Dear supporters of the Water, Forest and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative,
I'm very sorry to have to report this sad news. We received word yesterday that our appeal has been denied. Our attorneys disagree with the decision, of course, and are studying the opinion and considering our options. It is indeed annoying, and incredibly disappointing that we've come to this point after so much effort.
I will say however that we've never been more determined to place our measure on the ballot. Napa is a tiny county, and while the locals here in the past might not have been a hotbed of activism, people here get it! What we're seeing now is there's a groundswell of tremendous support for our work to get this initiative passed. The environment that sustains us and governs us cannot continue to wait for the protections offered by our measure, given the current threats to our forests and streams.
The initiative will enhance no-cut stream buffers to protect water quality, as well as put a cap on the amount of oak woodlands that can be destroyed. Our allies in Napa and throughout the State have been a terrific help in their commitment to action on our behalf. Recall Patricia Damery's comments last year, not long after the County removed our initiative from the ballot, speaking for all of us when she addressed the Board of Supervisors:
"People want the opportunity to learn more about the issue of our watersheds, what keeps watersheds healthy, and to vote. Forests and our oak woodlands are essential to a healthy watershed. Watersheds are essential to clean, abundant water for now and into the future. Water is critically important to health, and we should have the right to vote on matters that affect our health."
It isn't quite what we'd hoped for but we're confident we can do this! Thank you for your patience. I look forward to updating you soon on next steps.