Video: Feds shut down 100-year-old oyster company, destroy some lives and dreams

posted at 9:21 pm on November 29, 2012 by Mary Katharine Ham

Hey, no bigs. It’s just a 100-year-old company and California’s only surviving cannery, a sustainable, family-owned operation employing 30 people. The Drakes Bay Oyster Company has been in a seven-year fight with the federal government and environmental groups over whether it’s 40-year lease would be renewed this week. The Lunny family, which owns the oyster farm, was among a group of families that sold their ranch lands to the National Parks Service in the 1970s to protect them from developers, with the understanding they would get 40-year-leases renewed in perpetuity. After buying and operating the oyster farm without incident— they were even featured as outstanding environmental stewards by the National Parks Service— the Lunnys learned in 2005 they were accused of bringing environmental damage to an area the NPS and environmentalists were anxious to designate as the nation’s first federally recognized marine wilderness.

Sec. of the Interior Ken Salazar decided todaythe farm’s lease will not be renewed, despite some support for it from from Sen. Dianne Feinstein and serious questions raised by scientists about the research used to impugn the Lunnys.

“After careful consideration of the applicable law and policy, I have directed the National Park Service to allow the permit for the Drakes Bay Oyster Company to expire at the end of its current term and to return the Drakes Estero to the state of wilderness that Congress designated for it in 1976,” Salazar said in a statement. “I believe it is the right decision for Point Reyes National Seashore and for future generations who will enjoy this treasured landscape.”

Please take 20 minutes to watch this video, a mini-documentary on how the federal government can bully a conscientious, small business into non-existence. It will make you sick to your stomach, especially as Corey Goodman, a member of the National Academy of Science and the California Council on Science and Technology, outlines the lengths to which the feds went to make it look as though Drakes Bay Oyster Co. was a polluter.

OysterZone.org has more information on the history of this fight. And, of course, a quick Google search reveals the federal government gives out subsidies for starting oyster farms on the East Coast while it’s shutting them down on the West. I’m gonna stop now because I’ve gotten this far without cursing.

My thoughts and prayers are with the owners of Drakes Bay and its employees and their families today.


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It’s just a 100-year-old company and California’s only surviving cannery, a sustainable, family-owned operation employing 30 people.

Axe on November 29, 2012 at 9:22 PM

Dispicable!! THIS is your govt at work…

L.i.B

Scrumpy on November 29, 2012 at 9:23 PM

So, I don’t suppose the Lunnys can demand the land they deeded to the Park Service be returned to them since the federal government reneged on its obligations?

Never, ever, ever, trust the government to renew something “in perpetuity”. Especially if you are in California.

AZfederalist on November 29, 2012 at 9:24 PM

“I believe it is the right decision for Point Reyes National Seashore and for future generations who will enjoy this treasured landscape.”

Axe on November 29, 2012 at 9:24 PM

*I can’t fix the sentences. :) Just fact checking.

Axe on November 29, 2012 at 9:25 PM

Lesson – Make a deal with the Devil, Darth Vader, or the government, and be shocked, SHOCKED when they alter the deal

Steve Eggleston on November 29, 2012 at 9:27 PM

I am reminded that the govt at one time promised our sovereign Nations Land etc and re-negged on so many land deals…

In 2012, one would think doo doo like this wouldn’t be happening…

Drakes Bay Oyster Co. I am so sorry the govt and it’s entities saw fit to reneg on their deal with you…

Take heart, you are not the first nor will you be the last. Only those who side with the dems will survive…

Sad but true

L.i.B

Scrumpy on November 29, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Who cares? It’s California.
Is that smoke I smell? LiB.

gregbert on November 29, 2012 at 9:29 PM

I won’t watch it, I don’t need to see a woman trying to explain the destruction of her business, that sort of thing is all around me as it is.

These effers won’t be happy until they’ve created the Hunger Games world.

Bishop on November 29, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Do I recall that California citizens voted for Barry? Perhaps the Lunny’s should talk to their neighbors…assuming they didn’t vote for Barry also…I didn’t watch the video.

Dingbat63 on November 29, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Tell me again, why aren’t we at war with these tyrants yet? No, I’m not f@#$ing kidding.

Midas on November 29, 2012 at 9:29 PM

a mini-documentary on how the federal government can bully a conscientious, small business into non-existence.

Been there, Done that, didn’t even get a T-Shirt.

It is why I ‘went Galt’ in 1991… Even before I read the book.

This crap started long before 0bama took power. He has just perfected the process that others started.

LegendHasIt on November 29, 2012 at 9:29 PM

The Lunny family, which owns the oyster farm, was among a group of families that sold their ranch lands to the National Parks Service in the 1970s to protect them from developers,

“Protect them from developers”? Screw them. Evidently, the Lunnys and other families tried to pull a scam to stop development and they ended up getting screwed because they were stupid enough to trust the feral government. I wonder if they were championed as great environmentalists for keeping greedy developers from ever getting access to their lands (which I don’t understand how that would happen if they owned them … but who knows what the truth of this story is). Well, they’re even better “environmentalists” now, whether they like it or not. And the feral government has control of that land forever, now. Great stuff, Lunnys.

