Wine. It may be what outsiders first think of when it to comes to the Napa Valley.
But now through June, you can add trees to that. On June 5, Napa County voters consider Measure C, called the Napa County Watershed and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative. Signatures were gathered to support it. And the county supervisors, who could have adopted it, instead chose the path of putting it on the ballot.
Essentially, the measure focuses on the native oaks through the valley.
Backers say the trees need to be defended against the advancement of vineyards. (Read the ) But the valley’s agricultural foundation are well rooted too, elevated to national attention in 1968 when about 23,000 acres (now 32,000) was designated as an agricultural preserve.
Wine produced in its vineyards and tourism drawn to there now symbolize the Napa Valley.
While some in the wine industry have supported the measure, most have not. More-than-500-member Napa Valley Vintners is among those groups. Opponents call the measure unnecessary, confusing and even “anti-agriculture.”
What would it do?
According to the analysis prepared by Napa’s acting county counsel, Jeffrey M. Richard, the measure would amend the Napa County General Plan and zoning regulations to establish buffer zones around creeks and apply additional regulations on removal of oak trees and oak woodlands.
These buffer zones would reach 25 to 125 feet from the streams and 150 feet from any wetland. Removing downed or dead trees, creating firebreaks and other health and safety improvements would be exempt. Those granted permits to take down trees would have to ensure at least 90 percent of the “affected oak canopy” is retained.
Trees or woodlands removed would also have to be replaced at a 3-to-1 ratio on lands designated as agricultural watersheds or “comparable habitat” be acquired.
Under another provision, if total of oak woodland removed exceeds 795 acres (counted from Sept. 1, 2017) any other oak and oak woodland removal would require permits. Any trees burned for removal would be counted; trees burned via wildfires would not.
Documents about Measure C