Drakes Bay Oyster Co. Gets Yet Another Reprieve From the 9th Circuit

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Drakes Bay Oyster Co., which has been facing an imminent eviction by the federal government from the protected waters at Drakes Estero (near Point Reyes), has just gotten yet another eleventh-hour reprieve via the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. As the KQED reports, the court granted the oyster farm another two-month stay because "there are serious legal questions and the balance of hardships tips sharply in appelants' favor." Therefore, they now have until mid-May, at least, to continue operations, and the court is scheduling a hearing on the matter the week of May 13. At issue is whether or not the Department of the Interior acted fairly in allowing the oyster farm's 40-year lease on the federal waters to expire in 2012, as the company knew it would, thereby returning Drakes Estero into California's first federally designated marine wilderness preserve. Earlier this month, a federal district judge ruled in favor of the government. [KQED, Earlier, Earlier still]