"Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's decision last week to close down Drakes Bay Oyster Co. was years in the making, costing his agency millions of dollars in research and potentially damaging the reputation of the National Park Service."
"But in the end, his justification was simple: The continued operation of the business in a potential wilderness area violated NPS policy. After spending at least $1.5 million to research the California oyster farm's effect on the environment, Salazar largely sidestepped the resulting environmental impact statement (EIS) to focus on a legal argument he could have made years ago (E&ENews PM, Nov. 29).
So what was the point of all that money and all that controversy?
That question is central in the aftermath of Salazar's decision, which will end marine aquaculture in Drakes Estero after more than 70 years. The EIS -- and the research behind it -- had become a lightning rod in the passionate debate over whether Drakes Bay Oyster Co. should continue to operate in Point Reyes National Seashore."