Chopping Down Redwoods to Make Wine


| 11/4/2011 3:48:25 PM


Tags: California, wine, vineyards, trees, forests, redwoods, conservation, wilderness, politics, environment, Los Angeles Times, High Country News, Sierra Club, Keith Goetzman,

California redwood trees 

Two California vintners want to cut down 2,000 acres of redwood trees and replace them with vineyards in the largest woodland-to-vineyard conversion in California’s history. Do I need to explain what conservationists think of this?

Under the proposal, reported by the Los Angeles Times and later tipped by High Country News, two Sonoma County pinot noir growers, Premier Pacific Vineyards and Artesa Vineyards, want to expand their growing operations by slicing into forestlands of Douglas firs and the state’s iconic redwoods. Premier also wants to develop 60 high-end estates—for members of the 1 percent, I assume—on adjacent lands that it already owns on the ironically named Preservation Ranch.

“In exchange,” reports the Times, “the developers promise to restore streams, add more than 200 acres to a county park, plant 1 million redwoods and Douglas firs and make other environmental improvements.”

But environmental advocates aren’t appeased by these offers:

“I don’t see a need for more deforestation to have a great wine economy, because there is a lot of cleared land already available,” said Adina Merelender, a UC Berkeley conservation biologist.

“The big issue for us,” added Jay Holcomb of the Sierra Club, “is that redwoods-to-vineyards conversions are worse than clear-cutting because they are permanent.”

A Sierra Club website that has detailed information about Preservation Ranch suggests that its moniker was a greenwash from the get-go:

Garnet Red
6/25/2012 5:17:44 AM

STOP VINE (G)RAPING CALIFORNIA.


Jasmine Tokuda
11/11/2011 10:52:43 PM

Bravo to CalPERS for being the first to divest. I hope others follow in rapid succession.