I sent this in response to Geoff Ellsworth's appeal for a few lines on cumulative impacts to present to the BOS on June 24th.:
At what point will the county, nominally intent on preserving an agrarian economy, begin to realize that it has made a Faustian bargain with the tourism-development industry? Equating tourism with agriculture means the vineyards will slowly be consumed by tourist facilities with their event centers, parking lots and accessory wineries. And then the vineyards will be consumed by the resort, hotel, road and commercial development necessary to house, feed, transport and entertain tourists. And then they will be consumed by the housing developments and schools and shopping malls necessary for the workers and contractors that must service a tourist economy. And then the vineyards will be consumed because nobody will care what the valley once used to be. It is past time to recognize that not only is tourism not agriculture, it is an existential threat to agriculture. Tourism development, like all forms of development, is the realization of an economy of maximized profits that the ag preserve was created to counter. If the county still wants an agricultural economy, then It is time to find a new bargain that saves our imperiled rural environment. If not, then bring in the tourists and let the devil have his due.