NPS to the Lunny Family: We don’t have to tell you anything

The Russian River Times posted these letters with permission from the Lunny family and are referenced in the subsequent editorial. We are looking at this type of post in conjunction with our other reporting as a way to  use the web to show directly how news can impact our local residents. Sometimes it is best to give space to the voices of the people impacted by government actions to tell the tale. These two letters serve as a valuable example of how some government agencies, in their arrogance, ignore law, policy, procedure and facts yet feel they have no need to even respond to the citizens whose life they impact.  Jarvis never responded to either of these letters and the questions they raised.

_____________________________________________________________

Drakes Bay Oyster Company

17171 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard Inverness, CA 94937
(415) 669-1149 kevin@drakesbayoyster.com nancy@drakesbayoyster.com

December 31, 2007

Jon Jarvis
Regional Director, Pacific West Region National Park Service
1111 Jackson Street, Suite 700 Oakland, CA 94607

Dear Mr. Jarvis.

National Park Service (NPS) accusations of environmental harm by Drakes Bay Oyster Company (DBOC) in Drakes Estero made by you in an article published by the San Francisco Chronicle (“Dispute Over Oysters in Drakes Bay Pits Harvester Against Park Service,” December 28, 2007) require explanation and clarification. Your statements contradict retractions you issued last September.

As you are aware, on May 8, 2007 the Marin County Board of Supervisors adopted Agenda Item No. 7, “Supervisor Kinsey requesting approval of a letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein regarding management of Drake’s Bay Estero.” The Senator’s assistance was requested after Don Neubacher, Point Reyes National Seashore Superintendent, informed Board President Steve Kinsey on April 5, 2007 that NPS was halting all work on permits for DBOC because of “criminal and civil” acts – green crimes and other violations of law and policy against the environment in Drakes Estero. In particular, Neubacher told Kinsey that NPS had overwhelming evidence that DBOC was harming harbor seals, a federally-protected marine mammal.

The Marin Board “Recommendation Memorandum” from Board President Kinsey states, “Recently, I met with Superintendent Don Neubacher of the Point Reyes National Seashore and he shared his belief that the environmental consequences of the operation do not warrant facilitation of the necessary permits and regulatory actions required for the current owner to operate.” Given the serious and sweeping nature of these accusations, the Marin Board sought Senator Feinstein’s involvement and assistance.

At that hearing, Superintendent Neubacher led a delegation of four NPS officials who submitted reports, maps and made new and still more serious allegations. Harm to harbor seals was called a

“national issue” and a recently-received letter from the Marine Mammal Commission was cited as “another reason why the permit (to DBOC) is not available at this time.” Another NPS official testified declaring “this year, chronic disturbance and placement of bags on the nursery area has caused an 80% reduction in the seals…” These provocative charges were quickly picked up and repeated by various environmental groups and now, were repeated once again in the December 28, 2007 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle.

The only problem – these accusations were, and still are, false. Immediately upon receipt of the Marin Board letter, Senator Feinstein formally asked the NPS to provide her with full and complete administrative record of recorded ecological and environment harm by DBOC. Under the circumstances, one would expect NPS to rush forward with evidence of criminality and other wrong-doing. It did not happen. NPS took almost two months to respond to the Senator and when they did, there was nothing in that record. No letters. No violations. No citations. No record of meetings or telephone calls advising us of any wrong-doing. No administrative record of ecological or environmental harm to the Estero or its resources by DBOC. Similarly, California Department of Fish and Game, who owns the lease by which we operate in Drakes Estero, had not heard one word from NPS that substantiates NPS claims of ecological harm.