I won’t shed a tear for these idiots.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on November 29, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Stop wasting money on campaign ads in futile elections. Put the cash into Conservative Media that will make movies and mini-series out of stories like this.

This is how Conservatives win hearts and minds – not with Atlas Shrugged but with stories where the guvmit bureaucracy is the villain in the every day lives of average people.

ps- this is why they had destroy Palin so quickly and completely, and are going after Rubio.

(I’m not a Palinista.)

Bruno Strozek on November 29, 2012 at 9:32 PM

While I don’t believe government should own any land, I do feel the need to point out this sentence:

The Lunny family, which owns the oyster farm, was among a group of families that sold their ranch lands to the National Parks Service in the 1970s to protect them from developers, with the understanding they would get 40-year-leases renewed in perpetuity.”

Dante on November 29, 2012 at 9:33 PM

I bet if they cried that they’re really protecting delta smelts by doing all of this oyster canning, they’d get some help.

gregbert on November 29, 2012 at 9:35 PM

So Salazar ruins a family business, puts its employees on the unemployment roles, and loses CA a source of revenue. Ken Salazar is a destroyer.

onlineanalyst on November 29, 2012 at 9:35 PM

(I’m not a Palinista.)

Bruno Strozek on November 29, 2012 at 9:32 PM

Palin is not destroyed yet :) Thanks for your concern.

promachus on November 29, 2012 at 9:35 PM

While I don’t believe government should own any land, I do feel the need to point out this sentence:

“The Lunny family, which owns the oyster farm, was among a group of families that sold their ranch lands to the National Parks Service in the 1970s to protect them from developers, with the understanding they would get 40-year-leases renewed in perpetuity.”

Dante on November 29, 2012 at 9:33 PM

That shouldn’t bother you in the least, Dante. They sold their land of their own freewill. Whether the National Parks Service should be able to make such purchases is another question altogether, but the ability to renege on contractual obligations without consequence is the real issue here, and that’s just one of the scores of things government can do that would be illegal for a private citizen.

gryphon202 on November 29, 2012 at 9:36 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on November 29, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Yep, I’m peeved at the government for their underhandedness, and yet feel as sorry for these folks as I will for the parade of hungry libs that will be weeping and gnashing their teeth in the streets soon enough.

… you made your bed, now…
… you broke it, you…
… you lie down with dogs, you…

LIB

Midas on November 29, 2012 at 9:36 PM

I truly feel sorry for them, but they made a deal with the devil, how could they possibly expect something good to come of it?

xdwall on November 29, 2012 at 9:36 PM

So, I don’t suppose the Lunnys can demand the land they deeded to the Park Service be returned to them since the federal government reneged on its obligations?

Never, ever, ever, trust the government to renew something “in perpetuity”. Especially if you are in California.

AZfederalist on November 29, 2012 at 9:24 PM

Nope. Once they sold the land, they gave up their 5th Amendment rights. I rather doubt there’s any provisions in the contract for compensation even for improvements made post-sale.

Steve Eggleston on November 29, 2012 at 9:37 PM

Somebody not too long ago in another thread questioned my observation that what the government “gives,” the government can take away. Obviously “in perpetuity” means nothing to the Orwellian government.

onlineanalyst on November 29, 2012 at 9:37 PM

I’m sorry, but I need to know who they voted for before I spare any sympathy.

Dongemaharu on November 29, 2012 at 9:38 PM

Hummm, wasn’t the purpose of the US gov. to promote and protect the people to pursue their dreams of life, liberty and happiness?

I must be mistaken.

katy on November 29, 2012 at 9:38 PM

(I’m not a Palinista.)

Bruno Strozek on November 29, 2012 at 9:32 PM

(I am.)

Good idea about walking the short stories through the dystopia we’re living in. Compare to this:

http://theoptimisticconservative.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/obamacare-the-propaganda-and-lobbying-machine-revs-up/

Axe on November 29, 2012 at 9:38 PM

No. really, Cheif.

All this land will remain yours…..

Ben Hur on November 29, 2012 at 9:38 PM

Apologies to Usher for mashing up his song :-)…

It’s gonna burn for me to say this
But it’s coming from my heart
It’s been a long time coming
But we done fell apart
Really wanna work this out
But I don’t think you’re gonna change

Think it’s best we go our separate ways
Tell me why I should stay
I’m hurting, I ain’t happy
Plus theres so many other things I gotta deal with
I think that we should let it burn

You know I gotta let it go ’cause
the party ain’t jumpin’ like it used to
Even though this might bruise ya
Let it burn
Let it burn
Gotta let it burn

Deep down you know it’s best for you
You know that it’s over
You know that it’s through
Let it burn
Let it burn
Gotta let it burn

I’m twisted ’cause one side of me is tellin’ me that I need to move on

On the other side I wanna break down and cry (oh)

I’m twisted cause one side of me is tellin’ me that I need to move on

On the other side I wanna break down and cry (yeah)

Deep down you know it’s best
You know that it’s over
You know that it’s through
Let it burn
Let it burn
Gotta let it burn…

Copyright Usher…

Scrumpy on November 29, 2012 at 9:39 PM

gryphon202 on November 29, 2012 at 9:36 PM

You can’t write a contract for anything “in perpetuity”. The Lunnys tried to pull a scam, to put their land uinder the aegis of the feral government to stop development while retaining actual control of the land “forever”. That’s BS. The Lunnys and the feral government deserve each other and we deserve neither of the lunatics.

