“Ninety-five percent of oaks on the valley floor are gone and we want to do a better job reducing deforestation on the hills” initiative co-author Jim Wilson, told the Bay Area Monitor. “Our hillsides are beautiful and also filter rain, keeping water clean as it replenishes aquifers.” Most of Napa’s oak woodland loss is due to vineyard development, and the county General Plan projects that another 3,000 acres of woodland will be converted to vineyard by 2030. Current protections require that two replacement oaks be planted or preserved for every mature tree felled, and oaks on slopes steeper than 35 percent and in riparian forests along streams are protected. Measure C would increase the replacement requirement to three trees for every one felled, and extend riparian protections to the ephemeral streams that are dry most of the year but channel rainfall during storms. Beginning in 2030, the initiative would limit the total number of oaks removed. Supporters of the measure include Sierra Club’s Redwood Chapter and the Napa County League of Women Voters; opponents include the Napa Valley Vintners and the Napa County Farm Bureau — and there are local grape growers and vintners on both sides.

 

Napa County voters will weigh in on the fate of the county’s remaining oak woodlands this June, when they cast ballots on Measure C, the Watershed and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative. "Ninety-five percent of oaks on the valley floor are gone and we want to do a better job reducing deforestation on the hills" initiative co-author Jim Wilson, told the Bay Area Monitor. "Our hillsides are beautiful and also filter rain, keeping water clean as it replenishes aquifers.” Most of Napa’s oak woodland loss is due to vineyard development, and the county General Plan projects that another 3,000 acres of woodland will be converted to vineyard by 2030. Current protections require that two replacement oaks be planted or preserved for every mature tree felled, and oaks on slopes steeper than 35 percent and in riparian forests along streams are protected. Measure C would increase the replacement requirement to three trees for every one felled, and extend riparian protections to the ephemeral streams that are dry most of the year but channel rainfall during storms. Beginning in 2030, the initiative would limit the total number of oaks removed. Supporters of the measure include Sierra Club's Redwood Chapter and the Napa County League of Women Voters; opponents include the Napa Valley Vintners and the Napa County Farm Bureau — and there are local grape growers and vintners on both sides.

About the author

Cariad Hayes Thronson covers legal and political issues for Estuary News. She has served on the staffs of several national publications, including The American Lawyer. She is a long-time contributor to Estuary News, and some years ago served as its assistant editor. She lives in San Mateo with her husband and two children.

Related Posts

Of Mice and Marshes: Surveying Salties to Save Them

It’s five in the morning, and Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge remains in the tight velvet grip of night. All is peaceful and quiet, despite the fact that the toll plaza of the Dumbarton Bridge is less than a quarter-mile away. By 5:15, car dome lights and...

California will spend big bucks on beavers to try to boost their numbers and reap some of the benefits—including slowing wildfire—these ecosystem engineers can provide.

After years of advocacy by beaver “believers,” the state has allocated funding for a beaver restoration program. The $1.67 million in license plate funds for fiscal year 2022-23 and $1.44 million the following year represents a new way of thinking about beaver management in California, says Kate Lundquist, of the...

Climate change is heating, salinizing, and expanding the San Francisco Estuary, a review of nearly 200 scientific studies concludes.

Sea level rise, changing snow and rainfall patterns, and warmer waters are some of the changes already observed in the Estuary and expected to continue through the rest of the century as greenhouse gas concentrations rise. Changes to water are at the heart of the documented and further expected impacts;...