Napa NIMBY Radicals’ Motives Exposed: Roll Back the Napa Wine Industry

If anyone in Napa County had any doubt that the Napa County Watershed and Oak Woodlands Initiative that will be on the June 2018 ballot is meant to penalize and stop the Napa Valley wine industry and not to “protect” water, oak woodlands or anything else, all you need to do is listen to what the initiative’s author had to say at a recent Napa County Board of Supervisors meeting the need for more information about the initiative was discussed.

Mike Hacket, the Initiative’s author, stood in front of the Napa County Board of Supervisors on January 30 and used his precious time and his final moments at the podium to sum up his views on the Initiative. What did he focus on?

Hackett pointed to an unpublished Napa Vintners poll that asked if there are not enough, enough or too many wineries in the Napa Valley? Hackett pointed out that 90% of respondents said “enough” or “too many”. Hackett then went on to warn the members of the Board of Supervisors that if they oppose the initiative “you’ll be on the wrong side of this”, suggesting they won’t be re-elected.

Hackett’s final point was not to show the Board the science behind his initiative (there is none). His final point was not to talk about the actual problems vineyards are posing to the Napa watershed (none have been identified). His final point in support of this initiative was to assert that there are too many wineries.

I’ve said it before because I’m prone to point out the obvious, and I’m going to say it again: The proposed Napa County Oak Woodland Initiative has nothing to do with preserving oak trees or water conservation. It has everything to do with attempting to roll back the wine industry and wine economy in Napa Valley. And if anyone believes for one second that this will be the last public initiative local radicals use to try and roll back the wine industry in Napa Valley, then they don’t understand the motivation of the authors of this initiative.

If passed the Initiative would essentially stop all new planting of vineyards in the hills surrounding Napa, no matter how appropriate the land is for planting or how well protected the land already is from erosion and tree removal.


4 Responses

  1. Valerie Trudeau - February 1, 2018

    While I believe we should work at conserving and saving our waters. We must find more ways to do that versus protecting one sole source. I do not feel that limiting Agriculture, no matter the type of kind, is the solution. I also know that saving trees is not the answer as wild forests burn faster than managed forests. People need to stop with their hidden agendas and focus on long term goals, not immediate feelings.

  2. Winegrower - February 1, 2018

    Let’s not forget that the Napa Valley has the most restricted laws around farming anywhere. It came about for the right reasons at the right time and it’s standard practice for 25 years. We are proud of that.

  3. Patricia - February 3, 2018

    Hmm. Interesting debate, but I tend to agree that the Protect the Woodlands etc. initiative is a red-herring. Is it really an initiative for the mid-sized brand owners to prevent the really big guys (with plenty of money) who own Napa brands from planting more vineyards? That indeed would make a lovely Master-of-Wine Exam question.

  4. Donn Rutkoff - February 8, 2018

    It is possible that some of the biggest vnyrd owners want to crimp off competition via the initiative. It happens in human history all the time. Phony frontmen. Rockefeller money supporting anti drilling enviro radicals. Or just another luddite with too much time and money on his hands. Ask the guy where would he live if his house had never been built because someone liked that parcel of land to stay untouched.

    After the 1969 Santa Barbara oil well disaster, radicals firebombed the Bank of America in town. Sad, BofA was a big bank but it was not a banker to the oil industry. (It was a dominant wine and ag bank in Calif.)


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