The letter below went to all the supervisors in Napa County, who know that if some additional environmental protections aren't passed soon there will be another ballot initiative in 2020 limiting vineyard development. And it will almost certainly pass.
The new bad actor is the Napa Valley Farm Bureau, once an exemplary organization that with the help of the late Volker Eisele and Andy Beckstoffer set Napa's organization apart from most of the country with its aggressive pursuit of environmental preservation. Now it has been taken over by the Trumpian wing of the vintner elite.
January 25, 2019Supervisors Ryan Gregory, Diane Dillon, Alfredo Pedroza, Belia Ramos and Brad WagenknechtNapa County Board of Supervisors1195 Third Street, Suite 310Napa, CA 9455Dear Supervisors Gregory, Dillon, Pedroza, Ramos and Wagenknecht,With the five of you addressing the Strategic Plan issue of providing greater environmental protections to ensure a healthy watershed, which we very much support and appreciate, we thought it would be useful to give you an update on discussions amongst interested parties.As you know, in the wake of Measure C’s very close vote Congressman Mike Thompson convened a series of meetings with interested groups. The Growers/Vintners for Responsible Agriculture attended these meetings with the intent of working collaboratively to find agreement on how we can protect the Napa Valley.As was requested by attendees, at the final meeting we presented to the group nine points that came from these discussions. While they reduce the goals that were aspired to in Measure C, they will still provide the protections our watershed desperately needs, especially with regard to improving stream setbacks and protecting forest canopy.Please know that this is a significant compromise.At this final meeting, our points were met with indecision. The other parties stated they needed to review them further, which we understood and respected. However, though promised otherwise by the Farm Bureau, we heard nothing from them for more than seven weeks, and to date we still have not received a response.We are, of course, fully open to meeting further on these issues – as an illustration of this we intended to attend the meeting that the Napa County Farm Bureau scheduled for Thursday, January 24th. As we are sure you can understand, before any meeting can take place that might be a negotiation, we believe that it is necessary for groups to state their positions so that all sides have a clear understanding of goals and objectives. But the Napa County Farm Bureau had still provided no specific reaction on our positions, and it was known that our participation was predicated upon this.Attached to this letter is our correspondence with the Napa County Farm Bureau.It seems to us that the group leading the Napa County Farm Bureau is uninterested in reaching an agreement to protect our watershed in Napa Valley, and that it believes that the status quo should be maintained. They seem to be using continued discussion to maintain the current situation despite efforts of the community (as measured by support for Measure C) to preserve our watershed and the natural resources that sustain it.The Napa Valley is a national treasure that must be preserved, and we want you to know that we are here to work with you in achieving this goal of protecting this place that we all call home.Thank you in advance for your consideration.Very sincerely,Growers/Vintners for Responsible AgricultureYeoryios ApallasAndy BeckstofferJoyce Black SearsLaurie and Tom ClarkRandy DunnBob DwyerRobin LailDick MaherChristian MoeuixBeth Novak MillikenCio PerezNorma TofanelliWarren Winiarski