|by Peter Fimrite
June 14, 2013
San Francisco Chronicle
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 was a nightmare project for this property,” said Chris Poehlmann, who spearheaded a campaign on behalf of Friends of the Gualala River that went viral, collecting 91,000 signatures from around the world on a petition protesting the proposed development.
Protesters marched with banners and Poehlmann dressed up in an 8-foot-tall wine bottle costume to ridicule Premier Pacific as pushing “Chainsaw Wine” and “Pino[t] Egregio.”
. . .
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Preservation Ranch Acquisition
Coastal Conservancy staff recommend that the Conservancy authorize the disbursement of up to $10,000,000 to The Conservation Fund to acquire the property known as “Preservation Ranch.”
$24.5 million deal to protect
20,000-acre Sonoma County forest
A national conservation group has reached an agreement to buy nearly 20,000 acres of timberland in northwestern Sonoma County, a move that derails the long-disputed, forest-to-vineyards conversion project pushed by CalPERS, the giant state workers pension fund. February 26, 2013, Santa Rosa Press Democrat
The so-called “Preservation” Ranch is a 19,300 acre development in the heart of the Gualala River watershed. Premier Pacific Vineyards plans to destroy and fragment coastal redwood forest to plant grapes on the ridgetops – and call that “preservation.”
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. The EIR claims that the project will have no significant environmental or cultural impacts.