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Oak woodland protection ballot measure is good for our community

Oak woodland protection ballot measure is good for our community

  • Updated

From Napa County citizens and members of the grape growing and vintner community: Come May, Napa County voters will have a choice to make -- Protect our community’s long-term water resources, now and for future generations, while protecting the viability of farming in our county; or give in to the short-sighted goals of those who, with respect to this Initiative, are seemingly focused on business interests above needed responsible stewardship of our local lands.

Napa County’s Watershed and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative is a ballot measure developed collaboratively by a group of Napa area residents, natural resources experts, members of the grape growing and winemaking community, and public servants. Napa Valley Vintners participated in crafting the Initiative that will go before voters in June of 2018.

As Napa County citizens and members of the Napa Valley Vintners, Napa Valley Grapegrowers and Napa County Farm Bureau, we were very pleased to see this collaborative participation with community members to develop a realistic way forward for conserving shared natural resources while supporting a productive grape and wine industry. This measure will help to protect our oak woodlands and, by extension, our local watershed – crucial to all of us who live in this community.

Here is our view: the oak woodlands that thrive on Napa Valley hillsides don’t just provide a scenic view. Those woodlands support and protect the myriad creeks and streams that replenish our groundwater and converge in the Napa River. Rural residents, city and town dwellers, winery owners and farmers all depend on this water.

Enhancing oak woodland protections is not anti-agriculture. Rather, it is pro-responsible and sustainable agriculture, pro-water security, pro-community, and pro-climate. Our county’s Agricultural Preserve depends on a healthy watershed.

We want to communicate to voters that there is vintner and grower support for this initiative. As supporters, we agree with the statement succinctly stated by Warren Winiarski, one of the signers of this letter: “Everyone should ask this question: Will the Napa Valley itself be better if this measure is passed?” We think so.

Yeoryios Apallas, Soda Creek Vineyards

Andy Beckstoffer, Beckstoffer Vineyards

Tom Clark, Clark Claudon Vineyards

Randy Dunn, Dunn Vineyards

Bob Dwyer, past Director of NVGG & NVV

Robin Lail, Lail Vineyards

Dick Maher, past NVV President

Beth Novak Milliken, Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery

Joyce Black Sears, Black Sears Vineyard

Warren Winiarski, Arcadia Vineyards

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