Screw the Lunnys. They tried to stop developers from investing their money in the area and, instead, the Lunnys got eaten by the crocodile. Just deserts.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on November 29, 2012 at 9:39 PM

“The Lunny family, which owns the oyster farm, was among a group of families that sold their ranch lands to the National Parks Service in the 1970s to protect them from developers, with the understanding they would get 40-year-leases renewed in perpetuity.”

Dante on November 29, 2012 at 9:33 PM

Hey, I bought a house “with the understanding” there’d be a mortgage deduction – that seems to be likely to disappear soon.

Hey, I invested in IRA’s and 401k’s ‘with the understanding” that it was my money, and would continue to be – now they’re talking about nationalizing them.

Hey, I obey the law of the land “with the understanding” that it applies equally to us all, and that the Constitution means something.

Seems the feds have a different “understanding” of what their role, responsibilities, and restrictions are.

They need to be reminded.

Midas on November 29, 2012 at 9:40 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on November 29, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Screw you.

Mary Katharine Ham on November 29, 2012 at 9:40 PM

Yes I don’t live too far from this operation… Despicable….

sandee on November 29, 2012 at 9:40 PM

It’s ok,, thailand has plenty./

I grew up on the Chesapeake and watched them destoy the industry with regs. I lived on seafood. But every year,, less and less costs more and more. To go fish,clam,oyster,crab for yourself was for all intensive purposes outlawed by exhorbantant fees and regs. Then they hammered commercial.

Maybe someday delta smelt will be cheap. California sardines.

wolly4321 on November 29, 2012 at 9:41 PM

The Lunny family, which owns the oyster farm, was among a group of families that sold their ranch lands to the National Parks Service in the 1970s to protect them from developers,

That makes no sense. You sell your private ranch to protect it from developers?

There is something missing in this story that I can’t see.

JPeterman on November 29, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Sickening.

Yeah, just wait until that same government has complete control of your health care.

JellyToast on November 29, 2012 at 9:41 PM

this doesn’t upset me at all. you hear how many times the guy talks about “sustainability” and “working landscapes” and all that crap. these are the kind of people that vote in the kind of people that destroy lives. it is nice to see them actually have to face the consequences of their choices.

truecon on November 29, 2012 at 9:42 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on November 29, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Screw you.

Mary Katharine Ham on November 29, 2012 at 9:40 PM

Thank You Mary Katherine!! ^5!!! You rock!

Scrumpy on November 29, 2012 at 9:42 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on November 29, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Right you are Mary Katherine. I live in the area, and when these people”sold” their farm land to keep it from being “developed” they were strong armed into it….

sandee on November 29, 2012 at 9:42 PM

Screw you.

Mary Katharine Ham on November 29, 2012 at 9:40 PM

So you defend people running a scam with the feral government in order to thwart land development?

Good stuff, there.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on November 29, 2012 at 9:42 PM

You can’t write a contract for anything “in perpetuity”. The Lunnys tried to pull a scam, to put their land uinder the aegis of the feral government to stop development while retaining actual control of the land “forever”. That’s BS. The Lunnys and the feral government deserve each other and we deserve neither of the lunatics.

Screw the Lunnys. They tried to stop developers from investing their money in the area and, instead, the Lunnys got eaten by the crocodile. Just deserts.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on November 29, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Well well well. I’m going to assume that you know more about contract law than I do, because sever tracts of land in my hometown were deeded to the city “in perpetuity,” provided that the city hold up their end of the bargain. I can’t imagine that’s all that different than what the Lunny’s did, but of course it’s misplaced trust. That’s not the issue here: The Lunnys held up their end of the bargain, and the government did not hold up theirs. The Lunnys aren’t guilty of fraud here, but they would be if they did what the government is trying to pull on them.

gryphon202 on November 29, 2012 at 9:42 PM

I don’t feel sorry for these folks, because they were environmentalist and probably voted for years Democratic. Now, they want to plead to conservatives now that the government-environmental complex they help to create has turned on them? Sorry, I don’t feel sorry for them, nor the fools that voted for Obama Nov 6th. They are going to get what’s coming to them too.

milemarker2020 on November 29, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Right you are Mary Katherine. I live in the area, and when these people”sold” their farm land to keep it from being “developed” they were strong armed into it….

sandee on November 29, 2012 at 9:42 PM

Is that the part I’m missing?

