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Marin County oyster farm seeks U.S. Supreme Court hearing

  • Francisco Manzo works on a barge filled with oysters pulled from Drakes Estero in 2012. (PD FILE, 2012)

Embattled Drakes Bay Oyster Company launched its final legal bid for survival Monday by filing a request to the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case rejected three times by federal judges.

The family-owned company, which harvests $1.5 million worth of oysters a year from Drakes Estero in the Point Reyes National Seashore, is challenging a decision by former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar not to renew a federal permit that expired in November 2012.

The high court, which hears about 1 percent of the 10,000 cases it receives each year, is likely to decide on the oyster company's request in October, said Peter Prows, a San Francisco attorney representing farm operator Kevin Lunny.

Judges in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco have twice dismissed Lunny's case, asserting they lack jurisdiction to review Salazar's decision. A federal district judge in Oakland reached the same conclusion.

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