In defense of the Federal Government


I have enjoyed the beauties and ambiance of West Marin for over three decades.  Thanks to forward looking citizens back in the fifties who formed the association which encouraged the landowners of that era not to sell out to the developers for quick profits, but to preserve the uniqueness of this wonderful area by keeping it agricultural.

The Federal Government created the Point Reyes National Seashore and later expanded it by purchasing 1,100 acres in Drakes Estero from oyster company owner, Charlie Johnson.  If I am correct, the price for the parcel back in 1972 was $72,900.  Imagine the cost of those 1,100 acres in current dollars.


It is quite disingenuous to listen to the people who think raising oysters is really an important enterprise rant and complain that the Department of Interior wants to restore the property to wilderness status.  Is that not the sole reason that it was purchased by the Federal Government in the first place?   The oyster operation was allowed to continue unabated for forty years.  That was quite generous, but the pro oyster crowd, seem to believe that continued use of this space is their God given right.  It is not, and I believe that most people familiar with the months of debate know that it is not.


Why all the crying, why all the recriminations by the Lunnys and their supporters that it is somehow unfair that the property will no longer be available to DBOC for oyster cultivation.  In all of my visits to your area, I have never had a single oyster, and never will.    From my perspective, oysters are for the consumer a big rip off.   They do not even count as food.


I hope that now the so-called debate is over and the DBOC is being vacated that the news now turns to other things.

I love your area, and there is much more about it to praise than oysters.

By Robert E. Durkee, Belmont


Robert  E. Durkee,  Belmont