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Environmental groups’ lawsuit could upend Sonoma County vineyard policies

Chris Poehlmann

by Guy Kovner,  The Press Democrat,  June 13, 2014 [excerpt:] Three environmental groups are challenging Sonoma County’s approval of a 54-acre Annapolis vineyard in a case that reflects long-standing conflict over expansion of the county’s $600 million a year grape industry. If the lawsuit were to succeed, it would wipe out the county’s vineyard development law, itself born amid controversy ... Read More »

Artesa vineyard plans near Annapolis shelved

Forest on Artesa Annapolis property

By ROBERT DIGITALE THE PRESS DEMOCRAT June 3, 2014, 7:29 PM [excerpt] Artesa Vineyards and Winery of Napa has shelved its hotly disputed plans to plant a vineyard on forest land near Annapolis and has put the 324-acre property on the market for $1.5 million, the company announced Tuesday. The decision was hailed by environmentalists, who last year persuaded a ... Read More »

Permit and EIR Killed for Controversial Smaller Cousin of Preservation Ranch

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A version of this appeared in the Sonoma County Gazette By Peter Baye Annapolis, California Artesa Winery’s Annapolis vineyard project has apparently hit the wall. Initiated in 2001, in the early years of Preservation Ranch, this smaller cousin actually completed its long, circuitous permit and CEQA process in 2012 after more than a decade of stalls and reverses. But in December ... Read More »

Redwoods for Red Wine

Tall Trees in Gualala

Eight minute video produced for the America Tonight news broadcast on Al Jazeera America. Redwoods for Red Wine (rough cut), produced by Blackbeard Films. For additional information, see: Artesa Sonoma forest-to-vineyard conversion CAL FIRE has approved the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for Artesa Winery’s controversial plan to clear-cut 154 acres of coastal redwood forest to plant a vineyard in Annapolis. ... Read More »

Interview with Friends of the Gualala River

The Friends of Gualala Team on the Radio

KGUA Radio “Peggy’s Place” January 7, 2014 Listen to the interview on: SoundCloud. KGUA 88.3 FM is a full-powered non-commercial radio station established to educate, entertain and inform. KGUA 88.3 FM will give voice to the people and issues that affect all the coastal residents of the southern tip of Mendocino County and the Northern tip of Sonoma County. KGUA ... Read More »

Judge Rejects Vineyard’s Environmental Impact Statement

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by Chris McManus December 13, 2013 © Independent Coast Observer Reprinted with permission Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Elliot Daum has sent a plan to clearcut 154 acres of forest near Annapolis back to the drawing board, saying the Environmental Impact Report prepared by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) violates the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) ... Read More »

Court Blocks Sonoma Vineyard Planting – December, 2013, Wine Spectator

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Judge rules that winery needs to review environmental impact; Artesa argues land is zoned for farming by Kasey Carpenter December 13, 2013 Wine Spectator [excerpt:] The battle over more than 300 acres of undeveloped land on Sonoma’s coast owned by Artesa Vineyards and Winery isn’t over, but environmental groups have won a key round. A county judge has rejected several ... Read More »

Ruling deals setback to Artesa’s disputed vineyard plan

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by Brett Wilkison December 6, 2013 Santa Rosa Press Democrat [excerpt:] Environmentalists are hailing a court ruling this week that deals a significant setback to a hotly disputed vineyard project in northwestern Sonoma County. If it stands, the decision could serve as a bulwark against the push of vineyards into a mostly untilled swath of the region’s coast range, blocking ... Read More »

Codorníu contra las secuoyas de California

redwood-green

Por: Alana Moceri November 25, 2013 El Huffington Post [excerpt:] Los árboles más altos del mundo tienen raíces poco profundas. Las secuoyas costeras (coastal redwoods) no son solitarias como los robles sino que crecen sobre una base de raíces entrelazadas en una red de apoyo mutuo. Solo llegan al cielo con el soporte de su comunidad. Me parece imposible pasar ... Read More »

