I came here with my family in 1980 because I fell in love with the beauty of this valley. Growing up in Santa Cruz, I watched the lush Santa Clara Valley be destroyed and I truly hoped that would not happen here.
Napa Valley is not now being dramatically paved over as was Santa Clara, but it is being destroyed in a more insidious way. The rampant proliferation of vineyards is killing the ecology here. The process of polluting the Napa River and its surrounding tributaries, while attempting to attract more visitors and traffic than our limited resources can bear, is destroying the watershed and upsetting the delicate balance that we so urgently need to preserve.
Ignoring the scientific proof presented to them, the Napa County Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission have voted recently not to protect the watershed and our rich and precious biodiversity. Bending to the big players in the wine industry, real estate developers and property rights advocates, they sold us out: all 17,533 of us who voted for Measure C, and probably many more, since the positively reprehensible campaign of disinformation run by “No” advocates managed successfully to confuse many voters. They sold out not only the serious, mindful farmers here, not only the ecological balance of this valley but our children’s future as well.
No consideration was given to climate change. Zero. What are they thinking? As Greta Thunberg, the brilliant 16-year-old Swedish activist, put it: “I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.” To ignore the importance of protections now is both irresponsible and corrupt.
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The Water Quality and Tree Ordinance that the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission passed was so stripped down and mangled that it now will serve only those who wish to focus on more development, more money, more greed ... no consideration for the bigger, looming picture of a world that only has 12 years to turn things around. (2019 UN Climate Change Report).
However, up against this disastrous decision, there stands a large, strong and inspired group of resisters – and the game isn’t over yet. Not by a long shot.