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We’d like to lend our voice to the growing chorus of supporters for Measure C.

Napa wine grapegrowers and vintners have harvested so much more than grapes from the bounty of the land, now it’s time we returned the favor.

In an unprecedented time when a hostile federal government is attempting to roll back established protections for national monuments, repeal decades long safeguards for coastal waters, and undo 50 years of environmental progress, we must be more proactive than ever as good stewards of the land we call home.

It’s a scientific fact that California has more biological diversity, including more endemic species, than any other state in the union.

And Napa County has particularly high levels of biological diversity compared to California. We are living in one of the great biodiversity hot spots in the nation.

The forests, meadows and woodlands in Napa’s mountains and hills harbor 1,700 plant species, 1,400 of which are native. Unfortunately an alarming 126 species are rare or threatened, particularly by loss of habitat due to vineyard conversions. Measure C will give needed protection for our own botanical Eden by preserving habitat, preserving our valley aquifers, keeping the air clean, storing carbon, and many other benefits.

Some of you will remember the Bale Oaks between St, Helena and Calistoga. You’d come around the ‘S ‘ turns before Bothe Park and see the most beautiful 100 acres in Napa Valley. Here was a magnificent oak savanna with over 75 valley oaks and black oaks up to 400 years old with dozens of native wildflower species carpeting the ground in spring. It was the last example of what this valley looked like in prehistoric times.

All of it was destroyed for vineyard conversion in 1987. It’s too late for the Bale Oaks but we must stop this sort of destruction in our hills.

As a new and untested idea, the Ag Preserve of 1968 was a bitterly contested issue. Today, could there be more than a handful of people who doubt the prescience of that decision?

Opponents to Measure C conveniently overlook one truth: property owners county-wide did give up some rights for the formation of the Ag Preserve. Sometimes, we have to consider the commonwealth over individual rights, the benefits of the many over the few.

We believe that the proposed Watershed initiative of 2018 is a logical corollary to the Ag Preserve. Protection of the watershed is the equivalent of protection of the vineyards. They go hand in hand. This is a watershed moment in more ways than one. Please join us in voting YES for Measure C in June.

Ken Stanton

Doug Stanton

Stanton Vineyards Inc.

St. Helena

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