JPeterman on November 29, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Seems the feds have a different “understanding” of what their role, responsibilities, and restrictions are.

They need to be reminded.

Midas on November 29, 2012 at 9:40 PM

This. Unfortunately, 52% of our fellow citizens actually voted to reinforce this bad behavior. Dang fools are nothing more than enablers of the marxists who seek to enslave them.

AZfederalist on November 29, 2012 at 9:45 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair is just slime on legs… the name says it all, primordial all right…a stinking bag of ooze…

Scrumpy on November 29, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Two thoughts.

Did they vote obama? If so, screw them.

They conspired with the feds to avoid competition for 30 years? Screw them.

lorien1973 on November 29, 2012 at 9:46 PM

moving on… later guys and gals!!

Scrumpy on November 29, 2012 at 9:46 PM

I don’t feel sorry for these folks, because they were environmentalist and probably voted for years Democratic. Now, they want to plead to conservatives now that the government-environmental complex they help to create has turned on them? Sorry, I don’t feel sorry for them, nor the fools that voted for Obama Nov 6th. They are going to get what’s coming to them too.

milemarker2020 on November 29, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Lived near this area all my life. The stupid environmental groups take our money from bonds, local taxes, and such and buy up all the land for “open” space. These people were never going to be able to develop their land. This was the only alternative…

sandee on November 29, 2012 at 9:47 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on November 29, 2012 at 9:31 PM

I dunno man. It seems from a distance that your real heat is burning for the Fed, and it’s catching the family on fire because they snuggled with the Fed.

If they were being gobbled by aggressive development or something — I have no idea how to frame up that back-story, but there was obviously pressure — they probably bought some time and were able to stay in business a bit longer.

They seemed to have been netted in the end. As far as whether or not they otherwise deserved it — I’m not going to build a folder on them or anything. :)

Axe on November 29, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Very sad to lose yet another small business in California!

Meanwhile, the 74.4% of the voters in Marin County, where the Drakes Bay Oyster Company is located, who voted to re-elect President Obama still insist that Barack Obama was the candidate who was best able to create jobs for middle class families.

Marin County

Obama 74.4%
Romney 23.1%

http://vote.sos.ca.gov/returns/president/county/marin/

Please vote more carefully next time, Marin County!

wren on November 29, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Right you are Mary Katherine. I live in the area, and when these people”sold” their farm land to keep it from being “developed” they were strong armed into it….

sandee on November 29, 2012 at 9:42 PM

Is that the part I’m missing?

JPeterman on November 29, 2012 at 9:44 PM

So was this a case of, “deed your land over to us, we’ll give you this lease for 40 years [we'll renew it in perpetuity, really] and then we won’t re-zone your land and exercise eminent domain to incorporate it into the National Park system for the $10 per acre that we deem it to be worth” kind of deal?

AZfederalist on November 29, 2012 at 9:49 PM

It’s ok,, thailand has plenty./

I grew up on the Chesapeake and watched them destoy the industry with regs. I lived on seafood. But every year,, less and less costs more and more. To go fish,clam,oyster,crab for yourself was for all intensive purposes outlawed by exhorbantant fees and regs. Then they hammered commercial.

Maybe someday delta smelt will be cheap. California sardines.

wolly4321 on November 29, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Yeah.. and I didn’t. Don’t live anywhere near it but me and everyone else in my state and many others are being taxed to keep the Chesapeake clean. Cuz we’re the “watershed” or some dumb crap. Our water and sewer rates have skyrocketed. They’ve placed devices on our water lines that caused us to have to refit out water heaters because of of the pressure their devices placed on our lines, I heard some home owners had city workers tell them to pour concrete down their basement drains. No drains allowed in basements because it might effect Chesapeake Bay. A big freaking government scheme to control us and tax us. That’s all it’s ever really about. Control and taxes. Well… I say the people down in the Chesapeake Bay should be sending us back some of their tourist dollars since we’re being taxed to keep it clean. No.. on second thought.. you keep your tourist dollars and we’ll give you our regulations and taxes.

JellyToast on November 29, 2012 at 9:49 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOXtWxhlsUg

single stack on November 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

This is sickening.

Ken Salazar is an ass.

He cites, what? Studies? Data? Harm? Fact? No, he cites “applicable law and policy.”

The oyster farm is not against the law. It’s operated under a lease-back arrangement signed by the U.S. Government (an agreement into which the owners were not obligated to enter in the first place). It’s perfectly “legal.” So, what’s the “policy” to which the ass refers? The policy that we want them out of business and we’ll make up whatever we have to make up to make that happen?

You want to believe that these things aren’t true. But, you see them time and time again. Agendas (or, in this case, apparent vendettas) driving science.

Oh, there’s not harm to the environment from this oyster farm, after all? Well, we don’t care. Our policy is to shut it down so there. In keeping with the petulant child nature of this horse manure, I suppose Ken was sticking his tongue out when he announced his decision.