The Senator convened a meeting at Olema on July 21, 2007 attended by the representatives from the California Coastal Commission and California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), Supervisor Kinsey and a delegation from NPS led by Director Bomar and Deputy Director Wenk, Superintendent Neubacher, you and others. I was present as was Dr. Goodman. At the conclusion of the meeting, Senator Feinstein and all parties agreed to, among other things:

  •  remove the NPS Report, “Drakes Estero, A Sheltered Wilderness Estuary,” from the Point Reyes National Seashore web site;
  •  collaborate with Dr. Goodman in the preparation of a statement of correction for positing on the Point Reyes National Seashore web site;
  •  arrange, in collaboration with Dr. Goodman and CFDG’s Tom Moore, for an independent outside scientific review of the NPS Report, “Drakes Estero, A Sheltered Wilderness Estuary,” related public presentation and underlying NPS science to be undertaken;
  •  release all the harbor seal data to Dr. Goodman by August 6;
  •  respond to all outstanding FOIA requests;
  •  withhold the issuance of a Point Reyes National Seashore ready-to- be-released “rebuttal” paper to Dr. Goodman’s testimony until the independent science review is completed; and,-2-

provide copies of peer reviews of the Drakes Estero Report to Dr. Goodman.

On September 19, 2007, you sent Dr. Goodman a NPS peer-reviewed document entitled, “Clarification of Law, Policy and Science in Drakes Estero “ dated September 18, 2007 in which every major accusation made by Superintendent Neubacher and his staff against the Drakes Bay Oyster Company and its operations was retracted.

  •  NPS Accusations about Impacts to Fish – RETRACTED.
  •  NPS Accusations about Impacts to Sediment –RETRACTED.
  •  NPS Accusations about Impacts to Harbor Seals – RETRACTED.
  •  NPS Accusations about Impacts from Oyster Feces – RETRACTED.Notwithstanding these retractions prepared by you and sent to Dr. Goodman, you now tell the San Francisco Chronicle that:“There are some inherent differences of opinion about whether there is a positive or negative effect on eelgrass, harbor seals and general water quality,” said Jon Jarvis, the regional director for the Pacific West division of the National Park Service. “Our research would indicate there are some negative effects.”Yet, 90 days ago, in your formal “Clarification” document, you stated: With regard to eelgrass:The current level of impact to eelgrass beds by the oyster operation may or may not be significant to the overall persistence of eelgrass within Drakes Estero.

    With regard to oyster feces:

    The Eliott-Fisk et al (2005) report notes oyster feces are not a problem in Drakes Estero.

    With regard to water quality:

    The extent of indirect adverse impacts from boat operations or changes to water quality has not been measured and further research is clearly needed to determine the extent

    -3-

and persistence of these impacts.

With regard to harbor seals:

More focused analyses are required to determine if oyster operations are affecting seal distribution and productivity within Drakes Estero. The overall Drakes Estero and regional population declined in 2007, but not necessarily in response to the oyster farming operations.

Each of these retractions reversed accusations made by NPS during April and May 2007 in NPS Reports, NPS testimony or in NPS statements in the media.

If NPS determined in December 2007, as you have informed the Chronicle, that negative impacts are occurring, then such a determination could only come from new, undisclosed research conducted by or at the direction of NPS sometime after September 19, 2007.

(1) With regard to this new research, please provide a description of the scope and magnitude of it, and which issues were included or not, and kindly provide full and complete responses to the following questions:

  1. (a)  Identify the new research.
  2. (b)  Identify the author(s) of the new research.
  3. (c)  Did you contract for this new research or conduct it in-house?
  4. (d)  Provide the work plan for this new research.
  5. (e)  In the preparation of both the work plan and the resulting research, did NPS adhere to the DOI and NPS requirements for “scholarly analysis” as provided for in the NPS 2006 Management Policy? If so, please indicate how this was accomplished.
  6. (f)  Did you adhere to the Federal policies for peer-review of this new research?
  7. (g)  Provide a copy of the peer-review work plan and resulting recommendations asspecified and described in your Clarification document.
  8. (h)  Provide a copy of the research product or products.
  9. (i)  Was the research, when completed, peer-reviewed to ensure conformity with the required peer-review plan?-4-
  1. (j)  Since this research, based on your statement to the Chronicle, concluded there were negative impacts, why haven’t you or staff from Point Reyes contacted us so that whatever problems were identified could be addressed?
  2. (k)  Why weren’t we notified that this research was underway?
  3. (l)  Why weren’t we informed when results were available?
  4. (m)  When and how did you notify CDFG?

