Battle for Napa Valley’s future: Proposed curb on vineyards divides county

Esther Mobley article for the San Francisco Chronicle  - April 8, 2018


As we celebrate the establishment of the Ag Preserve today, it is too easy to forget how much opposition it received at the time of its birth. Measure C will likewise be praised in the future for protecting napa County's water for all - residents and agriculture alike. 

It is simple: we need to protect our water and forests, and we need reasonable limits to deforestation and development. It is a question of balance and living responsibly in a place where resources are finite.

"In February, [Randy] Dunn was part of a group of high-profile vintners including Andy Beckstoffer, Robin Lail, Beth Novak Milliken and Warren Winiarski who publicly expressed their support for Measure C in a letter to the Napa Valley Register newspaper. “Enhancing oak woodland protections is not anti-agriculture,” they wrote. “Rather, it is pro-responsible and sustainable agriculture, pro-water security, pro-community, and pro-climate. Our county’s Agricultural Preserve depends on a healthy watershed.”

To these vintners, Measure C’s provisions are modest: New vineyards must be kept at least 25 feet away from streams, and only 795 acres of oak trees in land zoned as agricultural watershed may be removed in order to plant vineyards. After the 795-acre limit is reached, permits will be required to cut down any more oaks."

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