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Opponents of Measure C (the citizen initiative to protect our watershed and oak woodlands) ask, with seeming innocence, why this was drafted privately, rather than in a process open to everybody.

A bit of history helps.

For decades, forest preservationists have implored the Board of Supervisors to protect our forested watershed that absorbs rainfall and slowly discharges the water that ends up in the water faucets of every resident of Napa County.

Confronted by staunch industry opposition, decades of board majorities declined to take action.

Failing County action, forest preservationists drafted three separate initiatives to protect our watershed from deforestation. Each time, the industry approached the preservationists, effectively saying “let¹s work together to draft a measure we can all support.” Each time the preservationists consented, the industry dragged the process out, and while the industry represented they were supportive, they ultimately opposed the preservation initiatives.

Remember how Lucy offered to hold the football for Charlie Brown?

So today's Initiative C, written privately, focuses on what state law and local politics allow, and asks voters a simple question: Do you care enough about protecting your water supply to tell the wine industry enough is enough?

Tony McClimans

Napa

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