U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is expected to decide by Friday the fate of the Drake's Bay Oyster Co. at Drakes Estero.
The company, run by rancher Kevin Lunny, is seeking a 10-year extension of its current 40-year special use permit to harvest oysters. The permit expires Nov. 30, and Salazar toured the oyster farm last Wednesday.
Salazar also met with National Park Service officials and some environmentalists who oppose extending the permit in order to protect the wilderness in the Point Reyes National Seashore.
A 500-page final environmental impact report was released earlier this month that listed four options -- ceasing the oyster company's authorization to operate and three alternatives that extend the permit, each with various conditions and exceptions.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein favors extending the permit, and legislation she authored in 2009 gave Salazar the option to do so.
The Inverness-based company issued a voluntary recall in August after it was linked to an outbreak of bacterial illness that affected three people.
- Bay City News Service