The following's from proponents of the Water, Forest and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative opposed by every influential group in Napa Valley except - apparently - the people:
The need for increased environmental protections for our hillside forests, which directly affect our County’s water supply, is based on scientific reality. If our citizens and ag community want to ensure long-term sustainability of water, we absolutely must control the natural eco-systems in our watersheds. This is why we promoted the Water, Forest and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative.
It is essential that vineyard plantings are set back from our smaller Class 3 streams in Napa County.The science related to buffer zones along larger creeks and streams mandates much wider setbacks to eliminate sediment, nutrients and pathogens from entering our water sources. At the same time, it is mandatory that we maintain 90% of our oak woodlands to retain water in the soil and to re-charge our aquifers. With such measures in place, the habitat that live in the forest, can remain. Once our water supply is diminished, it’s too late. We’re smarter than that.
With these issues in mind, we have chosen to authorize our attorneys to file a writ petition with the District Court of Appeal in San Francisco, seeking an order reversing the lower court and directing the Registrar of Voter to certify the Water, Forest and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative. The law firm of Shute, Mihaly and Weinberger, who crafted the Initiative, will file the Appeal Writ Petition this week. This same law firm authored Measure J and successfully defended that initiative through the California Supreme Court. We believe that we have a strong case here, and the Court of Appeals will recognize that upholding the lower Courts decision would set a very bad precedent for initiative law at the State level.
The intent of the Initiative process is to allow our citizens to take direct legislative action when the local government is failing to protect their rights. The proponents of the Water, Forest and Oak Woodlands Protection Initiative received validation from over 6,300 County residents, and their rights should trump a supposed “minor technical error.”
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