I've been a member of a local gay women's email list for about 15 years and am often at odds with Communitarians posting on it. Over the past few weeks I responded to women who were urging others to sign an online petition to get Drakes Bay Oyster Company out of the bay to 'save the bay.' We fought it out online.
Here's the exchange (I'm blue and they're green):
"Drake’s Bay is in northern California on the Point Reyes Peninsula. This gorgeous ocean front peninsula is part of the Point Reyes National Seashore. The Drake’s Bay Oyster Company has harvested oysters from the bay for over 70 years. Their lease with the National Park Service is about to expire in 2012 so they asked for an extension. Unfortunately for them, the National Park Service wants to declare the area a ‘designated wilderness area.’ According to the National Forestry Service, US Department of Agriculture, a ‘designated wilderness area is defined this way:
Wilderness is “an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” An area of wilderness is further defined in the Wilderness Act to mean “an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or
human habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions and which (1) generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man's work substantially unnoticeable; (2) has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation; (3) has at
least five thousand acres of land or is of sufficient size as to make practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition; and (4) may also contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value.”
There’s a problem there, as you can see. The Drake’s Bay Oyster Company has been at that location for seven decades, about three decades more than the National Seashore has been in existence. The area is now a ‘potential designated wilderness’ so the Park Service wanted to do its inventory and see if it could further restrict uses to ‘visitors who do not remain.’ If they could remove all permanent improvements in the National Seashore they’d be able to change the status to ‘designated wilderness.’ To that end they planted a surveillance camera on the bay and recorded the movements of the employees of the oyster farm hoping to find violations. Although they recorded more than 250,000 images none of them showed damage to the harbor seals or the environment. So what did the Park Service do? They hid that information so that they could say that the oyster farm was a threat to the environment and should lose their lease. The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper reported on March 24, 2011 that:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein accused the U.S. Department of the Interior on Wednesday of downplaying evidence of misconduct by National Park Service scientists who apparently wanted to get a popular shellfish operation kicked out of Drakes Bay.
The Interior Department's office of the solicitor released a report Tuesday outlining what it termed biased, improper, mistake-ridden work by scientists. But it concluded that the behavior did not rise to the level of intentional "scientific misconduct" - and that nothing criminal occurred.
The headline called it a “mistake” but it wasn’t, was it? It was deliberate, and it was done in order to declare an area ‘wilderness.’ Untrammeled. Primeval. Primitive. Wildlands.
---Behind The Green Mask: UN Agenda 21 available on Amazon, Kindle, and Nook.
Drake's Bay Oyster Company has lost their lease. This operation has been in existence at this location for over 80 years. It is a sustainable, local, food producer.
Watch this video on Drake's Bay Oyster Company. Believing dogma without facts does no credit to those who seek the truth. We all need to be conscious of efforts to manipulate those of us who identify as environmentalists.
For those of you who are not knowledgeable about the National Park Service I suggest you do some research. And for those of you who believe that no one should have a business or make a profit you might want to re-examine your belief system. This manipulation of data by the National Park Service is a crime.
But the company was sold about 7 or 8 years ago to a company that knew the lease was poised to expire. It didn't make a lotta business sense to me.
I think the best upshot of this discussion has been to underscore the need to examine issues from multiple perspectives, and to avoid being entrenched in a position without doing the research.
That 40 year old agreement was a lease that was renewable. The terms were favorable, that was why the owners of the Oyster Farm and all of the ranchers agreed to it in the first place. It just knocks me out that those of us who are out there fighting for rights, social justice, the 99% , local food, non-GMO, no WTO, etc don't see it when the rhetoric is twisted in the government's favor on an issue that sounds good to us. It's not that hard to do some research and see what this is about. Inventory and control.
Investigating issues of justice can be tiring but that is the task of an informed electorate.
Thanks for your persevering and tireless work of educating all of us stubborn folks in denial. Though we may not always speak up, we do appreciate. You have educated me about Agenda 21, and I will pass it on!
much love & blessings