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“If you don’t remember where you’re from you won’t know where to go.”

My children are the fifth generation from Napa Valley. This doesn’t give me any special privilege; but it gives me a generous memory of this valley and how it once was.

When I was growing up, this valley was thriving with a diversity of agriculture, nature and habitat. It was far from a mono-culture.

Believe me when I tell you this; beautiful pheasants could be seen on a regular basis. Turtles would bask on logs in the Napa River by the dozens. Butterflies fetched our attention daily. Toads as tiny as a thumbnail would jump by the scores as we stepped gingerly to protect them from our steps. Pollywogs from puddles along roadside ditches would fill mason jars as we watched them transform into frogs. Everywhere was the wonder of nature.

While we have done so much to clean up our act with toxins and pesticides as we farm this valley; our job is not complete. Our effort to question ourselves in allowing hillsides to be ridden of nature and to be replaced by vineyards is in great need. Why do we want to plant our hillsides in vines? Ask yourself.

More is a liar and money is a thief.

More hillside vines = less natural wonder and beauty.

More hillside vines = more synthetic chemicals, reduced health certainty.

More hillside vines = less ground water supplies.

More hillside vines = less watershed sustainability.

More hillside vines = less air quality.

(Every motor that runs one hour is equivalent to four hours of automobile emissions. Vineyards require motors, including weed-wackers, mowers as well as others.)

Money is a thief.

It requires lots of money to plant a hillside. Is this money robbing us of our resources?

Is this money taking away from our quality of life: air, water and habitat?

Is this money paying fines when violating current laws and ignoring current restrictions (“Oh I’m so sorry I had way too many visitors at my winery and I violated my use permit.”)

To all of the vineyard owners that care about our valley and its resources: I give thanks.

Let’s look back at how this valley once was so we can direct our future now for all of us who live here and wish to call it our home.

Please vote with me for yes on C.

Shelly Monte Euser

Napa

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