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Interior Secretary to decide CA oyster farm's fate

Posted: November 21, 2012 11:12 a.m.
Updated: November 21, 2012 11:12 a.m.

Bureau of Land Management Fort Ord Manager Eric Morgan, left, BLM ranger Tammy Jakl and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar look on Friday at Wildcat Ridge on Fort Ord. Salazar is to decide the fate of a California oyster farm.

 

POINT REYES STATION, Calif. (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is on a fact-finding mission in Marin County to decide the fate of a family-run oyster farm operating in the Point Reyes National Seashore.

Salazar is visiting the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. on Wednesday and meeting with environmentalists and National Park Service officials.

The Interior Secretary is expected to decide next week whether to allow the 70-year-old oyster farm to continue operating in the national seashore.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has ardently supported the farm, which produces nearly 40 percent of California's commercial oysters.

But environmentalists and park officials say the oyster company's practices threaten nearby harbor seals and threaten native species. They want the waters of Drakes Estero returned to wilderness.

The federal government has spent more than $1 million researching the issue.

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