With regard to harbor seals, the Chronicle story goes on to say:

“Park service officials recently complained that Lunny expanded his operation to an area historically used by female harbor seals and their pups and that oyster boats were observed scaring off seals in the area. The park service said harbor seals declined from 250 to 50 in the area Lunny recently developed.”

These statements conflict with two very specific retractions made by you in your Clarification document from 90 days prior. At the end of September, the National Park Service, in its Clarification document did not know whether or not oyster operations were having any negative impacts to harbor seals and acknowledged that other factors may and likely do impact the harbor seal colony (ocean conditions, climate change, food availability, etc.). Yet, by December, NPS informs the Chronicle that (a) Park Service officials recently complained about the oyster farm; (b) we expanded our operation; (c) we expanded it into areas historically used by seals and pups; (d) oyster boats were observed scaring off seals; and (e) harbor seals declined five-fold – from 250 to 50 in the area specifically “developed” by our company (DBOC).

Presumably, to support these accusations, NPS developed new information and new documentation.

With regard to these NPS accusations:
(2) The Chronicle story states that “Park Service officials recently complained…”

  1. (a)  To whom did NPS complain?
  2. (b)  Why did NPS fail to complain to us?
  3. (c)  Did NPS complain to anyone else associated with DBOC? If so, please identify to whom and when?
  4. (d)  Provide the record made of that communication. -5-
  1. (e)  Did NPS complain to CDFG? If so, please identify to whom and when.
  2. (f)  Provide the record made of the communication with CFDG.
  3. (g)  Did NPS file an official complaint to anyone who could have made a change in protocols during the 2007 harbor seal pupping season?

(3) The Chronicle story, in the same paragraph, goes on to state, “… that Lunny expanded his operation to an area historically used by female harbor seals and their pups…”

