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Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

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November 26, 2012

Will Drakes Bay Oyster Farm Survive?

This past Wednesday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar paid a visit to Point Reyes National Seashore and met with Drakes Bay Oyster Farm owners, Kevin and Nancy Lunny.  It was really interesting to be able to attend this meeting with the Secretary of Interior, right hand to the President in the small town of Inverness.

The Drakes Bay Oyster Farm issue has been one of the most controversial issues in Marin for the past several years and it's finally coming to a conclusion.  The oyster far has been in existence for 85 years, named Johnson's Oysters before the Lunny's bought it and took over seven years ago as Drakes Bay Oyster Farm.  Their 30 year lease will be up with the park service on November 30th and Secretary Salazar needs to make a decision by then on whether to extend the historic agreement or close down the oyster farm.

Secretary Salazar spent an hour at Drakes Bay Oyster Farm where he toured the farm, listened to the history behind Kevin's family owned oyster farm and spoke in Spanish to a few of the Hispanic employees, some of them employed by the oyster farm for 25 years.   The farm grows, harvests, shucks and sells oysters that account for 40% of California's oyster supply.

An oyster barge makes its way in with a fresh load of oysters..........

Secretary Salazar sits down with Kevin Lunny, Supervisor Kinnsey and a few others to discuss the situation in more detail.....

After the oyster farm visit, Secretary Salazar and entourage headed over to the park headquarters at Bear Valley Visitor Center where he met in a closed session {open to press}with activist environmentalists who want  to see the oyster farm close, claiming it endangers marine mammals and insists the Wilderness Act calls for its closure.

I, for one, hope to see Drakes Bay Oyster Farm survive and have its lease extended.  They not only provide delicious oysters, but provide visitors the unique opportunity to experience visiting a working oyster farm.  The educational benefits it provides our future generations far out-weigh converting the farm solely to wilderness, in my opinion.

Click here to learn more about Drakes Bay Oyster Farm

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Anonymous said...

Now we need some cow stories or pics. I have missed seeing the girls.

Anonymous said...

Finally got away from the Martha Stewart stuff and got back to being the wife of a dairyman.

Victoria Hanson said...

Thank you so much for your thoughtful summary. Your photos gave unique glimpses into these intense meetings. Although my conclusions differ, your genuine concern for fairness and honesty brings fresh hope. Building on that common ground seems the best path forward, whatever Secretary Salazar's decision.

Crystal Cattle said...

I love Oysters, but they have started making me sick when I eat them. Obviously, this farm is doing something right if they have stayed in business for so long. It would be awful to see all that history and JOBS disappear!

Unknown said...

Hi Nancy!
I for one will be shocked and disappointed if Drakes Bay Oyster Farm is closed, that would be just plain crazy ;-(
On a brighter note, I hope you're enjoying your holiday season, maybe get some baking done on this yucky rainy day!?

ann said...

Nancy why would they want to close it down Are oysters hard to find Didn't know they raised the in captivity I am a beef cow gal