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Why is the wine industry opposing Measure C, willing to spend half a million dollars and counting to defeat it? Measure C simply enhances the protection of our oak woodlands and the quality and quantity of our water. So why object?

It seems to come down to a business, a big business decision. If Measure C passes, vineyard expansion will be more difficult in Napa County.

Now, who might want and be able to plant those vineyards? Not the young family of modest income nor the small locally-owned wineries. Not with land in the valley ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars per acre. Not with the cost of planting a vineyard ranging from thirty to fifty thousand dollars per acre.

So who would want to plant those vineyards in the woodland watershed? Those who could afford to do so––the deep pockets of the wine industry. To a considerable extent those deep pockets belong to consortia and corporations with shareholders who generally reside outside of Napa County, even outside of the United States. They don’t participate in our community, drink our water, admire our hillsides.

The bottom line is that national and international companies would likely be the ones paying to cover the Mayacamas and Vaca mountains with vineyards, reducing the health and beauty of our county.

Over the past 50 years the Napa Valley has flourished largely due to the protection provided by the Agricultural Preserve and the passage of Measures J and P. The attorneys who drafted Measures J and P also wrote Measure C, which is a natural extension of these prior initiatives.

The buffer zones around streams and creeks, required by Measure C, have been shown to be essential for protecting water quality and for maximizing groundwater recharge. The moratorium on cutting down the oak woodlands, required by Measure C, further protects the quality and quantity of our water supply by distributing rainfall and preventing hillside erosion and runoff of silt, fertilizers and pesticides into creeks, streams and the Napa River.

So who benefits by opposing Measure C? The big business that is already buying our wineries, vineyards and brands, now poised to buy our woodlands and water for vineyard expansion. Don’t let this happen.

Support a sustainable Napa Valley. Vote for Measure C.

Jennifer Baerwald

Pope Valley

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