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The Napa Valley Vintners is a nonprofit trade association representing nearly 550 local wineries.

Early this year, our board of directors voted unanimously to oppose the Oak Woodland Protection Initiative of 2018. Now known as Measure C, this initiative further regulates our oak woodlands and expands river and stream setbacks within the Ag Watershed-zoned areas.

Our history with this initiative is complicated, to say the least. Over the past year, the NVV Board engaged with Measure C sponsors to attempt to negotiate an outcome that would protect the environment while further supporting and promoting agriculture in the Napa Valley. Unfortunately, this process did not result in an effective measure that fully achieved the stated goals.

We held a town hall-style meeting in January to allow legal counsel for both the proponents and opponents of the initiative to make their case. Legal uncertainties were exposed during that meeting. Some of the NVV’s concerns were subsequently validated by Napa County’s independent legal analysis of the initiative.

The Napa Valley Vintners has a long and proud history of working to protect our valley. We will continue to do that. We want our woodlands protected. We must continue to safeguard our clean water. And, we must do this in a way that promotes sustainable growth in the valley. Unfortunately, Measure C will lead to sustained regulatory battles and result in unintended consequences that will not serve the goal of protecting our water and trees.

We must work together as a community to protect our environment and to find a sustainable balance in our agriculture. Measure C is not the right vehicle for this. Please join our board of directors and many of our members in voting No on C.

David Pearson, chair

NVV Board of Directors

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