The Napa Group of the Sierra Club applauds the Napa County Board of Supervisors for its rapid action on increasing protections for Napa County’s watershed. The proposed ordinance reflects a serious response to voter support for Measure C, and to comments received during the community engagement sessions that resulted in the 2019-2022 Strategic Plan “Vibrant and Sustainable Environment” pillar, which “preserves…and conserves resources for future generations.”
However, the draft ordinance should be strengthened. The most profound threat facing Napa County’s environment, our agricultural economy, and future generations is climate change. The proposed ordinance should do even more to protect the vital role of carbon sequestration that our forests and woodlands provide.
A minimum of 85 percent of the forest canopy should be retained throughout the Ag Watershed in unincorporated areas of the county. The proposed 70 percent retention rate –allowing removal of 30 percent of the forest canopy – is not environmentally sound or responsible. A 30 percent removal can result in serious habitat fragmentation that can result in significant ecosystem decline.
If you want to see increased protections for our watershed, now is the time to speak up. The Napa County Planning Commission will be holding a hearing on the proposed ordinance this Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 9 a.m. at the County Building, 1195 Third St, Suite 305, Napa. You may also send your comments to Director of Planning, David Morrison, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sierra Club Napa Group Executive Committee