Oyster feuds: conflicting discourses and outcomes in Point Reyes, California

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The closure of Drake's Bay Oyster Farm in Point Reyes National Seashore, California, ignited a heated local and national conflict regarding the roles of stewardship and conservation and private business in protected areas. It is vital to examine parks and conservation critically to identify places where they are exacerbating resource struggles that often result from globalization and development, in the United States and in other countries. This article uses Foucauldian discourse analysis to identify conflicting discourses present in this conflict and to analyze knowledge and power in relation to issues of resource and land use in protected areas. This analysis highlights differences in scale and logic between the discourse used by local stakeholders, and the discourse used by conservation organizations and Park officials, in the Point Reyes conflict and in other National Parks.

Keywords: Political ecology, discourse, aquaculture, oysters, Foucault, National Parks, conservation, land stewardship, Point Reyes, protected areas

How to Cite: Leslie-Bole, H. & Perramond, E. P. (2017) “Oyster feuds: conflicting discourses and outcomes in Point Reyes, California”, Journal of Political Ecology. 24(1). doi: