WatchSonoma Watch

Jared Huffman won’t back Sonoma’s call to investigate oyster farm closure


Rep. Jared Huffman said Wednesday he is rejecting the city of Sonoma’s request that he support a congressional investigation into the federal government’s decision to close an oyster farm in the Point Reyes National Seashore.

Huffman, D-San Rafael, whose district includes the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. near Inverness but not the town of Sonoma, challenged three of the assumptions contained in a resolution adopted Monday night that supports the oyster farm.

Jared Huffman.

Jared Huffman.

The resolution “seemed to presume” there was a “clear-cut case of scientific misconduct,” Huffman said, involved in former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s decision in November not to renew the permit for the farm that harvests $1.5 million worth of oysters a year from Drakes Estero.

Farm operator Kevin Lunny is challenging Salazar’s decision in the federal courts.

The resolution also said there was “bipartisan support” for an inquiry launched in April by Rep. Doc Hastings of Washington, the Republican chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Huffman, a Resources Committee member, described the inquiry as “a Republican-inspired effort.” In April, he called it “a political witch hunt to embarrass the administration.”

Finally, Huffman said, the allegations of faulty science — included in the Sonoma resolution and repeatedly raised in Lunny’s legal arguments — incorrectly assert that the science informed Salazar’s decision.

Salazar “clearly stated” that his decision was “based on law and policy,” not the disputed scientific assessments of the oyster farm’s impact on the estero, a 2,500-acre federally protected waterway, Huffman said.

Huffman said he will continue to follow the controversy that has gained national attention, pitting wilderness advocates who want the oyster farm removed versus supporters who consider it an example of sustainable agriculture and part of the local food movement.

But the case for a congressional investigation “hasn’t been made very convincingly,” he said.

Sonoma’s resolution also asked state Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, to back the oyster farm’s claim that it still holds fishing rights granted by the state.

Levine said he would not get involved in a case that is in the courts.

(You can reach Staff Writer Guy Kovner at 521-5457 or guy.kovner@pressdemocrat.com.)

13 Responses to “Jared Huffman won’t back Sonoma’s call to investigate oyster farm closure”

  1. Steveguy says:

    Resources Committee — So the Hoof-man is on a committee, and he believes in using no resources ? By definition the Drake’s Bay Oyster Farm is using a great resource.

    Maybe if Mr. Lunny had given free oysters and big campaign contributions his opinion would change. You have to pay to play.

    And PROVEN false ‘science’. Proven.

    His constituents are who pays up, even if they are based in Washington DC. The false science based ‘environmentalists ( UN Agenda 21) bought him, plain and simple.

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  2. Beef King says:

    From the article….”Huffman, a Resources Committee member, described the inquiry as “a Republican-inspired effort.” In April, he called it “a political witch hunt to embarrass the administration.”


    That’s the response from our Congressperson regarding the needs of a constituent?

    Huffman must be GONE at the next election.

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  3. Redwood says:

    Is there a reason why these long-term leases don’t go out for a rebid?

    I’d like to save a few bucks on taxes, or maybe make a few bucks with an operation. It seems that a farming operation that’s been in one family forever, on leased public land, is a give away.

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  4. Steveguy says:

    The Huuf-man could care less about, he never has and never will. Unless you butter his bread, then he will vote your way. Voters don’t butter bread.

    Thumb up 22 Thumb down 10

  5. west marin says:

    So who are we going to run againist Huffman in 2014 ?

    He is not up to the job.

    Thumb up 28 Thumb down 14

  6. Kathy Robler says:

    Huffman, weak as water. Feet of clay.

    Thumb up 31 Thumb down 12

  7. Snarky says:

    How about investigating the criminals in government who are spying on us ???

    And how about investigating the criminals in the IRS who are helping the government suppress innocent American citizens?

    Thumb up 25 Thumb down 3

  8. Phil Maher says:

    What a tool! He seems to be playing politics and forgetting who he works for.
    So what else in new in Washington?

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  9. Sloedanger says:

    Contrary to Huffman’s claim, law and public policy based in large part on sound science must be informed by sound science. To claim that both the law and policy relative to sustainable, environmentally responsible, local, agricultural use of the estero operates in the absence of sound science, as both Salazar and Huffman do, is as idiotic as it is irresponsible.

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  10. Wilson says:

    I hope that all of the people that I told last year (and didn’t believe me) that Huffman doesn’t care about his constituents now know what I was trying to tell them. I hope that you all remember this moment of apathy when he comes up for re-election

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  11. Grapevines says:

    Just a good Democrat weasel doing what he’s told to do. Backbone of boiled spaghetti and morals of a streetwalker. What did you expect?

    And this administration is capable of embarrassing itself without getting into a mud slinging act over oysters. Just look up Benghazi, Justice Department, IRS to see the truth in what I say.

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  12. Bingo says:

    Jared Huffman has no backbone and sticks his finger in the air every morning to see which way the air is blowing. Makes a constituent proud.

    Thumb up 37 Thumb down 9

  13. James Bennett says:

    This guy, Pelosi, Thompson are all globalist change agents.

    That’s why they were installed.

    Thumb up 32 Thumb down 11

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