Kevin Lunny - Drakes Bay oyster farm
My name is Kevin Lunny. I’m a third-generation cattle rancher at the Point Reyes National Seashore in California.
About several years ago, we also were the owners of the Drakes Bay oyster farm — a sustainable family business where we produced nearly half of all the oysters in the state of California.
In 2014, the National Park Service launched a National Environmental Policy Act process that costs millions of dollars and lasted over eight years. And the National Park Service forced our oyster farm out of business. And if that wasn’t enough for our family and our community, today the rest of agriculture, which includes about another 24 ranching family farm businesses within the National Seashore, are facing the exact same process.
Our fear is that that process could ultimately be facing — and those families may be facing what the oyster farm faced. And so I’m here, Mr. President, thanking you for calling this meeting together so we can have this discussion. We urge you to continue your good work in following these policies and making sure these federal policies are managed in a way that family farmers and ranchers like us can actually benefit and survive these procedures and — so they’re not just for federal agencies that have pre-decided what they want before the process has begun and for professional litigants that abuse the process.
Thank you, Mr. President.