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As a life long Napan I urge a no vote on Measure C.

The goal of saving Napa's oak trees and keeping our watershed healthy is an important goal, however Measure C's provisions are not based on sound, peer-reviewed or up-to-date science, and will do more harm than good.

In fact, Napa's vineyard farmers in our agricultural watershed zoned areas are already among the most highly regulated farmers in the state of California, if not in the nation. Our ag watershed farming is very strictly regulated by the county of Napa; generally farmers need to have an environmental impact report done in order to get a permit to plant a vineyard. This includes review of stream setbacks and other concerns, including looking at the appropriateness of tree removal, among many other environmental concerns.

Farmers do not have the unregulated right to cut trees or plant in stream setbacks.

A second set of regulations for vineyards, concerning water runoff quality, was passed in 2017, by California's Regional Water Quality Control Board. This is a set of mandatory regulations that apply to vineyards only, and applies to all properties with 5 acres or more vineyards, in any and all properties that drain into the Napa River. (Sonoma County is also under this mandate.)

This set of regulations mandates that all such properties must submit and execute a farm plan for their entire property (not just for the vineyard portion), that must be created by a professional and must be designed to meet the Water Quality Control Board's set of standards for water runoff.

Although it has been shown that vineyards are only responsible for about one quarter of runoff water pollution (mostly fine particulate sedimentation), only vineyards are subject to these new regulations.

I am not against regulations for agriculture, but Measure C proposes to "fix" problems that already have solutions in place. Measure C does nothing to address or regulate winery "event centers," heavy tourism, or our continually worsening traffic.

Measure C is unduly punitive in its approach to farmers (misdemeanors for any violations), and will be most harmful to smaller property owners and farmers. I urge everyone to read the actual measure and to read or listen to information from both sides of this issue before making your decision on Measure C.

Karen Mueller


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