By Summer Brennan

It all all started barely enough. In 1976 the purpose Reyes barren region Act granted the top safeguard in the US to greater than 33,000 acres of California wooded area, grassland and coastline - together with Drakes Estero, an estuary of gorgeous attractiveness. within was once a small, family-run oyster farm first tested within the Thirties. a neighborhood rancher got the enterprise in 2005, renaming it The Drakes Bay Oyster corporation. while the nationwide Park carrier knowledgeable him that the 40-year hire wouldn't be renewed previous 2012, he vowed to maintain the farm in enterprise whether it intended taking his struggle the entire strategy to the best Court.

Environmentalists, nationwide politicians, scientists, and the dep. of the internal all joined a chronic conflict for the estuary that had the facility to persuade the way forward for desert for many years to come back. have been the oyster farmers environmental criminals, or sufferers of presidency fraud? Fought opposed to a backdrop of worry of presidency corruption and the looming specter of weather switch, the conflict struck a countrywide nerve, pitting nature opposed to agriculture and technology opposed to politics, because it sought to figure out who belonged and who didn’t belong, and what it capacity to be wild.

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Additional info for The Oyster War: The True Story of a Small Farm, Big Politics, and the Future of Wilderness in America

Sample text

Newly back in town after almost ten years spent mostly away, it took a while to get my bearings. My life in the big city had been frenetic, and it was jarring to suddenly find myself one foggy spring night in Vladimir’s, a dark Czechoslovakian pub on the edge of Tomales Bay, eating fish and chips with septuagenarian cowboys. Wild mustard was still growing tall along the roadsides, clustered white and purple against the weathered wood of old barns. Evenings came on blue and heavy from out over the Pacific.

The imprints of her hiking boots were the only tracks in the smooth, damp sand. Uncommonly tall and slim, her hips narrow as a boy’s, she was dressed in khaki pants that were just a little bit too short. She had a bag slung over her shoulder and wore a wind-breaker to keep out the moist air, her long brown hair held back from her face with a bandana. She carried a notebook tucked under her arm, and in her slender hands she held a high-frequency radio signal receiver. Her name was Sarah Allen, and she was there to count the harbor seals.

By the mid-1980s, it had grown to $860,000, and represented a well-respected voice in policy debates. The gill net controversy gained momentum in the early 1980s. Dorothy Hunt, a PRBO volunteer living near Monterey, usually counted dead birds while walking along the beach near her home, as part of the Observatory’s Beached Bird Project. Sometimes there were no dead birds, and other times as many as five or six—which was a lot. Then one foggy July morning in 1982, she went out for her routine walk and counted 108.

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