United States Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey sent an impassioned letter to Darrell Issa, chair of the House Oversight Committee, this week, urging him to halt a preliminary investigation into scientific misconduct by National Park Service employees involved in the controversy surrounding Drakes Bay Oyster Company.
“Your investigation is an unnecessary, cumbersome and costly endeavor, which will make it more difficult to move forward with a fair and open process,” Woolsey wrote. “[The Park Service] has already admitted to some scientific misrepresentations, which have been corrected. The matter has been reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences, the Department of the Interior Solicitor’s Office, and the Marine Mammal Commission, all of whom have cleared park personnel of misconduct.”
Point Reyes National Seashore has released a draft Environmental Impact Statement on the renewal of a special use permit that would allow the oyster company to operate past 2012, when wilderness proponents would like to see the company shut down.
On Monday, the Oversight Committee began taking depositions from seven officials involved in the controversy, including Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, Seashore Superintendent Cicely Muldoon and former superintendent Don Neubacher. A committee spokesman said that a public hearing has yet to be scheduled, and that its timing will depend “on how cooperative the [implicated] government agency decides to be.”