A pearl of a farm, nationally threatened

Posted on January 30, 2013 by Sonoma Valley Sun

(Guest editorial by Yannick Phillips). Monday night, the Sonoma Valley Grange voted unanimously for the resolution below and joined the Marin Grange in supporting the Lunny family.

We have also reached out to Congressman Huffman who represents that area and expressed our desire in finding a solution that will allow sustainable agriculture and wilderness to co-exist. Huffman is open to a good solution(s).

I believe in my heart we have a golden opportunity to bring forth solid ideas that will break the outdated barrier of ‘pure wilderness’ and open up an enlightened way for environmental forces to join with the sustainable food/farm movement; not solely for the tiny Pt. Reyes situation, but as a model for the entire nation.

I know the solution is out there. I believe there has not been enough ‘thinking outside the box’ from either party of the oyster/wilderness equation. Find out more at

Drake’s Bay Oyster Company Resolution

Drake’s Bay Oyster Farm has existed for nearly 100 years, employs 30 community members, and farms sustainably in Drake’s Estero, producing 40-50% of all oysters in California. The Lunny Family, who owns the farm, is working hard to keep the agricultural economic system alive in West Marin. They are respected stewards of the land in my community and represent the best in environmental protection, small business, local jobs and history.

At this very moment in time, the Federal Government is spending millions of taxpayer dollars to restore oysters and shellfish due to their environmental benefits in the Chesapeake Bay, San Francisco Bay, New England, the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Northwest. If Drake’s Bay Oyster Farm is forced out of business, all of its contributions to the Drake’s Estero watershed will vanish, along with much needed jobs in our community.

National Park Service has used misinformation and flawed science, some of it as old as from the 1950s, to make their case against Drake’s Bay Oyster Company. A 1,000-page environmental-impact study, which took the Park Service two years to create and cost $2-million to prepare, was suddenly tossed aside and declared unnecessary.

Be it resolved that, the Sonoma Valley Grange supports the Drake’s Bay Oyster Company and the Lunny family’s efforts to continue operating their oyster farm in order to maintain the harmonious co-existence of sustainable agriculture and wilderness and;

Be it further resolved that, the Sonoma Valley Grange encourages all interested parties, including our state and federal electeds to explore any and all necessary creative needs to achieving an amicable resolution to the issue.

Yannick Phillips is a member of Sonoma Valley Grange.