  1. (a)  Precisely to where did we expand our operation to areas “historically used by female harbor seals and their pups”?
  2. (b)  We and CDFG are certain that oysters are being grown only in historically utilized oyster beds. If NPS is aware of any newly developed oyster beds, please show on a historic 1992 map into which historic harbor seal haul-out area you are claiming that we expanded our operation.
  3. (c)  We are unaware of any change to the location of our oyster bags in 2007. Is NPS aware of any change in location outside or beyond historic growing beds?
  4. (d)  The oyster bags are on the island/sandbar UEN. The harbor seals are on the east side of island/sandbar UEN. Oysters have been grown this way, in the same places, for many decades. Explain what change in operations took place this year that is inconsistent with historic use.
  5. (e)  We are, however, now aware of a change to your harbor seal haul out map. This new haul out map, which was never provided to us, was included with the April 13 and 26, 2007 NPS Trip Reports and submitted to the Marin County Board of Supervisors on May 8, 2007. When was this new map created?
  6. (f)  Why was this new map created?
  7. (g)  Provide the new “science” to support the redrawing and expansion of harbor seal haul out boundaries.
  8. (h)  Harbor seals are known to stay near the edge of a sandbar and at an edge or lip immediately adjacent to deep water (to avoid danger and facilitate immediate escape). The new map extends the haul out area to the interior of an approximately 4,000′ by 3,000′ island sandbar. Does NPS have new science that now shows that harbor seals prefer the interior of sandbars away from the safety of immediate access to deep water?-6-
  1. (i)  Why was the haul out map altered – redrawn – in the middle of the harbor seal pupping season?
  2. (j)  Is the only change this year a boundary change on your new map or do you have evidence that oyster bags were moved into pupping areas or areas outside our CFDG designated growing areas?
  3. (k)  Did you mean to say that the NPS expanded the boundary on the harbor seal haul- out map and that this new altered map now included the historic oyster bag area?
  4. (l)  Why did NPS withhold this newly prepared seal haul out map from us?
  5. (m)  When did you provide this altered map to CDFG? And if it was not provided, why not?
  6. (n)  Did you inform the Marin County Board of Supervisors that the map submitted to them at a formal hearing deviated from the 1992 map used to establish protocols?
  1. (4)  With regard to the NPS statement that “…oyster boats were observed scaring off seals in the area.”
    1. (a)  Please provide the data to support this statement. Indicate time, date and all relevant information pertaining to each incident.
    2. (b)  Provide all data in the NPS Inventory and Monitoring Harbor Seal database to support this statement.
    3. (c)  In the two and one-half years of DBOC ownership by our family, leading up to April 24, 2007, provide all records of harbor seal flushes (most serious of NPS- defined disturbances) by the oyster company operations during the March-to-May pupping season in the NPS database.
    4. (d)  During the two and one-half year period cited above to April 24, 2007, there were, according to the NPS database (to which NPS has restricted access by your decision) more than 2,000 recorded sightings of harbor seals getting flushed into the water by kayakers, hikers, recreational clammers, airplanes, predators and other sources. Provide, for that same period, the NPS database records that document harbor seals being flushed into the water by the DBOC oyster operation.
  2. (5)  With regard to the NPS statement that “The park service said harbor seals declined from 250 to 50 in the area Lunny recently developed.”-7-
  1. (a)  Does this statement refer to sandbar A?
  2. (b)  Do you have any data to show that this alleged decrease in harbor seals on sandbar A had anything to do with our oyster operation?
  3. (c)  Do you have any evidence to show that our oyster bags are located on sandbar A?
  4. (d)  Do you have any evidence to show that we recently developed our oyster operations on sandbar A?
  5. (e)  Are you aware that sandbar A is connected to the mainland?
  6. (f)  What are the major sources of disturbances, and in particular seal flushings, on sandbar A?
  7. (g)  Did you tell Peter Fimrite, the Chronicle reporter, that sandbar A is far outside the oyster operation’s lease?
  8. (h)  Did you tell the reporter that we have never cultured oysters of any kind on sandbar A?
  9. (i)  Are you aware that our crews, boats and equipment have never been anywhere near sandbar A?
  10. (j)  Are you aware that, according to NPS records, park visitors, airplanes, and predators are the major source of disturbances at sandbar A? Was the reporter informed about this?
  11. (k)  Are you aware that, according to NPS records, the seals that abandoned sandbar A in 2007 appear to have moved a few hundred yards to the east side of sandbar/island UEN, the sandbar/island that they share with the oyster bags?
  12. (l)  Are you aware and did you inform the Chronicle that there is approximately 1,000′ between oyster bags placed in the inter-tidal zone on sandbar UEN and where the harbor seals haul out (on the eastern lip of that same sandbar) – a distance of more than three football fields?
  13. (m)  Are you aware that, with regard to harbor seals and placement of oyster bags, we operate pursuant to a 1992 Federal-State, multi-agency set of protocols and those protocols allow us to operate within 100 yards of harbor seals during pupping season – and we maintain, as a practical operational matter, a distance that is more than three times greater than required?-8-
  1. (n)  Did the harbor seal population decline 80% in an area where we operate – or, where we recently developed as NPS testified and reported in May 2007 and NPS has since repeated elsewhere?
  2. (o)  Don’t the NPS records show that one sandbar declined by 80%, but the adjoining sandbar increased by a similar percentage?
  3. (p)  Aren’t the overall harbor seal population numbers from 2005 to 2006 and then 2007 within the management objectives of the Pinniped Long-Term Monitoring Program protocols?
  4. (q)  A 25% harbor seal population reduction should have triggered a “management action.” With your report of a purported 80% reduction, was a “management action” initiated last May? Are you directing that one be triggered today?

(6) A short time ago, you provided ABC/KGO Channel 7 in San Francisco, pursuant to a FOIA request, a copy of a one-page email dated April 24, 2007, from NPS to NOAA, copied to Superintendent Neubacher, stating that NPS had no direct observations of the DBOC oyster operation disturbing harbor seals.

