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Stop Wineries from Destroying California Redwoods and Native American Heritage: Petition on Change.org

Stop Wineries from Destroying California Redwoods and Native American Heritage

This is the text of a
Petition on Change.org
It was posted on August 27, 2011
by Marie Casias of Los Angeles
and signd by more than 93,000 people.

Petitioning:

  • CalFIRE
  • CEO, Artesa Winery (Mike Kenton)
  • General Manager, Codorniu, S.A. (Xavier Pages)
  • Sonoma County Board of Supervisors (Efren Carrillo)
  • Founder & Principal Managing Director, Premier Pacific Vineyards (Richard Wollack)
  • President, CalPERS Board of Admin. (Rob Feckner)

Why This Is Important

Please encourage our elected officials to help us stop Codorniu’s Artesa Napa Winery and Premier Pacific Vineyards from destroying coastal redwood forest and Native American heritage for financial gain.

THE STORY:

redwoods In northern California, near the town of Annapolis in Sonoma County, there is a redwood forest that has been trying to replenish itself after taking a huge hit from logging in the past century. If, starting now, we prevent further environmental damage and allow the forest the time it needs to repair itself, it will recover. Through these redwoods runs the Gualala River; it contains endangered salmon, a vital part of the area’s ecosystem.

Two wineries, Artesa Napa Winery and Premier Pacific Vineyards, are proposing to clear-cut over 1,900 acres of these redwoods to be replaced by their vineyards.

In addition to its environmental significance, this area also holds great spiritual and cultural significance to a tribe of Native Americans, the Kashia Pomo, who still live there and regard it as a blessed place where their ancestors lived.

This area under threat is home to more than 50 rare and sensitive plant and animal species, and salmon are struggling to survive. If the proposals of these vineyards succeed, pressure for further development will increase, the salmon face extinction and the entire ecosystem will suffer a blow too catastrophic to recover from.

This is the farthest thing from what this recovering ecosystem and its people need at this crucial stage of recovery.

OUR STANCE:

I strongly oppose:

  1. the project near Annapolis, California, the “Artesa Napa – Fairfax vineyard project,” Codorniu Napa’s Artesa Winery’s proposition to destroy over 140 acres of coastal redwood forest above endangered salmon streams to develop new vineyards that would permanently eliminate forested watershed area,

  2. Premier Pacific Vineyards’ “Preservation Ranch” plan to cultivate more Pinot Noir grapes and build 60 high-end estates on adjacent lands it already owns, destroying thousands of acres of redwoods and

  3. the conversion of redwood forests to vineyards above the Gualala River, including the Artesa project, as there are comparable profitable alternative locations available for vineyard development that do not require permanent destruction of redwood forests or degradation of salmon streams by alteration to intensive agriculture. Artesa Napa and its parent company, Codorniu, as well as Premier Pacific Vineyards, will receive unfavorable publicity with the creation of environmentally damaging vineyards constructed out of California redwood forests.

OUR GOAL:

We are calling on Codorniu to withdraw the Artesa project proposal, as stated in a recent letter by a coalition of local organizations. If Codorniu takes this action, it can set a precedent for the much larger Preservation Ranch project to reconsider its proposal.

In addition, we call on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors to take a stand that they do not support cutting down irreplaceable forests to develop wineries in their jurisdiction. An early statement of their position will go a long way in stopping these destructive projects.

Resources:

latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0825-redwoods-vineyards-20110825,0,1321080.story

pressdemocrat.com/article/20110731/ARTICLES/110739987/1334/news

GualalaRiver.org/vineyards/artesa.html

GualalaRiver.org/vineyards/letters.html

GualalaRiver.org/vineyards/PreservationRanch.html

ncriverwatch.org/wordpress/2011/08/03/pomo-elders-speak-out-about-vineyards/


Petition letter

Help stop wineries from destroying redwoods and Native American heritage

Greetings:

I would like you to know that I support the Friends of the Gualala River and their opposition to the destruction of redwoods for the sake of creating vineyards. I am adamantly opposed to the anti-redwood proposals by both Codorniu’s Artesa Napa Winery and Premier Pacific Vineyards, and if they succeed in these proposals, I will boycott their products and encourage my associates to do so, as well.

I oppose the project near Annapolis, California, the “Artesa Napa – Fairfax vineyard project,” Codorniu Napa’s Artesa Winery’s proposition to destroy over 140 acres of coastal redwood forest above endangered salmon streams to develop new vineyards that would permanently eliminate forested watershed area.

I also oppose Premier Pacific Vineyards’ “Preservation Ranch” plan to cultivate more Pinot Noir grapes and build 60 high-end estates on adjacent lands it already owns, destroying thousands of acres of redwoods.

I oppose the conversion of redwood forests to vineyards above the Gualala River, including the Artesa project, as there are comparable profitable alternative locations available for vineyard development that do not require permanent destruction of redwood forests or degradation of salmon streams by alteration to intensive agriculture. Artesa Napa and its parent company, Codorniu, will receive unfavorable publicity with the creation of an environmentally outrageous vineyard constructed out of California redwood forests.

These coastal watersheds are now suffering drastic consequences due to the very type of action proposed in the Artesa project. A measly 5% of old growth redwood forests remain after destructive logging and forest loss that started over 100 years ago. Artesa is a part of the remaining forestlands that are struggling to recover from this past and present mismanagement. The survival of these forests is crucial to restoring the whole ecosystem with its numerous plant and animal species. The salmon are one of these critical species and they are in danger of extinction in our river. For the past two years, commercial salmon fishing has been cancelled after a severe crash in California salmon stocks. The Artesa project will destroy multitudes of forest acreage, replacing it with monocrop agriculture. This is the farthest thing from what this recovering ecosystem, home to over 50 species of rare and sensitive plants and animals, needs at this crucial stage of its recovery.

This fragile location also contains very important cultural and archeological resources belonging to the local Native American Pomo tribe. Pomo people still live in this area and use its natural resources for survival. They have publicly stated that the land on which Artesa proposes to develop a vineyard is spiritually important to them, and a blessed place.

I want to see both developers—Codorniu and Preservation Ranch—withdraw their proposals.

In addition, I am calling on members of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors to state that they do not support cutting down irreplaceable forests to develop wineries in their jurisdiction. An early statement of their position will go a long way in stopping these destructive projects.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this, and for aiding me in the fight against the destruction of these irreplaceable redwoods and Native American heritage.

(Resources: LA Times, Press Democrat and Friends of the Gualala River)

Sincerely,

[Your name]



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