Is there no recourse for these people? No claim that can be made based upon fraud in the consideration? Can Ms. Feinstein introduce legislation to reverse this insanity? They cite prior Congressional action as the “intent” vis-a-vis this land. Cannot that intent be made more clear, or even modified, so as to require this lease to be renewed absent a clear demonstration of harm by verifiable scientific evidence?

Okay, I have to go before I break something. This is disgusting.

IndieDogg on November 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

So was this a case of, “deed your land over to us, we’ll give you this lease for 40 years [we'll renew it in perpetuity, really] and then we won’t re-zone your land and exercise eminent domain to incorporate it into the National Park system for the $10 per acre that we deem it to be worth” kind of deal?

AZfederalist on November 29, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Misplaced trust in an evil government isn’t evil. Just stupid.

gryphon202 on November 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

There is something missing in this story that I can’t see.

JPeterman on November 29, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Cronyism? There’s lots of room for ugly in local government. Just a zoning issue would be enough to shuffle one business out and one “paying” business in.

Speculating.

Axe on November 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

It’s ok,, thailand has plenty./

I grew up on the Chesapeake and watched them destoy the industry with regs. I lived on seafood. But every year,, less and less costs more and more. To go fish,clam,oyster,crab for yourself was for all intensive purposes outlawed by exhorbantant fees and regs. Then they hammered commercial.

Maybe someday delta smelt will be cheap. California sardines.

wolly4321 on November 29, 2012 at 9:41 PM

As long as moochie has her mountains of lobshter, it’s all good.

slickwillie2001 on November 29, 2012 at 9:52 PM

So was this a case of, “deed your land over to us, we’ll give you this lease for 40 years [we'll renew it in perpetuity, really] and then we won’t re-zone your land and exercise eminent domain to incorporate it into the National Park system for the $10 per acre that we deem it to be worth” kind of deal?

AZfederalist on November 29, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Pretty much… Like I said they keep “buying” up land around here to make sure no one can develop it, then some of this “open” space isn’t even accessible to the public….

sandee on November 29, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Right you are Mary Katherine. I live in the area, and when these people”sold” their farm land to keep it from being “developed” they were strong armed into it….

sandee on November 29, 2012 at 9:42 PM

Please share the rest of the story then, because I’m not feeling terribly sympathetic towards them, either – and that’s certainly not how the above story reads in terms of their deal with the feds, their limelight as environmentalists as a result, etc.

Midas on November 29, 2012 at 9:52 PM

They sold their land of their own freewill. Whether the National Parks Service should be able to make such purchases is another question altogether, but the ability to renege on contractual obligations without consequence is the real issue here, and that’s just one of the scores of things government can do that would be illegal for a private citizen.

gryphon202 on November 29, 2012 at 9:36 PM

It’s apparent that the “perpetuity” part was not actually in the contract. It was merely the Lunny’s “understanding.” What was in the contract was a 40-year lease, which is over and which the government declined to renew, as is its right. I can’t believe it, but I’m actually agreeing with ThePrimordialOrderedPair on this one. I guess there’s a first for everything.

cam2 on November 29, 2012 at 9:52 PM

So was this a case of, “deed your land over to us, we’ll give you this lease for 40 years [we'll renew it in perpetuity, really] and then we won’t re-zone your land and exercise eminent domain to incorporate it into the National Park system for the $10 per acre that we deem it to be worth” kind of deal?

AZfederalist on November 29, 2012 at 9:49 PM

lol — or this, put another way. :)

Axe on November 29, 2012 at 9:53 PM

I saw most of the Chesapeake bay strong armed away. How many inspections, zoning changes before you give in? How many lawyers can you afford?

wolly4321 on November 29, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Democrats hate you. Its the only justification they need.

Speakup on November 29, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Axe on November 29, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Also, if you watch the video, it was the owner’s parents who originally sold the land to the Feds. He shouldn’t be a villain for trying to run a business on that land. Also, frankly, if conservatives can’t be on the side of people screwed by the government this bad, no matter their beliefs or interactions with the government, that’s pathetic. This comments thread is mildly depressing.

Mary Katharine Ham on November 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM

I wonder if they were part of the 74% of Marin County that voted for PBHO.

OccamsRazor on November 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Please share the rest of the story then, because I’m not feeling terribly sympathetic towards them, either – and that’s certainly not how the above story reads in terms of their deal with the feds, their limelight as environmentalists as a result, etc.

Midas on November 29, 2012 at 9:52 PM

I don’t know them personally, or if they are libs or not. Just know what has been happening here in this area for decades. This area and the whole State is f***ed up.

sandee on November 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM

It’s apparent that the “perpetuity” part was not actually in the contract. It was merely the Lunny’s “understanding.” What was in the contract was a 40-year lease, which is over and which the government declined to renew, as is its right. I can’t believe it, but I’m actually agreeing with ThePrimordialOrderedPair on this one. I guess there’s a first for everything.

cam2 on November 29, 2012 at 9:52 PM

There is such a thing as a “verbal contract.” If the Lunnys were doing business with a private entity, it is theoretically possible they could sue for a “false light violation of contract.” Because the courts are part of the same government the Lunnys did business with, it is highly unlikely that the government would rule against itself.

gryphon202 on November 29, 2012 at 9:55 PM

I’m gonna stop now because I’ve gotten this far without cursing.

