Salazar backs park science

09/21/2011

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar struck a definitive tone in the debate over Drakes Estero this week by calling the science behind a much-anticipated Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) “accurate.” In recent weeks, independent experts have criticized a study published by park scientists, which found that oyster cultivation resulted in seal displacement in the estero. Senator Dianne Feinstein has requested that Salazar delay the release of the EIS until federal scientists investigate the allegations. Responding to questions from ABC7 producer Ken Miguel at a speaking engagement on Tuesday, Salazar downplayed the role of science in the debate, citing law as the presiding factor in the decision to renew or terminate Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s operating rights. Still, he stopped short of taking any official stance. “At the end of the day, the Point Reyes National Seashore issue is going to be—should be—made as a matter of law,” he said. “I think the documents are there in terms of what happened historically and how it was created… but right now we’re still in process.”