The Time is Now to Protect Our Trees in Sonoma County

The Forest

by Kimberly Burr October, 2013 Redwood Needles Sierra Club Redwood Chapter newsletter “Exporting Wine to China” was the title of a recent conference in Napa, one of many promoting sales of California wine to virtually unlimited markets. This is an indication that the making of local wines is being overtaken by big business with its characteristic disregard for the web ... Read More »

Turning Wine into Water – KGUA Radio report

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KGUA Radio‘s Peggy Berryhill reports on Friends of the Gualala River’s August event, “Gualala River Alchemy: Turning Wine into Water,” followed by an interview with Dave Jordan, recorded on October 24, 2013. KGUA shares interviews gathered at an August rally with the Friends of the Gualala River addressing the issues about the proposed Artesa Winery project. The development of this ... Read More »

Redwoods or Red Wine: Which is More Valuable in California?

by Beth Buczynski October 25, 2013 Care2 [excerpt:] When do trees become a forest? According to a California winemaker who wants to clear cut 154 acres of redwoods and Douglas firs to make way for grapevines, not until they’re more than 50-years-old and 100 feet tall . . . The winery claims that because the area was clear-cut more than ... Read More »

A Fight Over Vineyards Pits Redwoods Against Red Wine – October, 2013, NPR

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by Alastair Bland October 18, 2013 NPR blog “The Salt” Environmental groups are fighting to stop the leveling of 154 acres of coast redwoods and Douglas firs to make way for grapevines. [excerpt:] In the California wine mecca of Sonoma County, climate change is pitting redwood lovers against red wine lovers. This Friday morning, a coalition of environmental groups are ... Read More »

Chainsaw Wine – October, 2013, North Bay Bohemian

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Another winery wants to clearcut redwoods to plant vineyards—and this time, the courts might actually allow it by Alastair Bland October 16, 2013 North Bay Bohemian Redwood and manzanita at the fenced east end of the Artesa-Sonoma property in Annapolis. [excerpt:] There is no forest among the trees. That’s what state officials have said regarding a large stand of second-growth ... Read More »

Work shut down at controversial Sebastopol vineyard project – June, 2013, Santa Rosa Press Democrat

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by Jeremy Hay June 28, 2013 Santa Rosa Press Democrat [excerpt:] Winemaker Paul Hobbs has been ordered to stop work on his controversial orchard-to-vineyard conversion near Sebastopol after inspectors found that hundreds of yards of blackberry bushes and bay laurel had been cleared illegally from a protected zone above a creek. “It’s a very serious violation of their permit,” said ... Read More »

Preservation Ranch saved in record deal – June, 2013, San Francisco Chronicle

by Peter Fimrite June 14, 2013 San Francisco Chronicle [excerpt:] A giant redwood forest in Sonoma County that was on the verge of being divvied up and plowed over into a patchwork of vineyards has been preserved by a public-private partnership that engineered what is being touted as the largest land conservation deal in California history. . . . “It ... Read More »

Sonoma Deal Aims to Combine Logging and Preservation

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by Laird Harrison June 4, 2013 KQED [excerpt:] Can you preserve a forest by logging it? A land conservation group thinks so. The Conservation Fund announced Monday that, along with some partners, it had acquired 19,645 acres of forest in Sonoma County. The land had been slated for planting vineyards. Preservation Ranch will become part of a larger swath of ... Read More »

Sonoma County redwood forest spared from conversion into vineyards

by Louis Sahagun June 4, 2013 Los Angeles Times [excerpt:] . . . Opponents organized under the banner Friends of the Gualala River mounted a campaign against the CalPERS-funded company that included street theater tactics and an online petition signed by 90,000 critics of the development project. Chris Poehlmann, an environmental activist and specialist in designing interactive museum exhibits, appeared ... Read More »

Preservation Ranch officially preserved – May, 2013, Santa Rosa Press Democrat

by Brett Wilkison May 31, 2013 Santa Rosa Press Democrat [excerpt:] Nearly 20,000 acres of remote forest once targeted for vineyard development in remote northwest Sonoma County will be set aside as timberland and wildlife habitat under a landmark conservation deal that closed Friday. The property commonly called Preservation Ranch near the town of Annapolis is now owned by The ... Read More »