Here’s the Science – Yes on C.




Clarity bought to the watershed debate by a veteran vintner and grower



"[Opponent of C] Mr. Smith sounds the drumbeat of "where's the science?" knowing full well that there is ample science. The Watershed Task Force compiled and summarized the science associated with protecting vs. deforesting watersheds. The Dunne report (2001) systematically detailed the cumulative and permanent impact of deforestation. Mr. Smith has been an active participant in the consideration of the science involved, and his claim that none exists is disingenuous. What science would he like to argue with?

The beneficial services of oak forests? The negative impact of deforestation? The benefits of tertiary and secondary streams? The detriment of Roundup to our waterways? (Higgins, 2018)

Would he like to argue that vineyards don't use water drawn from the water table? He begins to sound like the climate change deniers who look straight at the science and declare it to be opinion. Can he show any science that shows that deforestation is good? A single case? No, I didn't think so."


Provisions for Preservation of Oak Woodlands

The 2010 Napa County Voluntary Oak Woodland Management Plan describes the role of oak woodlands in protecting our water quality and quantity: "Oak woodland canopies capture 20-30% more rainfall than do grasslands, and their contribution to organic matter in the soil improves its water holding capacity...  Compared to annual vegetation, oaks can extract water from he soil profile to a greater depth. Consequently, soils under oak woodland canopy are able to absorb and hold greater amounts of rainfall than equivalent soils with only annual grassland cover... Oaks and other vegetation also help reduce soil contamination by absorbing heavy metals, fertilizer nutrients, and pesticides from the soil and intercepting sediments containing these pollutants, thereby preventing these materials from reaching surface waters."

Read the entire document here:

This voluntary plan is great for the people who already want to protect oak woodlands and do the right thing.  But it does nothing to protect us from the bad actors that County leaders are too afraid to take on. The bottom line is that since 2010 no onehas applied to use the plan.

Scientific report on stream setbacks and definitions

Measure C's stream setbacks and stream definitions were first proposed in a 2004 ballot initiative signed by Congressman Mike Thompson and then-Supervisor Bill Dodd.  The scientific report for those setbacks is contained in a memo prepared for the County Planning Department by Jones and Stokes:

Read the memo here:

Science supports an imperative yes vote for Measure C

The science is solid and long settled that all watersheds in Napa County have impaired water quality from human land activities providing undeniable evidence that a yes vote on Measure C, the Watershed and Oakwood Protection Initiative is justifiable.

The Science is Clear

This report shows that groundwater is currently being removed at a sustainable level (defined as 17,000-20,000 acre-ft/year).  Seventy-seven percent of the groundwater removed is used by vineyards and wineries. Sixty-three percent of the groundwater recharge comes from the hillside watersheds (upland watersheds).  This means the ability of our hillside watersheds to recharge the groundwater is critical for Napa Valley’s agriculture.

Report: Half of the West’s Rivers Altered by Development, Diversions

This analysis also found that even the headwaters of rivers are very impacted from human activities, mostly due to development along the surrounding land for headwaters. More than a third of headwaters were impacted.

Headwaters are the source of clean drinking water for many Americans. So that has a very direct impact on the health of communities, and if headwaters start out damaged, diverted or polluted, it literally all goes downhill from there.

Why we need to protect half the planet

Why we need to protect half the planet

New research indicates current global conservation targets, which call for preserving 17 percent of land and 10 percent of oceans, are far too low. Instead, targets should be closer to 50 percent for land and 30 percent for oceans. This will protect the diversity of life on Earth and ensure human well-being and survival. Join panelists for this critical discussion on why we need to increase conservation targets in order to save the Earth.

9111 creates confusion, distraction from the 3 million tons of carbon that we should be keeping out of the atmosphere

When my eyes weren't crossing from the crazy legalese—that made no sense at all regardless of how many times I read certain passages—I found myself laughing out loud at some of the report’s conclusions and the authors' pretended knowledge of (and hastily added) "scientific facts," specifically pertaining to the implications of the recent wildfires. 

... Using the above figures, more than 3 million tons of sequestered carbon is at risk of entering the atmosphere in Napa County, alone, should development processes eliminate these oak woodlands and forests and their associated carbon pools.