This is an ephemeral stream (Class 3) bordered by oaks - initiative proposes to protect areas like these by establishing "no-cut" water quality buffer zones
Dear friends and supporters,
I hope you're doing well. My heart goes out to our many friends who lost their homes in the wildfires. With the recovery of our human and natural communities brings the need for caution and science and common sense. As we regroup and refocus, what are the lessons? I think what we're asking for our watershed health is not only important preemptively, but more important than ever post-emergency. Now is the time to let the watershed heal.
Thanks for your help gathering signatures last year. As you know, it ran into a technical snafu and had to be pulled. The good news is that our revised initiative represents real progress, positioned for greater consensus as a result of our collaboration with the NVV. I think it gives people hope to see our unwavering commitment to enhanced watershed protections. Passing the initiative would be a perfectly sane step forward, and a wonderful win for future generations.
We'd like to qualify for the June ballot. To do that, we need to gather signatures over the next few weeks and get them to John Tuteur by December 5. Please let me know if you'd like to pitch in. Since time is short, we're hiring help this time around. But your commitment and passion are as important as ever. Even a few signatures from your friends and family would help with with our public outreach. I appreciate your understanding.
This Initiative provides vital environmental protections for Napa’s precious oak woodlands and watersheds. It is the product of years of discussions among a wide variety of stakeholders in Napa County, all of whom were interested in finding a common-sense approach to protecting our important natural resources and ensuring responsible development. Your signature isn’t an endorsement, but will enable us get this initiative on the June ballot in 2018.
Here are the general provisions.
It will establish “no-cut” buffer zones for forests along streams and wetlands.
It will strengthen existing standards to require a 3:1 ratio for replacing or preserving oak trees when oaks are lost to development. This is better for the ecosystems that depend on these trees, and better for the climate, too! (because healthy forests sequester carbon dioxide and lock away carbon in woody biomass.)
It will establish an Oak Removal Limit. The limit takes effect when 795 additional acres of oak woodlands have been removed. This acreage limit takes into consideration the historic rate of local woodland removal associated with new vineyard development, in accordance with the General Plan's projection of 10,000 acres of new vineyards to be developed by 2030.
Please note that tree removal in accordance with federal, state and local agencies is allowed for fire protection and other hazards.
HEALTHY FORESTS PERFORM IMPORTANT ECO-SERVICES (WILDLIFE, WILDFIRE, EROSION CONTROL)
Healthy forests support a wide range of wildlife (flora and fauna), including ecological biodiversity “hotspots” that host rare species. Trees in all stages of the life-cycle provide important habitat for this wildlife.
Healthy forests provide the root structure and leaf-litter needed to hold soils in place and prevent soil erosion and flooding, particularly on steep hillsides.
Healthy forests provide shade, which cools the local environment and helps retain moisture in the air and soil. This reduces wildfire danger.
In addition, the shade zone under an oak tree retards the growth of grasses and shrubs that can carry fire.
Trees pull groundwater up and transpire it to the air. At the same time, tree roots loosen the soil and increase its capacity to absorb water.
Dead tree roots provide a conduit for surface water to enter the soil and water table. Dead tree trunks lying on the ground act as a sponge, absorbing and purifying water and retaining soil moisture under the log.
The presence of trees slows wind and air circulation, thus reducing the drying of soils and fire fuels.
The trunks of mature trees don't burn readily and actually pose an impediment to low-lying ground fires. You may have noticed that most of our oak trees survived the firestorm, and their presence will be vital in helping to prevent erosion in the coming rainy months.
Attached you'll find the Title & Summary, the initiative, and pointers for signature gatherers.
Sincere thanks, on behalf of all of those pulling together for the common good,