We came together to respond to fire, let’s do it again for our watershed.

We have to say that we are so very proud and thankful that we have so many citizens with open hearts during and after the devastating fires. We will never forget the first responders’ generosity and warmth of spirit. We saw people looking out for each other, helping evacuate animals, and sharing time and goods to the displaced. People were doing for others because we are one community. This proves how strong we can be when we come together for the common good.

In contrast, we should be coming together to protect our common asset and resource, the watersheds. We are all dependent upon a healthy watershed, including the agriculture in the valley and those who live in town. We need to protect it to ensure clean water and a stable environment.

In Jason Abbot’s Letter to the Editor on Nov. 3 ("Read the initiative before you sign"), he misstated the intent of the Watershed and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative of 2018, and accused the signature gatherers of being liars. I am a signature gatherer and resent his accusation. I have no reason to misrepresent the intent or the specifics of the initiative.

I’m proud to support it and put my own time into ensuring the citizens get to vote on it. Napa Valley citizens deserve their say in how we manage this important shared resource. We signature gatherers represent it as best we can in the short moments we encounter each person.

As signature gatherers, we will inform you as much as you wish and will seek accurate answers to questions, if you allow us the time or let us get back to you. We encourage you to read the whole initiative; it is quite readable and addresses concerns that those opposed claim it does not. The core purpose is to prevent deforestation of key parts of our watershed, and to stop clear-cutting of stands of oak that are key to our ecosystems, resupply of aquifers and protect our supply of clean water.

It specifically allows clearing around structures and driveways for fire safety, allows clearing out of dead wood and debris, respectful of laws and zoning. We know the the citizens of Napa Valley support this by a large majority; we want to see it on the ballot so that the citizens can voice that opinion. I suspect the maligning posts and letters are from those who fear that the voice of the community might prevail over the clear-cutters.

Please come together and protect our watershed with as much heart as we came together to protect each other during the fires. We do it for our collective future and our children’s futures in the hope that we will have this beautiful valley to share for a very long time.

Lynn Bell


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