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  1. #1
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    Point Reyes Decision

    Off topic, but important to Northern Cal MTBR folks that also paddle.

    The Park Service is officially denying a permit renewal to the oyster farm in Drake's Estero. The rationale is that the area is and should be wilderness.

    I fear that the next step will be to eliminate kayak access to the estero which I and many others on MTBR have paddled for many years. Note that access was recently prohibited for the winter and part of the spring for seal pupping. The park service just hates giving folks access off the roads and trails. (Point Reyes hates bikes too and loves horse poop on destroyed trails, but that's another issue.)

    I've requested to be placed on the Point Reyes official notice mailing list and will monitor the notices for any proposed changes to uses in Drake's Estero. You may want to do the same and be ready to comment if access (and parking) is proposed for elimination.

  2. #2
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    Not sure if this will do anything, but it only takes 2 minutes and who knows, could go a long way to have them reconsider. I heard on KTVU they plan to fight it, so this might help..

    https://www.change.org/petitions/sec...share_petition

  3. #3
    Crazed Country Rebel
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    Quote Originally Posted by telemike View Post
    The rationale is that the area is and should be wilderness.
    .
    that sounds exactly like the sort of reasoning the anti-bike PCT crowd uses. Meaning, it's not rational at all.

    As a society, we need to be MUCH more evidence-based than this.
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  4. #4
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    Strange. They're picking on the Oyster farm and leaving the ranch's that cause all of the cow crap run off that's ruining the water quality. Don't oysters help to clean the water?. I'm also a paddler. How did you request to be on the notice mailing list?


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  5. #5
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    Contact

    To request placement on their email list, I simply went to the homepage and contact us. I don't know if the request will reach the right person though. I will keep trying until I get a hit then I will post the proper email address.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the link. This is pure BS!
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  7. #7
    sbd
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    Another paddler and a biologist. Filter feeders improve water quailty. Oyster racks make outstanding stucture and refuge for juvenile fish and other invertebrate. Also a very sustainable source of protien. Raised on site and requires no feed. Its really really bad and should be banned! Im so sick of this kind of crap I cant stand it!!!

  8. #8
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    Must be some financial reason they are booting the oysters. Someone must be paying the politicians.

  9. #9
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    Was just at the oyster farm a few weeks ago; sad to see it go. I think the decision to close it was partially based on junk science, partially based on Sierra Club propaganda to influence their members to write the Secretary of the Interior, and partially based on the legal definition of Wilderness. It was a tourist attraction, supplied 40% of California's oysters, and employed 30 people. I don't think there was any proof that it had a significant impact on wildlife in the area. Like someone mentioned, the cattle grazing probably has more impact, but ranching has a stronger lobby than oyster farmers. For the record, Diane Fienstien tried to save the farm. Barbara Boxer supported the decision to close it. Oh, and the Park spent a million bucks on the environmental study.

  10. #10
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    I followed the debate on nationalparkstraveler.com There is a bit of evidence that the "scientific" study done by the park on the effects of the oyster farm was utterly biased and performed with the unique goal of kicking them out. Basically, the area has been set aside for wilderness status and the NPS can't get it with the farm, so they used every trick at their disposal to do so. Frankly, they could have asked Congress to give them wilderness status and make an exception for the farm. Unfortunately, the NPS has drunk the Wilderness kool aid for too damn long, and they worship it like a new age idol.

    This is a bit sickening.
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  11. #11
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    I don't see how an indigenous species feeding in it's native habitat could adversely effect the Seal population that breeds nearby. Other than the artificial structure used to support the oyster beds themselves there is nothing else "artificial" involved in the process. In other words, if the Drake's Bay Oyster Company is denied an extension of there lease and paddlers denied access, I call BULL$HIT.
    This may be a total waste of time but I can't help but think that you might amount to something someday.

  12. #12
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    I have worked for some large governmental land owners/managers. The toughest part for those outside is that there is a 'do nothing' culture. If you do nothing then nothing can go wrong and get blamed on you. And the less you do the less work there is to do but you still get paid the same. And they aren't spending their own money. It's hard to win an argument with these folks. My 2 cents.

  13. #13
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    Oh, and them oysters were some seriously good eats (if I remember right). The local eateries seemed to featured them, and super fresh, again, if I remember right. My wife and I enjoyed some on a long weekend while riding and hiking PRs several years ago. How dare anyone try to make a buck. We need less government....and that's all I have to say about that.

  14. #14
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    I agree with everyone here that this is an absolute bullsh1t decision.
    1) Saw in the chron that many restaurants will now have to fly in their oysters from Washington. Yet the farm is somehow the environmental problem. Awesome logic there.
    2) The oyster farm is a great success story of how a sustainable agri/aquacultural business can coexist with a delicate natural area. But of course we don't want to encourage such things. In fact, we want to stamp on them so forcefully -- so ruinously for the owners, who receive NO compensation for this closure -- that no one in their right mind will ever try such a venture ever again. Fantastic work.

    This f*cking stupidity makes my blood boil. Plus, I really, really, REALLY love oysters from this place (have probably spent $1-2k on deliciousness there over the past 15 years) and I'm ready to punch Ken Salazar in the mouth.
    On heavy rotation: White Lung: Deep Fantasy

  15. #15
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    DBOC has filed suit against the federal government. This will be interesting to see how it plays out. Oysters are a big part of Point Reyes. It's a shame to see the Feds try to kill off a local farmer in name of the park!

    Drakes Bay Oyster Co. sues feds in fight over farm - SFGate

  16. #16
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  17. #17
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    Also here is a link to there petition..
    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/pet...tment/GXsMsG3p

  18. #18
    just another bleepin SSer
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    Another paddler here (involved with California Kayaker Magazine - you other paddlers ever check it out - California Kayaker Magazine - California's source for kayak information), and I also am disappointed with the decision. Our government jumps too fast whenever they can to make area wilderness, when other levels of land protection (such as what was already in existence there - as a national seashore) are just fine.

    Point Reyes is kind of like MidPen IMHO. MidPen has provided a lot of bike access over the years, but has slowly gotten stricter and spends too much effort enforcing. Point Reyes has slowly gotten stricter on paddlers, with the seal closure in Drakes and Limantour Esterro from Mar-Jun and more recently closing off the stretch from Chimney Rock to the lighthouse to all boats (which was mostly sea kayakers looking for rock garden opportunities) because seals and sea lions might be there (which were already protected by the Marine Mammal Protection act, so we were not allowed to approach).

    So while wilderness designation does not mean no kayaks (kayaks are allowed in wilderness, unlike bikes), with Point Reyes' history I do fear that this is a start toward closing the esterro to us.

    I am not really an oyster eater myself, but that farm did provide 40% of the oysters produced in California. Supposedly he can't relocate the farm, so that production will be gone. Guess we are going to have to import more oysters (with the added environmental damage of transporting them from afar) to meet CA's demand. And possibly pay higher prices for what few local oysters are left in the area.
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  19. #19
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    Need Signatures!

    Quote Originally Posted by 2clue View Post
    Also here is a link to there petition..
    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/pet...tment/GXsMsG3p
    This petition is 23K signatures short of 25K. Please spread the word and get others to sign. I don't know how effective this will be, but I am willing to try anything to help save DBOC. Thanks!

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