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Contact: David Schifsky, 415-464-5175
The National Park Service announces the proposed settlement of a civil lawsuit brought by the United States of America, acting on behalf of the National Park Service, against Tomales Bay Oyster Company, the owner of land which is adjacent to National Park Service land.
National Park Service employees learned that between 2010 and 2014 Tomales Bay Oyster Company wrongfully cleared vegetation and developed approximately one acre of National Park Service land for use as a parking lot. The trespass, development, and use of the parking lot damaged and destroyed park natural resources. Point Reyes National Seashore Park Rangers and a Damage Assessment Case Officer from the National Park Service's National Damage Assessment Office conducted a comprehensive investigation and assessment into the nature and extent of the injuries to National Park Service property caused by Tomales Bay Oyster Company. With the assistance of the Department of the Interior Solicitor's Office, the National Park Service developed claims for costs and damages under the System Unit Resource Protection Act.
The Government and responsible party have agreed to settle the case without further litigation. In settlement, Tomales Bay Oyster Company has agreed to pay $280,000 in damages to the United States to compensate for the unauthorized trespass and development of the site. The National Park Service will use the settlement, in part, to restore the injured area, which will include removal of gravel, revegetation of native plant species, and monitoring and removal of invasive non-native plants.
"We are pleased to bring this case to a close and begin restoration of the site as soon as possible," said Acting Superintendent, Dave Brouillette. "We cannot allow any modifications to national park lands to occur without permit or authorization as it is a violation of the law. These are special places that belong to all of us and we do not take that responsibility lightly."
The proposed settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.
To view the consent decree, visit: https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees.