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.
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.
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.
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.