Oyster farm requests relief


Attorneys for Kevin Lunny filed a request for a preliminary injunction with the federal district court of northern California last Friday in hopes of putting on pause efforts to shut down Drakes Bay Oyster Company until the pending lawsuit is resolved. The request states that Mr. Lunny, whose bid to renew his lease with the National Park Service was denied by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in November—would suffer irreparable harm from the destruction of his business. It also argues that Mr. Lunny will likely prevail in the lawsuit, which asserts that the Secretary erroneously interpreted relevant law, and that the injunction would benefit the oyster farm employees, environment and public. “Without an injunction,” it states, “this case will be over before it begins.” It also argued that the park service illegally published a false notice in the federal register authorizing the conversion of Drakes Estero from potential to designated wilderness. Attorneys stated that the existence of a state water-bottom lease and the continued presence of non-conforming uses—in other words, mariculture operations—preclude such a conversion. Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers will hear the request on January 25.