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Sonoma County Democrats Pass Pro-Drakes Estero Wilderness Resolution
On October 8th, the Sonoma County Democratic Central Committee overwhelmingly passed a resolution supporting the Obama Administration’s decision to protect Drakes Estero in Point Reyes National Seashore as “a marine wilderness area for the enjoyment and benefit of all current and future generations of Americans.”
By a 3 to 1 margin, the Sonoma County DCC voted 18-5, with one abstention, to join other California and national democratic leadership such as U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (CA) and U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Ron Wyden (OR) in applauding the Obama Administration’s decision to let the Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s lease expire on its own terms, ushering in the establishment of the West Coast’s first marine wilderness at Drakes Estero.
The Sonoma County DCC also took a position rejecting the Company’s claims that the State of California, not the National Park Service, has primary management of Drakes Estero – claims that several State agencies, the State Attorney General’s Office, and California Senate Budget Chair Mark Leno have rejected.
The October 8th vote follows last month’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that rejected the Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s request for an injunction that would let it keep operating pending the ultimate outcome of its litigation, stating that the Company is unlikely to win its lawsuit and that the public interest and balance of equities do not favor its continued operation. The Company, supported by the Koch-brothers funded Pacific Legal Foundation, has stated its intention to challenge the 9th Circuit ruling.