  1. (a)  Did you provide that email to the Chronicle reporter? If not, why not?
  2. (b)  Did you inform the reporter that NPS had “no observations” of harbor seal disturbances through April 24, 2007 by DBOC recorded in the NPS Inventory and Monitoring database?
  3. (c)  Given the statement in the April 24 email, why did Superintendent Neubacher fail to include this critical piece of information to the Marin County Board of Supervisors at the May 8, 2007 hearing?
  4. (d)  As the Superintendent’s direct supervisor, did you know that this information was being withheld from the Board of Supervisors and the public?
  5. (e)  Did your Regional Chief Scientist, David Graber, clear or approve Mr. Neubacher’s testimony to the Board, and if so, was he aware of that, as of April 24, NPS had no observations of harbor seal disturbances?
  6. (f)  In retrospect, do you believe it was appropriate to withhold this information from the Board of Supervisors?
  7. (g)  Why did Superintendent Neubacher testify that this was a “national issue” if it was not, according to documents provided to him fourteen days prior to the hearing?-9-
  1. (h)  Why was this information withheld from our company?
  2. (i)  Why is NPS, pursuant to your direction, insisting on “mitigation” in our pending Permit for impacts to harbor seals while, at the same time, you are releasing emails pursuant to FOIA requests that reveal NPS had “no observations?”
  3. (j)  What was NOAA’s response to the NPS April 24 email?
  4. (k)  Why was this information withheld from CDFG?

(7) What information and documents did NPS provide to the Chronicle reporter and specifically, did that information include the NPS/PRNS Trip Reports of April 13 and April 26 both of which contain copies of the altered seal haul out map?

  1. (a)  If you did provide the Chronicle reporter with the April 13 or 26, 2007 Trip Reports, did you inform him that serious questions have been raised by us as to their authenticity?
  2. (b)  Did NPS also provide the Chronicle with the 1992 inter-agency harbor seal haul- out map?
  3. (c)  Did you tell him that you were provided a copy of a letter sent to the Coastal Commission which sets forth why the April 26 Trip Report cannot possibly be accurate.
  4. (d)  Did you tell him that you were informed that our white oyster boat was broken and was not on the Estero that day?
  5. (e)  Did the Chronicle reporter know that our employees had already clocked out for the day when some of these observations were supposedly being made?
  6. (f)  Was the reporter told that the April 26 Trip Report contains claims concerning seals getting flushed into the water that were not entered into the official NPS harbor seal database in violation of NPS protocols?
  7. (g)  Did the Chronicle reporter know that the NPS never mentioned this April 26 Trip Report in its May 8th testimony to the Marin County Board of Supervisors or in its May 11th version of the NPS Drakes Estero Report?
  8. (h)  Did you tell the reporter that the first time the April 26 Trip Report was referenced was in the September 11 report to the California Coastal Commission by Dr. John Dixon?-10-

(i) Was the Chronicle reporter informed that the now-questionable April 26 Trip Report is the only harbor seal data referenced by Dr. John Dixon in the California Coastal Commission report of September 11?

(j) Moreover, did he know that Dr. John Dixon was apparently unaware that he too had been given a new map with an altered harbor seal haul-out boundary?

One final question – do you stand by the NPS Clarification letter from last September or are you withdrawing the retractions you made public at that time?

The NPS statements to the Chronicle are needlessly inflammatory, contradictory, and plainly wrong. You are either unfamiliar with your own NPS record in this matter or your actions are deliberate. We don’t know which and will reserve judgment.

You issued the Clarification document, the so-called “rebuttal” to Dr. Goodman, even though Senator Feinstein directed you not to do so. In it, speaking for NPS, you retracted every categorical major accusation made against the Drakes Bay Oyster Company. Today, you overturn that which is already discredited – NPS statements, NPS testimony, and NPS reports. We are at a loss to understand what you are doing and saying, or understand why. We candidly admit – it makes no sense to us.

One thing is clear – these NPS management inconsistencies are harming our company and have repeatedly interfered with our ability to finalize action on pending permits or to move forward.

You are overturning or undermining almost every agreement reached at Olema. And, we are the object of NPS accusations, one after another. None right. None justified. To what end?