You’re a better man than I, MK.

socalcon on November 29, 2012 at 9:56 PM

This comments thread is mildly depressing.

Mary Katharine Ham on November 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Welcome to HotAir.

gryphon202 on November 29, 2012 at 9:56 PM

I wonder if they can open a casino now. Isn’t that the consolation these days?

Dan_Yul on November 29, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Axe on November 29, 2012 at 9:47 PM

We don’t seem to know why they sold their land to the feral government (except for what was written here – that it was done to thwart development). If they had any brains they would have, at least, demanded the normal long-term leases which run 100 years, or have demanded that some number of guaranteed renewals of the lease be written into the original contract.

But, if what was written here is true – that they did it to stop development – then I can’t find any sympathy for them, at all. If they had a profitable business and owned their land then I don’t see why they would have sold to “stop development” unless they just wanted to make some sort of stupid leftist statement.

Now, if they were coerced into selling and inking this deal, then that’s another story – but that’s not what is written in this article. And, if they had initially been coerced to do this transaction, then that coercion would have been the real story. My feeling is that they did it of their own free will and did it stupidly and for stupid reasons. Now, the land certainly won’t be developed and will probably fall into ruin at some point.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on November 29, 2012 at 9:58 PM

This should be on Discovery or History or TLC…but it won’t. Doesn’t fit the narrative.

PattyJ on November 29, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Shouldn’t people be fired over this? More outright lies?

How is it legal for a government agency to falsify data ever? They falsify data with the intentions to close down a company. To destroy people’s lives. If this were a private business falsifying data to the government.. people would go to jail. And yet they can even use their false data to threaten to send innocent people to prison. And nobody goes to jail who did this?

When we take back the White House and have majorities in the congress… we need to make a law or two that makes it clear that if you work in the government and participate in any falsifying data to destroy a business or any other abusive activity against American citizens you will go to jail for life! You will lose all of your retirement! You will pay fines! No matter how small your position or how high your office… this crap needs to stop and people need to do perp walks!

JellyToast on November 29, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Also, frankly, if conservatives can’t be on the side of people screwed by the government this bad, no matter their beliefs or interactions with the government, that’s pathetic. This comments thread is mildly depressing.

Mary Katharine Ham on November 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM

I hear what you are saying, and their story is heartbreaking. On the other hand, if these were people who supported the current regime and its policies, then there is a point at which one has to look at this as stupid people learning something.

/Since I don’t know what their political leanings are, I lean toward both sympathy for being screwed by an evil regime and anger at a regime that would do such a thing.

AZfederalist on November 29, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Since I don’t know what their political leanings are, I lean toward both sympathy for being screwed by an evil regime and anger at a regime that would do such a thing.

AZfederalist on November 29, 2012 at 9:59 PM

And I hope that MKH and others here will understand that sympathy is in pretty short supply from folks such as ourselves who get screwed over by the government on a daily basis.

gryphon202 on November 29, 2012 at 10:01 PM

So maybe a Republican or two could take this to the floor. Make a speech. Do some inquiries. Send somebody to jail.

JellyToast on November 29, 2012 at 10:01 PM

So was this a case of, “deed your land over to us, we’ll give you this lease for 40 years [we'll renew it in perpetuity, really] and then we won’t re-zone your land and exercise eminent domain to incorporate it into the National Park system for the $10 per acre that we deem it to be worth” kind of deal?

AZfederalist on November 29, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Above my pay grade and knowledge of the real estate world in the United States. I’m stepping away out of fear of stepping on the wrong toes.

JPeterman on November 29, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Now, if they were coerced into selling and inking this deal, then that’s another story – but that’s not what is written in this article. And, if they had initially been coerced to do this transaction, then that coercion would have been the real story. My feeling is that they did it of their own free will and did it stupidly and for stupid reasons. Now, the land certainly won’t be developed and will probably fall into ruin at some point.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on November 29, 2012 at 9:58 PM

I tried to relay what it is like in this area. There is absolutely no development allowed near the ocean… Like I said I don’t know their particular story, but I do know what has been happening here in the last couple decades is basically land grabs, and yes strong arming…

sandee on November 29, 2012 at 10:02 PM

As always with these environmental oddities, follow the money.

Cui bono?

It’s always a grift.
- Importers made out big on decimating the Central Valley.
- The Goracle has made out huge on his CO2 pollutant grift.
- Corn ‘farmers’ are continuing to make out big on ethanol.
- And someone is making out on this caper.

CorporatePiggy on November 29, 2012 at 10:02 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on November 29, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Winning hearts and minds, asses. Good luck with that. Right now, you realize you’re taking the side of the federal government using falsified scientific research against a small businessman who happens to own a business on federal land his PARENTS sold to the Feds. Congrats. You’re doing the Lord’s work.

