’s Bay Oyster Farm Owner Says It Was ‘Planned for the Seashore’ 3 May,2013Laird Harrison

  • Steven Maviglio

    An oyster operation was never envisioned beyond 2012. Key members of the Federal Advisory Committee that made the wilderness recommendation to Congress in 1976 stated that explicitly. Whatever Kevin Lunny’s self-serving interpretation of the 1972 legal agreement between NPS and Johnson Oyster Co., it was superseded by the 1976 congressional wilderness designation for Drakes Estero, and that designation absolutely did not envision commercial operations beyond Nov. 30,2012.

    • y_p_w

      Even if you believe that interpretation is correct, that would have been superseded by the rider inserted by Senator Feinstein that explicit allowed for issuance of a 10-year special use permit.

      • Allowed means it’s permissive but not required.

  • Gaia Bestamore

    The oyster farm should be grandfathered in as it totally aligns with the intent of Marin County residents who saved Point Reyes from developers in the 70s. If the government wishes to return the area to a natural state, all cattle, farms, towns (including Stinson and Tomales) removed, dogs, bikes, autos, and all humans except members of the Miwok tribe, banned. Of course no fishing or whale watching boats would be allowed to unnaturally use the ocean areas either.

    • Truthbetold

      Absolutely! I can’t help but wonder who the folks are that think the Pt. Reyes peninsula can ever be what it was in the past. No place can be what it once was, unless there is a way to make the air, water, land, and everything else the way it used to be. The original proposal approved by President Kennedy, envisioned an area that would forever be protected from development, and forever used for agriculture and recreation. There are already wilderness areas in California that have never been developed, or used in any way by people. Those are the areas that should be protected from human intrusion, not an area that has an agricultural heritage, and is only a few aeronautical miles from a major metropolitan area. What’s next, San Francisco?

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