Issues and Cases

Feds’ treatment of Drakes Bay oyster farm was fishy

Drakes Bay Oyster Company v. Salazar

Contact: Tony François

Drakes Bay Oyster Co. PR case imageStatus: Jan. 14, 2014,  Ninth Circuit denied petition for rehearing, Drakes Bay Oyster Co. filed its petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court on April, 2014. PLF filed its amicus brief in support of the petition on May 15, 2014. The court denied the certiorari petition on June 30, 2014.
 
Summary:
Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s operations are carried out under a Reservation of Use and Occupancy from the National Park Service that began in 1972, and was set to expire on November 30, 2012. The Reservation of Use and Occupancy provided that the Park Service could issue a Special Use Permit to allow Drakes Bay Oyster Company to continue operations after that date.

In 1976, Congress designated Drakes Estero as “potential wilderness.” In 2005, National Park Service asserted that the 1964 Wilderness Act and the 1976 potential wilderness designation prohibited National Park Service from issuing Drakes Bay Oyster Company a new Special Use Permit when its Reservation of Use and Occupancy expired in 2012. In 2009, Congress authorized the Secretary to issue a Special Use Permit allowing Drakes Bay Oyster Company to continue its existing operations “notwithstanding any other provision of law.”

In July, 2010, Drakes Bay Oyster Company applied for this Special Use Permit. On November 29, 2012, Secretary Salazar denied Drakes Bay Oyster Company the Special Use Permit.

As amicus in support of Drakes Bay Oyster Company, Pacific Legal Foundation argues that the Secretary was not mandated to deny the Special Use Permit, but had the legal discretion to grant it.

 

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