Mary Katharine Ham on November 29, 2012 at 10:03 PM

This comments thread is mildly depressing.

Mary Katharine Ham on November 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM

i couldn’t disagree more. of course the act is grotesque, but i was born and raised in monterey and lived in san francisco, santa barbara, and san diego for much of my life. and i know these people. they are everywhere. and they are the most selfish of the selfish, and they all have everything, and the last thing they will protect, no matter how much it keeps the poor from enjoying some of the comforts of life that the wealthy liberals have received through the hard work of free marketers and rights defenders before them, the thing they will protect at all costs is their prescious landscapes and natural beauty.

in the meantime they will make the rest of us sit in traffic next to empty carpool lanes; they will make us ride bikes to work and/or get out of the way of the bikes on the roads built for cars; make us take busses and trolleys while they make gas more and more expensive; destroy farmers; etc., etc., etc.

i guarantee you they were happy to cut off all kinds of business opportunities for others to preserve all the nature of marin, so if it has finally come back to bite them in the ass, great.

you need to stop worrying about the people fighting you and concern yourself with those on your side and or the innocent. these people are NOT innocent.

truecon on November 29, 2012 at 10:03 PM

This comments thread is mildly depressing.

Mary Katharine Ham on November 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM

:) No, MK! You hold on. If you scan them all, they are all burning red hot. I had my butt handed to me for saying I was going to get my house in order rather than worry about elections for a while (it wasn’t patriotic).

It’s in the air. Just — keep swimming. :)

*get Kelly’s password, you might clean this thread up from the inside*

*cough*

Axe on November 29, 2012 at 10:03 PM

…and we stand looking at one another across the town square; our jaws agape at the audacity of our government, in dismay at its malfeasance, day, after day, after day, after day, after stinking day.

Is it time yet? If not, then when? Will some brave patriot make a move, and be excoriated as an extremist? Or will a united people make a united move, and return control to the people?

It will be one or the other. One will certainly fail. One has a slim chance of success.

But to stand collectively slackjawed and do nothing as our God given rights are stripped with utter contempt day after stinking day – that’s just cowardice.

IronDioPriest on November 29, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Environmentalism is a fanatical and abusive religion today….

You can never be “green” enough for them. It is proof that faith is something that has evolved in humans. If you leave one religion you are bound to replace it with something else to have faith in.

William Eaton on November 29, 2012 at 10:04 PM

When we take back the White House and have majorities in the congress… we need to make a law or two that makes it clear that if you work in the government and participate in any falsifying data to destroy a business or any other abusive activity against American citizens you will go to jail for life! You will lose all of your retirement! You will pay fines! No matter how small your position or how high your office… this crap needs to stop and people need to do perp walks!

JellyToast on November 29, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Actually, I believe that laws do exist regarding federal workers falsifying data and/or other documentation. However, the law does not seem to be an impediment to anything this regime wants to do. e.g. 1) Fast & Furious 2) New Black Panthers Voter Intimidation 3) Military action in Libya 4) Recess appointments when there was no recess 5) No budget for almost four years despite that being clearly called out as a Constitutional duty 6) ObamaCareTaxCareTax

… and that’s just what I could think of in 30 seconds of thinking about it. Yeah, the law doesn’t seem to be an issue when nobody will enforce it against the members of the regime

AZfederalist on November 29, 2012 at 10:05 PM

It doesn’t matter,, wrong or right. Or who gets destroyed. You are missing the point. Regardless of principal, economic benefit, common decency,, it’s salazar grabbing land for the feds,, no matter who it hurts. Would you have known there would be a salazar 40 years ago? I was 4. It was a different world.

wolly4321 on November 29, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Enemies of the State example #948381

Buy Danish on November 29, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Smells of Agenda 21

Kini on November 29, 2012 at 10:07 PM

… I don’t understand …

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on November 29, 2012 at 9:31 PM

POP’s typical starting point for the coming rant.

socalcon on November 29, 2012 at 10:08 PM

And I hope that MKH and others here will understand that sympathy is in pretty short supply from folks such as ourselves who get screwed over by the government on a daily basis.
gryphon202 on November 29, 2012 at 10:01 PM

So, you’re actively rooting for more people to get screwed more often so that, what?, people will feel your pain? Pathetic and not helpful. We’re supposed to care about people getting effed by the government, no matter their circumstances. If you can’t have sympathy for people in this situation, you’re sad.

Mary Katharine Ham on November 29, 2012 at 10:08 PM

But, if what was written here is true – that they did it to stop development – then I can’t find any sympathy for them, at all. If they had a profitable business and owned their land then I don’t see why they would have sold to “stop development” unless they just wanted to make some sort of stupid leftist statement.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on November 29, 2012 at 9:58 PM

I would sell my business to James Taggert with a subclause that said I had to mow his grass, if I had to, to fight another day.

