I have read several letters and articles regarding Measure C so that I can be a knowledgeable voter. Of the letters I’ve read; some are factual, some are not, some are logical, some are emotional. So, I decided to read the measure myself so I would know what is real and what is not.
While I am very much in favor of saving our oak trees and protecting our water, I find the proposition flawed. I believe if it passes, it will result in litigation which we as tax payers will have to fund and unreasonable reporting by the county that will also increase cost.
Measure C will amend the existing Measure J, which discusses the management of the Agricultural Watershed Zoning District (AW). I have tried to research the boundaries of the AW and have been unable to find a map, just some vague wording.
A second concern is the definition of the 795 acre Oak Removal Limit. This limit is set as of Sept. 1, 2017. Does the county have data and maps indicating how many acres of oak woodlands existed on Sept. 1, 2017? The proposition does allow for the removing of dying or diseased trees, however, in Section 18.20.050 D: “dying or diseased trees means trees that have been designated by a certified forester, forest pathologist or arborist as: having tested positive for Sudden Oak Death; necessary to remove to control the spread of disease or insect pest to healthy trees; or posing an imminent threat to public health and safety.”
As I read this description, it does not include trees damaged by the October fires.
A third concern relates to Section 18.20.060, C. Section C requires that “within one year of the effective date of the Napa County Watershed and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative of 2018, and annually thereafter, county staff shall prepare and submit to the Board of Supervisors a report setting forth the following information for all lands with the AW district: the total acreage of oak woodlands removed, replanted, and permanently preserved, in the previous year and from September 1, 2017 to the present ... Where feasible, the Annual Report shall include maps showing the acreage of oak woodlands lost in each vegetation classification.”
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Does the county have existing staff that can produce this annual report?
In summary, my assessment of the proposition, while well intended, is flawed.
I encourage others to read it before making a decision on how to vote.