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California | North Bay / Marin | U.S. | Environment & Forest Defense

Federal court denies preliminary injunction request by Drakes Bay Oyster Company
by Environmental Action Committee of West Marin
Monday Feb 4th, 2013 5:04 PM
Conservation Leaders Applaud Court Ruling that Supports Secretary Salazar’s Marine Wilderness Decision at Point Reyes National Seashore
Today, federal district court judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers denied the preliminary injunction request by Drakes Bay Oyster Company that would have in effect over turned Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's decision to protect Drakes Estero as wilderness. The decision is hailed by conservation leaders.

In summary, the court's ruling stated that, “The Court finds it does not have jurisdiction to review the Secretary’s Decision. Moreover, even if Plaintiffs’ claims could be construed to give this Court jurisdiction, based upon the record presented, Plaintiffs have not demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of the claims nor that the balancing of the equities favors injunctive relief.” (Page 2 of Court Ruling)


Statement by Amy Trainer, Executive Director, Environmental Action Committee of West Marin
"The court rightly decided that Secretary Salazar had full discretion to let the oyster operation permit expire on its own terms and honor the 1976 wilderness designation for Drakes Estero. We are very grateful for this decision, which supports the Estero's full wilderness protection, and we urge the company to fulfill its long-standing responsibility to its workers by assisting them during this time of transition."

Statement by Neal Desai, Pacific Region Associate Director, National Parks Conservation Association
"The court ruling affirms that our national parks will be safe from privatization schemes, and that special places like Drakes Estero will rise above attempts to hijack Americans' wilderness. Taxpayers can rejoice that the land they bought and own in Point Reyes National Seashore will now be protected as planned after 40 years of waiting."

Statement by Gordon Bennett, President, Save Our Seashore
"We have long-stated and the Court has now confirmed that the expiration of the oyster operation permit was a well-established matter of contract and NPS policy that Mr. Lunny was fully aware of before he bought the last few years of operating rights. This decision facilitates the planned wind-down of company operations and we hope that the company provides strong financial support for the transition of its workers."

Statement by Johanna Wald, Senior Counselor, National Resources Defense Council
"Today's decision is another affirmation of the principle that 'a deal is a deal’. The preservation of Drakes Estero will be enjoyed by millions of Californians and lovers of wilderness and parks for generations to come. We're grateful to Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers for her strong decision to protect our precious natural resources and return the land that belongs to the people."