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Federal judge to rule on oyster farm's bid to stay open

  • Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, center, talks DrakeÕs Bay Oyster Company part-owner Kevin Lunny, left, during a tour at the Point Reyes National Seashore near Point Reyes Station, California on Wednesday, November 21, 2012. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)

OAKLAND — A federal judge Friday heard arguments but delayed a decision on a bid by Drakes Bay Oyster Co. to avert a government-ordered shutdown while the company's legal challenge is resolved.

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers conducted the hearing before a packed courtroom while a crowd of more than 50 people was left standing in front of the federal courthouse in downtown Oakland.

Kevin Lunny, operator of the embattled oyster farm in the 2,500-acre Drakes Estero in Point Reyes National Seashore, is fighting Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's decision Nov. 29 denying renewal of the operation's federal permit.

The judge did not indicate when she would rule on the request for an injunction but seemed to cast doubt on the oyster company's case when she questioned whether the court has jurisdiction in the matter.

"Now, it's waiting time," Lunny said in the federal building courtyard after the hearing.


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