In the Sacramento Bee newspaper Amy Meyer opines that California is blessed to have spectacular national parks that show off our country's most treasured landscapes, from the granite peaks of Yosemite to the remote deserts of Death Valley. These beloved places are part of our cultural and natural legacy that we enjoy today and leave for future generations. They are, as Wallace Stegner stated: "America's Best Idea."
And this best idea is owned by you, me and all Americans.
You wouldn't know that from Stephanie Taylor's article on Point Reyes National Seashore, writes Meyer, and its famed ecological heart, the estuary called Drakes Estero ("Point Reyes shellfish bounty faces a shutdown"; Forum, May 19). Last November, when an oyster company's 40-year lease to operate in the estuary neared its expiration, the Obama administration fulfilled a long-standing agreement to let the lease expire on its own terms, giving all Americans their first protected marine wilderness in the continental United States.
This decision represents government at its best: Honoring the public interest and not succumbing to industry interests seeking to privatize property owned by Americans and planned for protection.
But now the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. has teamed up with industry lobbyists, anti-regulatory members of Congress, and Koch-brother affiliated groups to seek a new permit. Plus a Republican-sponsored energy bill that expedites the Keystone XL pipeline and permits offshore drilling along California's coast would grant a new oyster lease and strip the wilderness protections.