National Park Service, Interior Department, Secretary Salazar All Named in Lawsuit Over Shut-Down of Bay Area Family Farm

SAN FRANCISCO – Drakes Bay Oyster Company (DBOC) and owner Kevin Lunny filed a lawsuit on Monday, December 3 in response to the decision from Secretary of the Interior Kenneth Salazar to not authorize a special use permit to DBOC on National Park Service (NPS) land that has been home to the Drakes Bay Oyster Company for years.

Cause of Action, a nonprofit government accountability group, along with Stoel Rives, LLP and SSL Law Firm, LLP are representing DBOC in its fight against the decision from Secretary Salazar on several legal claims.

The lawsuit is being filed against:

  • The National Park Service,
  • Secretary of the Interior Kenneth Salazar,
  • The Department of the Interior,
  • NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis,
  • and various NPS employees.

The key components of the lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California’s District Court include the following allegations:

  • Defendants failed to comply with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).
  • Defendants violated the Data Quality Act and the APA by publishing and using scientifically flawed and false information as part of the decisionmaking process for DBOC’s Special Use Permit (SUP) application.
  • Defendants violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
  • Defendants violated the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
  • NPS employees interfered with the agency’s lawfully required procedures by providing misleading and false information to decisionmakers and the public.

Cause of Action’s Executive Director Dan Epstein offered this comment on the lawsuit:

“Cause of Action is committed to ensuring that federal agency decision-making that can affect economic prosperity in the United States is held to the scrutiny of public accountability. This is why we refuse to let the NPS and Secretary Salazar get away with exerting power that destroys a business and a community under the guise of authorized discretion.

A federal agency is not constitutionally empowered to repeatedly use false scientific data, in contradiction of its own policies, to misrepresent the behaviors of a local family business.”

The complaint can be found here.

To schedule an interview with Dan Epstein, Cause of Action’s Executive Director, or Kevin Lunny, owner of Drakes Bay Oyster Company, contact Mary Beth Hutchins,  202-400-2721 or Jamie Morris, jamie.morris@causeofaction.org, at 202-499-4232.