during the period for public comment last year.
December 9, 2011
EIS DBOC SUP c/o Superintendent
Point Reyes National Seashore
1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
This letter is in response to the National Park Service request for comments on it's
Environmental Impact Statement concerning a renewable Special Use Permit for
Drakes Bay Oyster Company.
My name is James J. Baum. I am the owner of Marin Community Farm Stands & CSA, a Marin County produce market for local and sustainable agriculture. My business slogan is: Seasonal, Organic and Locally grown. I conduct business throughout Marin County California in the Communities of San Anselmo, Fairfax, San Geronimo, Woodacre and Mill Valley. I have known the Lunny Family and conducted business with Drakes Bay Oyster Company for several years. The most important issue before my customers is local production of high quality organic farm produce and seafood. The communities I serve have identified and supported the local economy of Marin County because they are able to purchase incredible produce that is of exceptional quality.
The Drakes Bay Oyster Company produces amazing sea food that has no equal,
anywhere. It is cultivated under a major commitment to sustainable methods and land
use management. The Lunny Family has documented their commitment to these
business practices on their websites, newsletters and public statements. My voice must be added to the din of outrage that the Marin Community has already begun to show to a Federal agency, the National Park Service, seeking to displace a local business that does what the community it serves wants. The government is misguided in it's efforts to withdraw the Special Use Permit for the following reasons.
Under Alternative A, restoring the area to "wilderness" status is extremely costly in
economic terms. The destruction of infrastructure already in place will have unforeseen consequences such as pollution. Removing from seed beds all the infrastructure will cost money. Who is to fund this? In fact, the EPS itself may be subject to Federal Budget cuts in order to reduce the federal deficit. This effort therefore will result in a needless loss of jobs, reduced economic growth and local commerce, loss of sustainability and good land management. It will also put in place a bureaucratic management process that could not possibly be funded for maintaining, inspecting, managing, certifying, documenting a new restored so called wilderness. So, therefore, the Alternative A solution as proposed is unworkable and will inflict damage to the local economy by removing infrastructures that are already in place and have a useful economic purpose. Moreover, the wilderness designation does not guarantee a positive result for the West Marin communities. It will inhibit tourism, economic activity, commerce, investment. etc. and may well result in pollution and damage to the environment during the removal process, cause severe economic hardship to DBOC and may force DBOC into limbo with a possible bankruptcy filing in order to protect its assets.
Oyster cultivation in these pristine waters has been an historical industry for this region. Man is also part of nature and has rights to survive. When you weigh out the pros and cons to the preservation of natural lands and habitat and the balance of shell fish production and how this closure would affect the sea food industry as a whole, we have to be extremely careful. Our oceans are over fished every year. This closure would further weaken our food chain. Shell fish production is a necessity for a stable seafood industry. Closure of the last canary in California along with 40% of California's oysters, just seems the wrong way to go.
I support the issuance of a renewable permit for Drakes Bay Oyster Company. DBOC must be allowed to continue the existing uses pursuant to the existing California Department of Fish and Game leases in place since 1934.
James J. Baum
Marin Community Farm Stands and CSA
Po Box 134
San Geronimo, CA 94963