Press Release: Friends of the Gualala River, Sierra Club Redwood Chapter, Center for Biological Diversity
Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Elliot Daum has rejected a plan to clearcut 154 acres of Northern California redwoods to plant vineyards for a winery. The proposal in northwestern Sonoma County was challenged by the Sierra Club’s Redwood Chapter, the Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Gualala River. In response, Judge Daum said the state’s “environmental impact report” for Artesa Winery’s forest-to-vineyard project violates the California Environmental Quality Act.
“The highest and best use of coastal forests is to remain in their natural condition so they can protect our coastal rivers, support fish and wildlife, and combat climate change by sequestering carbon,” said Victoria Brandon, chair of the Sierra Club Redwood Chapter.
The judge found that, in preparing the environmental review for the project, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) failed to properly analyze alternatives that would be less damaging to the environment, such as using an unforested area for the vineyard.The court also determined that the agency did not appropriately address the lost carbon sequestration that would result from destroying the redwood forest. Redwood forests are well known for their capacity to absorb massive amounts of greenhouse gases as they mature over time.
Continue reading “Court rejects plan to clearcut California redwoods for vineyard”
Alastair Bland, NPR, THE SALT
In the California wine mecca of Sonoma County, climate change is pitting redwood lovers against red wine lovers.This Friday morning, a coalition of environmental groups are in a Santa Rosa, Calif., courtroom fighting to stop a Spanish-owned winery from leveling 154 acres of coast redwoods and Douglas firs to make way for grapevines.
Redwoods only grow in the relatively cool coastal region of Northern California and southern Oregon. Parts of this range, such as northwestern Sonoma County, have become increasingly coveted by winemakers.
Chris Poehlmann, president of a small organization called Friends of the Gualala River, says the wine industry is creeping toward the coast as Californias interior valleys heat up and consumers show preferences for cooler-weather grapes like pinot noir.”Inexorably, the wine industry is looking for new places to plant vineyards,” says Poehlmann, whose group is among the plaintiffs.
via A Fight Over Vineyards Pits Redwoods Against Red Wine : The Salt : NPR.
by Brett Wilkison, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Three environmental groups sued the state and a Spanish wine conglomerate on Thursday over approval of a hotly disputed vineyard project in northwest Sonoma County.
The groups oppose plans by Artesa Vineyards and Winery of Napa, owned by the Spanish wine giant Grupo Codorniu, to clear about 150 acres of second-growth forest and former orchard land outside of Annapolis to grow chardonnay and pinot noir grapes.
via Opponents file lawsuits over Artesa vineyard project | PressDemocrat.com.
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!
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.
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.