The Freedom of Information Act requests we submit to NPS are rarely answered, and if they are answered, are late and incomplete. You continue to withhold the 1973 – 1996 harbor seal data from Dr. Goodman incorrectly invoking inappropriate exemptions. In one, sent last October, we inquired as to the date the NPS’ Drakes Estero Report was first published as it is undated. It was a simple, straight-forward uncomplicated and non-controversial inquiry. Two months later, the NPS response, signed by you, was, “we are uncertain of what you mean by the word, ‘publication’”.

And most recently, you submitted a proposal for an independent scientific review to the National Academy of Sciences that overturned the Olema directive. First, you excluded CDFG’s Tom Moore. Then, after telling Dr. Goodman that all parties would go to the National Academy of Sciences together, you ignored that too. You submitted the NPS proposal without telling Dr. Goodman for two weeks. As for DBOC in the process, you elected to exclude us altogether. Worst of all, instead of an independent scientific investigation into the Drakes Estero Report, presentations and underlying science as directed at Olema and agreed to by all parties, you asked the National Academy of Sciences to investigate the Drakes Bay Oyster Company.

-11-

We are third generation family farmers at Drakes Estero. I have lived my entire life and we have raised our triplets here. Our love for the Point Reyes National Seashore is complete and total. This truly is one of the most beautiful places on this planet. It is also an ideal place to grow oysters and practice sustainable agriculture. Oysters are being reinstated and restored in Washington state, up and down the Atlantic Coast (especially in the Chesapeake Bay), and in the Gulf Coast. The “ecological services” provided by oysters are being recognized throughout our Nation except here. Three years ago, January 2005, our family purchased the oyster farm and spent a third of a million dollars cleaning up numerous problems at the farm and surrounding areas, including the Estero. These were legacy problems from the previous owner, not from the Lunny ownership. Prior to that purchase, we never had a cross word with the National Park Service.

That changed shortly after the purchase in January 2005. Since then, we feel like we have been constantly under attack.

Something is terribly wrong. Instead of resolving our differences, you are working overtime to make them worse. For that, our hearts are heavy. We are being treated unjustly. Our family is intimidated and fearful for our future and our financial survival.

If these questions are answered, fully and completely, it can be a starting point for progress. The choice is up to you.

Sincerely,

Kevin Lunny Nancy Lunny

cc: Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle Lesley Guth, San Francisco Chronicle John Diaz, San Francisco Chronicle

-12-

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Jon Jarvis
Regional Director
National Park Service
1111 Jackson Street, Suite 700 Oakland, CA 94607

11 May 2009

Dear Mr. Jarvis.

On May 5, 2009, in response to National Academy of Sciences Report on NPS science at Drakes Estero, the Pacific West Region of the National Park Service issued a press release entitled, “Park Service to Use National Academy of Sciences Report to Improve Management of Drakes Estero.” You were also interviewed by the media on May 5 and over the subsequent few days and made several additional statements.

We acknowledge the Park Service apology and express our appreciation for it. That said, we are confused by certain statements that have been made and, by this letter, ask for clarifications.

  1. (1)  NPS Rejects Unspecified NAS Conclusions. According to an article in the Marin Independent Journal, “Report: Point Reyes Oyster Farm Poses No Danger to the Estero,” you said: “we (NPS) agree with some conclusions, disagree with some and say we need more research too.”
    1. (A)  Please itemize the NAS conclusions in which NPS concurs.
    2. (B)  Please itemize the NAS conclusions in which NPS “disagrees.”
    3. (C)  Please provide a detailed explanation for those instances in which NPS disagrees and provide supporting data and documentation.
  2. (2)  NPS Contradicts NAS, Renews Claims that Oysters in Drakes Estero Harming Environment. According to an AP story published in the San Jose Mercury News,

entitled “Report Criticizes Feds Over Marin Oyster Farm:”

National Park Service officials said the non-native Pacific oysters raised by the farm are damaging the ecosystem.

But the National Academy of Sciences says in its report that it found no major negative environmental impact. The panel also suggests that park officials misrepresented some of the facts to support their position. Park Service Director Jon Jarvis says he disagrees with some of those findings.