I can’t see the necessity of the leftest statement. I’d do it fiercely capitalistic. It’s not the job of the little fish to swim into the big fish’s mouths without even a struggle — that’s not a free market. That doesn’t follow from the idea that the little fish get eaten from time to time.

Axe on November 29, 2012 at 10:08 PM

This comments thread is mildly depressing.

Mary Katharine Ham on November 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Welcome to the new LIB reality, I suppose.

Meh, maybe more to the story, maybe not. And yet, there it is guys – *THIS* is what “let it burn” really looks like. If you really espouse “let it burn”, then get used to this sight and be prepared to like it, I guess.

Midas on November 29, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Sympathy will not turn back this lawless regime MaryKat. Your sympathy is well-placed, but it is not enough. Attention drawn to the malfeasance of this lawless regime is not enough.

IronDioPriest on November 29, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Dispicable!! THIS is your LIBERAL DEMOCRAT govt at work…

L.i.B

Scrumpy on November 29, 2012 at 9:23 PM

FIFY…

Don’t be surprised when you more of this over the next 4 years…

MKH: sorry about the thread comments, but Obama won and he’s going to “unleash the hounds”… don’t expect the LameStreamMedia to carry it, but maybe you can mention it to Bill O’Reilly…

Khun Joe on November 29, 2012 at 10:10 PM

and in related news…Coal is booming around the world..well, except here of course

http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/51413

China, India, Russia, and Germany, to name a few, are building coal-fired power plants. Worldwide coal plant construction grew 5.4 percent over the past year and now represents about 30 percent of installed capacity. According to the World Resources Institute, almost 1,200 coal-fired power plants are in the planning stages (a capacity of 1.4 million megawatts) and over three-quarters of them are to be built in China and India, where over 500,000 megawatts each are currently planned for construction.[ia] (See chart below.)

The Energy Information Administration estimates that 175 coal-fired units are scheduled to be shut down between 2012 and 2016—a total of 27 gigawatts of electrical capacity that powers 27 million homes.[v] The Brattle Group in a recent study estimates that between 59 gigawatts and 77 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity is likely to retire rather than be retrofitted with additional environmental equipment.[vi] The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission finds 81 gigawatts of shuttered coal-fired capacity to be “likely”.[vii] These units will be replaced with more expensive forms of energy, since any new plant will have to absorb its capital as well as operational costs. Electricity rates will likely skyrocket due to the need to replace the retiring coal-fired capacity with new approved technology.

The closing of these coal-fired power plants threatens thousands of the 555,270 direct and indirect coal-related jobs that pay $36 billion in wages. Coal employees are already entering the ranks the unemployed in the United States.

i know the job of our lefty trolls is mainly to hit and run…but i wonder how the left-hive processes this kind of data

r keller on November 29, 2012 at 10:10 PM

So maybe a Republican or two could take this to the floor. Make a speech. Do some inquiries. Send somebody to jail.

JellyToast on November 29, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Helping you with realism. :)

Axe on November 29, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Environazis.

BKeyser on November 29, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Basically the Lunnys among other private land owners made a deal to sell their land to the Federal Government to prevent “greedy developers” from buying their land. Part of this deal was the possibility of perpetually renewable lease.

The Lunnys sold their property to the Feds to protect their own interests, at the expense of “greedy developers”.

No one sees the pot calling the kettle black here? These people asked the Feds to designate their lands as wilderness areas, it’s not as if the Feds just waltzed in out of the blue and pulled the rug out from under them. They used the Feds as a hammer to prevent free trade. I’m guessing they didn’t trust their children, or grand children to not sell the property, so they made a deal with the devil.

There is more to this story then a teary eyed testimonial, and a one sided blog.

I imagine there are quite a few developers that are the real ones getting the last laugh.

Rode Werk on November 29, 2012 at 10:11 PM

I think peoples sympathies are starting to disappear even in circumstances when they should not (this may or may not be one of them). If these folks voted Democratic then they voted for the same Leviathan that is currently crushing their dreams.

We saw some of that in the aftermath of Sandy, and I suspect we will see a lot more of it in the coming months and years. Many on the right are starting to see some value in becoming the cold-hearted SOBs they are constantly accused of being.

sharrukin on November 29, 2012 at 10:13 PM

The Lunny family, which owns the oyster farm, was among a group of families that sold their ranch lands to the National Parks Service in the 1970s to protect them from developers, with the understanding they would get 40-year-leases renewed in perpetuity.

Just happen to be listening to Rush’s recorded show while reading this thread. Keep this story in mind when the democrats come after your 401k and IRA with the promise of a guaranteed return “in the future”. Do not trust the government for a guarantee in the future for something from you now. Ever.

AZfederalist on November 29, 2012 at 10:13 PM

So maybe a Republican or two could take this to the floor. Make a speech. Do some inquiries. Send somebody to jail.

JellyToast on November 29, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Won’t make any difference unfortunately. They tried that with the delta smelt and it didn’t help. Turned some of our best farm land here in Ca.to a dust bowl…

sandee on November 29, 2012 at 10:13 PM

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