Posted on Categories ForestsTags , , , Leave a comment on State OKs Artesa Vineyards forest-to-vineyard plan

State OKs Artesa Vineyards forest-to-vineyard plan

by Brett Wilkison, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

State forestry officials on Tuesday approved a controversial timber-to-vineyard conversion project in northwest Sonoma County, following through with a decision expected months ago.

The decision on what is considered the largest timber-to-vineyard project in state history clears the most significant regulatory hurdle facing Artesa Vineyards and Winery.

State OKs forest-to-vineyard plan in Sonoma County | PressDemocrat.com.

Posted on Categories ForestsTags , , Leave a comment on Sierra Club and local environmentalists reach settlement in Bohemian Grove logging dispute

Sierra Club and local environmentalists reach settlement in Bohemian Grove logging dispute

In March 2011, the Sierra Club and the Bohemian Redwood Rescue Club (BRRC) won a lawsuit in Sonoma County Superior Court, which required the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL-FIRE) to rescind a timber management plan that it had previously issued to the Bohemian Club to log its Bohemian Grove property outside Monte Rio on the Russian River. The Court’s ruling was based largely on the fact that the NTMP had not considered a range of feasible, less damaging alternatives, a central provision of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The Sierra Club and BRRC are pleased to announce that a mediated settlement has now been reached with the Bohemian Club over its long-range logging plans. A resubmitted Non-Industrial Timber Management Plan (NTMP), revised to reflect the terms of the settlement agreement, has recently been released for public comment by CAL-FIRE.

The court decision in Sierra Club v CAL-FIRE has put the agency on notice that it can no longer approve logging plans until it has considered a range of feasible, less damaging alternatives. “A proper consideration of alternatives should improve environmental review and better protect our forests,” said Paul V. Carroll, the attorney who represented the Sierra Club and the BRRC through the legal proceedings and mediation.

For more information, see http://www.redwood.sierraclub.org/sonoma/Forest.html.

Posted on Categories ForestsTags , , , Leave a comment on Sonoma County adopts hillside vineyard restrictions

Sonoma County adopts hillside vineyard restrictions

by Kevin McCallum, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
New rules making it tougher to rip up forested hillsides to plant vineyards won qualified approval from the Sonoma County Board of Supervisor Tuesday.
The stronger erosion prevention measures were unanimously approved by the five supervisors, but most acknowledged that the process was viewed as frustrating and flawed by many involved.
via Sonoma County adopts hillside vineyard restrictions.

Posted on Categories ForestsTags , , , Leave a comment on Draft rules out on hillside vineyard tree removal in Sonoma County

Draft rules out on hillside vineyard tree removal in Sonoma County

by Kevin McCallum, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Sonoma County grape growers aiming to convert forested hillsides with neat rows of vineyards will have to prove their projects won’t damage local waterways under draft regulations released Thursday.
The new rules, proposed by Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner Tony Linegar, would prohibit tree removal on the steepest of slopes, keep vineyards 50 to 100 feet away from unstable hillsides, and require three years of follow-up to ensure the regulations are effective.
“The ultimate goal of these standards is to protect water quality,” Linegar said.
via Draft rules out on hillside vineyard tree removal in Sonoma County | Petaluma360.

Posted on Categories ForestsTags , , Leave a comment on Sonoma County Artesa timber-to-vineyard conversion headed for approval

Sonoma County Artesa timber-to-vineyard conversion headed for approval

by Brett Wilkison, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
State officials signaled this week they intend to approve a controversial timber-to-vineyard conversion project in rural northwest Sonoma County, overruling the latest wave of objections, this time from some neighbors, local tribes and several elected officials.
via Sonoma County timber-to-vineyard conversion headed for approval | PressDemocrat.com.

Posted on Categories ForestsTags , , , , Leave a comment on Petition to Cal-Fire: Stop clear-cutting redwoods to plant vineyards

Petition to Cal-Fire: Stop clear-cutting redwoods to plant vineyards

http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=rvfdvycab&et=1109275800063&s=381&e=001DPyFFgYxbqrtUyflRyAWJJlwJloteMhncqSEHORmQPl4Cv6Ehh8b3vKQxph8zO1Ez0O3OGxYuoBD58eLlTq83L93xR3kiEhX388dVJVplSByzusxcO4btg==
Tell the California Department of Forestry (CALFIRE) to suspend certification of Artesa WInery’s Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and allow public comment on relevant changes in circumstances and impacts.
Public comment is needed now more than ever because of Sonoma County’s brand-new moratorium on vineyard conversions and the urgent reasons for it – all of which are completely censored in the public record for Artesa!

Read and sign the petition Stop Clear-Cutting Redwoods to Plant Vineyards

Link to today’s PD article: Artesa’s controversial timber-to-vineyard plan nears approval

Posted on Categories ForestsTags , , , , , Leave a comment on Activists protest Preservation Ranch at Sonoma County Board of Supervisors meeting

Activists protest Preservation Ranch at Sonoma County Board of Supervisors meeting

By Cathy Bussewitz, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Dozens of environmental activists adorned with branches and dressed like fluffy redwood trees demonstrated outside the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday to protest a proposal to convert nearly 1,800 acres of coastal forests to vineyards.
Photo Galleries
Preservation Ranch Protest
A man costumed as an eight-foot tall bottle of “Pinot Egrigio” labeled “Chainsaw Wine” wielded a fake chainsaw before the animated trees.
“It’s a Sonoma County vintage,” said Dave Jordan, volunteer with Friends of Gualala River, a group that carpooled down from Gualala to Santa Rosa to attend the meeting. “It’s not against wine. It’s not against vineyards. It’s about cutting down redwood forests to plant grapes.”
via Activists protest Preservation Ranch at Sonoma County Board of Supervisors meeting | PressDemocrat.com.

Posted on Categories ForestsTags , , Leave a comment on CalPERS vows to push giant Preservation Ranch vineyard project

CalPERS vows to push giant Preservation Ranch vineyard project

Brett Wilkison, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
CalPERS, the giant state workers pension fund, has ended several months of uncertainty by signaling to Sonoma County that it intends to move forward with a huge, controversial timber-to-vineyard conversion project near Annapolis.
Called Preservation Ranch, the project would clear up to 1,769 acres of forest for wine grapes on nearly 20,000 acres in northwestern Sonoma County.
via CalPERS vows to push giant Preservation Ranch vineyard project | PressDemocrat.com.

Posted on Categories ForestsTags , , ,

Supervisors vote 5-0 for moratorium on ridge-top tree removal

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted 5 to 0 to put in place a moratorium on ridge-top tree removal for vineyards.  This issue will come back to the Board on April 24 with the ag commissioner’s recommendations for changes to VESCO, the Vineyard Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance.

Posted on Categories ForestsTags , , , Leave a comment on Support a County moratorium on tree removal for vineyards

Support a County moratorium on tree removal for vineyards

Hearing Tuesday, January 31

Please attend the BOS meeting this Tuesday, 9 am, to support a County “freeze” on any new vineyard and orchard development until June 1st. At that time, VESCO (Vineyard Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance) will be updated to incorporate tree removal protection language.
The meeting will be held in the Supervisors’ Chambers, Room 100A,
575 Administrative Drive, Santa Rosa at 9:00 am.