  1. (A)  Please explain and detail how and why the National Academy is wrong.
  2. (B)  Notwithstanding NAS conclusions of no environmental harm, NPS still claims that non-native Pacific oysters are harming the environment at Drakes Estero. Please detail the harm. Provide the data that supports and substantiates that harm.

(3) NPS Plan to Correct the Record with Marin County Board of Supervisors, Federal and State Agencies, the Citizens of Marin and the Public at Large. According to an article published in the Point Reyes Light, “Park Service Abuses Data, Apologizes:”

In a press release, Jarvis wrote that the Academy affirmed [NPS’s Science Advisor Sarah] Allen’s conclusions [in the NPS Report, “Drakes Estero, A Sheltered Wilderness Estuary], but over the phone contradicted himself. “It’s the conclusions that are debated,” he said, “but not the raw data…”

Still its determination that the park, “in some instances selectively presented, over interpreted, or misrepresented the available scientific information” approximates the definition of scientific misconduct as written in the federal register.

“The allegations of scientific misconduct is based on there being intentional falsification of data,” he (Jarvis) said. “Neither the IG nor the Academy found that. What they did find in both cases was overreaching.”

Jarvis declined to describe his plan for correcting the public record.

(A) NPS testified, published, hand-delivered and otherwise disseminated information, reports, documents, data and reports that, according to the NAS “in some instances selectively presented, over-interpreted, or misrepresented the available scientific information on DBOC operations by exaggerating the negative and

overlooking potentially beneficial effects…” These reports, information, documents and data were provided to the Marin County Board of Supervisors, Congresswoman Woolsey, Senators Feinstein and Boxer, other locally elected officials, California Costal Commission, Marin Mammal Commission, California State Resources Agency, MLPA Task Force, California Department of Fish and Game, NOAA among others. Please detail your plan and timetable for correcting the public record with all parties and interests.

  1. (B)  According to the Inspector General’s Report, NPS also provided the same flawed reports, information, documents and data to certain environmental groups including the Sierra Club, National Parks and Conservation Association (NPCA) and the Environmental Action Committee (EAC). These groups, today, are actively publishing, disseminating and/or are circulating this flawed and tainted scientific information. Please detail your plan and timetable for correcting the public record with these and other environmental groups.
  2. (C)  Please provide copies of the letters and documents in which the corrections are made.

(4) According to the NPS Pacific West Region News Release on May 5, 2009:

“Certainly, we apologize for the errors in our original document [Drakes Estero, A Sheltered Wilderness Estuary] and already have taken steps to correct them,” Park Service Regional Director Jon Jarvis said. “We appreciate the thoroughness of the academy’s report and especially that academy concurred with many of our conclusions in the final, corrected version of the report”

  1. (A)  Identify each of the specific “errors” in the original document being referenced.
  2. (B)  Explain the “steps being taken to correct them.”
  3. (C)  You state, “we appreciate…that the academy concurred with many of our conclusions in the final, corrected version of the report.” To which “conclusions” are you referring? Itemize and detail.
  4. (D)  Your statement references the “final, corrected version of the report.” We are unfamiliar with such a document. Immediately after the NAS Report was published, we asked the NAS panel for this document and they were unable to provide it. Will you please provide us with a copy of the final, corrected version of the Drakes Estero report.

This has been an agonizing ordeal for our family. NPS, since we purchased the oyster farm in January 2005, has been making a sustained series of accusations, claims, and charges – ranging from environmental criminality to environmental harm. Now, it appears as if a “new generation”

of charges is emerging.
This is painfully unacceptable.

We were heartened by the NPS apology. But a few words in a press release, unfortunately, will not restore our good name — and neither will it absolve NPS of its responsibility to take responsibility for the damage it has done to us and to itself. NPS must clean up the situation it has created for our family and our community, starting with correcting the record of false NPS claims.

We ask that you, in good faith, please clarify this immediately and provide detailed and complete answers to the questions set forth in this letter.

Sincerely,
Kevin Lunny Nancy Lunny

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