Catherine Carlson Rucker 
Member since Jul 6, 2014


Stats

Favorite Places

  • None.
Find places »

Saved Events

  • Nada.
Find events »

Saved Stories

  • Nope.
Find stories »

Custom Lists

  • Zip.

Friends

  • No friends yet.
Become My Friend Find friends »

Recent Comments

Re: “Drakes Bay Oyster Company Turns to Koch Brothers-Linked Group

Congress designated Drake's Estero as a potential wilderness area on October 18, 1976, with the Point Reyes Wilderness Act. Thus, the Secretary is to administer the Estero according to the Wilderness Act of 1964. Section 4(c) of the Wilderness Act of 1964 lists the prohibited uses as: (1) commercial enterprise, (2) the use of motorized equipment, and (3) the use of man-made structures. The DBOC meets all three, and so it is a prohibited use. But, Section 4(c) also protects prohibited uses that have preexisting private rights. But when the permit expired on November 30, 2012, then the DBOC's private rights expired.

Two days after passing the Point Reyes Wilderness Act, Congress created the mechanism for the Secretary to convert potential wilderness areas into wilderness areas with the National Park System Act. According to Section 3, once the Secretary removes the prohibited use, then the area converts automatically to wilderness. Section 3 is critical to the DBOC situation because it shows that the Secretary had the agency discretion to allow the permit to expire. Further, Section 3 shows that Congress does not require the Secretary to perform an environmental review once an area has been designated as a potential wilderness area. The reason why is that the Secretary and Congress already performed an environmental review prior to the designation. Here, the Secretary and Congress performed the environmental review for Drake's Estero between 1971 and 1976. See the Final EIS at page 263. And also, the Federal Register contains at least ten notices for when the Secretary has applied Section 3 to potential wilderness areas throughout the National Park System since 1976.

In the Decision Memo from November 2012, the Secretary claimed that the decision to allow the permit to expire was based on the Wilderness Act of 1964 and on the National Park System Act of 1976. And then both courts agreed that the decision was based on law and policy.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Catherine Carlson Rucker on 08/09/2014 at 12:03 PM

Re: “Go Away, Oyster Man — Really

Under its permits, the DBOC is able to operate motorboats within Drakes Estero all through the year. However, recreational kayak users are prohibited from the waters during the Harbor Seal pupping season. Also, the courts allowed the DBOC to continue to operate during the litigation due to orders for "emergency injunctions." The DBOC closed to the public on July 31st, and the Department of the Interior gave it a 30-day extension to continue to harvest oysters for wholesale.

Posted by Catherine Carlson Rucker on 08/02/2014 at 12:48 PM

Re: “Go Away, Oyster Man — Really

According to Section 3 of the National Park System Act, Congress granted the Secretary the ability to convert potential wilderness areas into wilderness areas - simply by removing the prohibited use. See Public Law No. 94-567, section 3, 90 Stat. 2692 (October 20, 1976). Here, according to Section 4(c) of the Wilderness Act of 1964, the oyster company is the prohibited use. Also, according to Section 4(c), prohibited uses that were established prior to wilderness designation are protected if they have preexisting private rights. Here, the oyster company's private rights expired when its permit expired on November 30, 2012.

It is interesting that the Secretary has applied Section 3 of the National Park System Act to other "potential wilderness" areas within the National Park System at least ten times since 1976. The notices are all in the Federal Register (www.federalregister.gov). And the oyster company case seems to be the first time when the Secretary's authority under the statute has been challenged.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Catherine Carlson Rucker on 07/06/2014 at 11:28 PM

Readers' Favorites

Most Popular Stories


© 2017 East Bay Express    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation