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The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Tuesday morning, who contended to let the permit of Drakes Bay Oyster Co. expire.
The case drew national attention from environmentalists, who questioned whether the federal government would control the operation of private businesses in national parks. Aside from the case for protecting the terrain, many argued the case was an example of yet another local farmer bullied out of production by the federal government.
Kevin Lunny, owner of Drakes Bay, signed the lease in 2004, aware that it would expire just seven years later. When Salazar indicated he would let the lease expire, Lunny sought an extension.
In its decision, the court stated, “[Lunny signed the lease] with eyes wide open to the fact that the permit acquired from its predecessor owner was set to expire just seven years later, in 2012 [...] Drakes Bay’s disagreement with the value judgments made by the (interior) secretary is not a legitimate basis on which to set aside the decision,” Inside Bay Area reports.
Lunny is currently consulting with lawyers over next steps, says CBS Local.