SodaCanyonRoad | WICC - Some thoughts on Watershed Awareness Month

WICC - Some thoughts on Watershed Awareness Month

Jim Wilson | May 5, 2015 on: Watershed Issues

[Open Letter to Peter White, Vice Mayor of St. Helena]

Dear Peter,

It was good to see you this morning and hear your words in support of watershed awareness. You sparkled up there so I guess you're getting plenty of good clean water from somewhere!

After you left we plugged our next screenings of Russian River/ All Rivers. It shows twice in Napa this month at Copia. Perhaps you could make one of them. I think you'll find it very informative and my hope is that as WICC Chair, you might be inspired to seek ways to provide greater protections for our own at-risk watersheds. May I suggest you invite others who serve on WICC, and other organizations committed to watershed health?

As you know, in Napa County we permit developers in AWOS to clear cut oak woodlands on slopes 30% or less (Conservation Element 24 of the General Plan) with mitigation of 2:1 preservation. Basically, we allow that for every 10 acres clear cut, 20 acres of woodland need to be not cut down. I could go on but you get the picture. Can we come together to protect against deforestation, especially those of us in leadership positions promoting a deeper appreciation of all our watersheds do? Let's safeguard the climate protections they provide against our carbon pollution. (Shouldn't this be a no-brainer? Our "balanced approach" to land use is resulting in net loss of carbon sinks and sequestration, just when we're never needed them more.)

Please take a minute to read the latest on loss of forest carbon sinks and sequestration in California. The science was published in March and Mother Jones just came out with this report on it. I spoke to it during public comment. We can and must do more to focus our efforts on avoided deforestation here at home.

Jim Wilson