Proposed Napa Watershed Initiative Reopens Old Divisions

Apr 18, 2016

The oak woodlands that flank the Napa Valley would gain additional protections under a proposed ballot measure currently trying to qualify for next November's election.

A group of Napa County environmentalists are pushing for new limits on hillside vineyards, through ballot measure they hope to qualify for the November election. But the Valley’s wine industry is pushing back.

Lake Hennessy, the City of Napa's primary water supply, as seen from an upslope vineyard.

  Two reservoirs on either side of the Napa Valley represent the main drinking water supply for the city of Napa and other area residents, but their water quality is at risk from vineyards expanding into the hillsides above those lakes, says Mike Hackett, one of the main advocates for the Water, Forest and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative.

Rex Stults, government relations director for the Napa Valley Vintners, counters that additional regulations and restrictions are not needed, as the wine industry is already actively working to protect the local environment.

You can read the full text of the proposed Water, Forest and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative here.