NAPA, Calif., Nov. 17, 2016 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Napa County citizens and Defenders of East Napa Watersheds will rally in front of the County Administration Building at noon on Friday, November 18, 2016, Forests Forever announced today. This occasion is the first day of hearings on the appeal against the Walt Ranch project. The proposed Walt Ranch consists of 35 parcels on 2,300 acres in the hills seven miles northeast of Napa.
Much of the property is covered in ancient oak woodlands that remain unspoiled and essentially unaltered by human activity. Thousands of years ago, the land would have looked much the same as it does today.
Unfortunately, the oaks standing on the Walt Ranch are an obstacle for Craig and Katherine Hall, who intend to replace them with wine grapes. Their vision for the property would permanently destroy a land that is both beautiful and serves valuable ecological functions. The project would remove 24,000 mature trees and re-grade existing slopes to make room for vineyards, holding ponds and 20+ miles of all-season gravel roads. The fragile wild land straddling the Milliken Creek and Capell Creek watersheds is to be sacrificed for the private gain of a very small number of people.
The project would remove 14,000 mature trees and re-grade existing slopes to make room for vineyards, holding ponds and 20+ miles of all-season gravel roads. Napa citizens rallying believe that his fragile wild land straddling the Milliken Creek and Capell Creek watersheds is to be sacrificed for the private gain of a very small number of people.
When: Fri., Nov. 18, noon – Lunchtime rally.
Where: Napa County Administration Building, corner 3rd Street and Coombs, downtown Napa.
According to an article published Aug. 8, 2016 by the Napa Valley Register (http://napavalleyregister.com/news/local/city-of-napa-walt-ranch-reach-agreement-on-water-quality/article_5a001e40-4601-5ded-89f5-e2433aefe313.html), the City of Napa estimates it could cost its water ratepayers $20 million to deal with agricultural pollution from this single project.
The water division manager recently wrote to the County to assert that “nutrients and other wastes in its agricultural storm runoff or irrigation drainage ‘could affect’ – and indeed will affect – the high-quality municipal drinking water supply that the City obtains from Milliken Creek, which runs through the project site before entering the City’s Milliken Reservoir less than a mile downstream.”
In another smaller, rural community surrounded by the project (Circle Oaks), its water district faces the prospect of running out of water because Walt Ranch would use two-and-a-half times as much water as the community annually – water from a shared aquifer.
Walt Ranch is, by far, the single largest deforestation project planned for Napa County. Other projects are in the pipeline. The continued amputation of forests in high-functioning, healthy watersheds, throughout Napa County favors the short-term financial gains of a few developers over the health of current and future generations.
Property owners have rights, but not to the detriment of their neighbors’ rights. For Napa’s political leadership, it’s business as usual. They’re intoxicated by the wine industry’s success, blinding them to its destructive force happening today, and obscuring their vision of the long term, sustainable care of our precious shared natural resources.
For more information about this effort visit: http://denw.info/.
For more information about Forests Forever and its efforts to protect California lands, visit: http://forestsforever.org/.
Of Defenders of East Napa Watersheds