State grange backs Drakes oysters


The California State Grange passed a resolution last week calling on elected representatives to assert the state’s rights to lease the water bottoms in Drakes Estero for oyster and clam cultivation. The resolution notes, among other things, that former members of Congress John Burton and Pete McCloskey, as well as former state Assemblyman William Bagley, sent a letter to the Department of the Interior that their work in the 1970’s intended to keep the oyster farm around as a “prior non-conforming use.” (The resolution says Drakes Bay Oyster Company provides over 30 percent of California oysters; the California Department of Fish and Game has told the Light their estimate is 28 percent for 2012.)