Our watersheds encompass all the lands from our bay, rivers, and streams all the way to the ridgetops and mountaintops. What happens on those lands can have significant effects, both positive and negative, on our streams, creeks, and rivers. In the same way, they can have significant effects on our natural world, our home.

We have carefully followed the discussions, debates, and events related to the 2016 “Water, Forest and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative.” We have also learned more about the recently proposed 2018 Initiative crafted by the Napa Valley Vintners and the Watershed Protection Committee proponents of the 2016 Initiative.

Friends of the Napa River Board of Directors met last Monday with Watershed Protection Committee leader Jim Wilson, one of the key proponents of the 2016 and 2018 Initiatives, and with Rex Stults of the Napa Valley Vintners. (Please note that Mr. Stults sits on our board, but abstained from our actions on this issue).

The two gentlemen outlined their efforts in working together to prepare the recently proposed 2018 Initiative; lengthy discussion ensued by our Board with the two of them.

We were also informed by Mr. Stults that the Napa Valley Vintners Board has now officially voted to suspend its work on the 2018 Initiative. Further, it is our understanding that Napa Valley Vintners has offered to fund a collaborative effort to craft an improved and consensus-based document for presentation to voters on the November 2018 Ballot.

Friends of the Napa River has consistently supported collaborative approaches to community issues. We were one of the leading groups of the Community Coalition that developed the Living River Guidelines, the backbone of the Napa River Flood Control Project and we were key supporters of the 1998 “Measure A” to fund the community share of the Project costs. This worked!

While both of the draft initiatives have many compelling ideas that would normally directly gain our support, we instead wish to extend our history of collaboration by supporting the newest proposal by the Napa Valley Vintners for a cooperative process to seek common ground on this complex set of issues.

We invite and are willing to work hard with other groups in the community to help protect our valuable watersheds, wetlands and oak woodlands.

Bernhard Krevet, President

Friends of the Napa River

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