Media Advisory, December 13, 2021

Contact:

Ross Middlemiss, (707) 599-2743, rmiddlemiss@biologicaldiversity.org

Napa Supervisors to Make Final Call on Walt Ranch Vineyard’s Climate Plan

NAPA, Calif.— The Napa County Board of Supervisors will consider on Tuesday an appeal of an approved climate mitigation plan for the Walt Ranch vineyard project. Local residents and Center for Biological Diversity staff will attend the meeting to urge the board to require science-based measures to offset the 14,000 carbon-sequestering trees that will be destroyed by this huge vineyard development.

“This is the county’s last chance to address this project’s massive greenhouse gas emissions and show it’s taking the climate crisis seriously,” said Ross Middlemiss, an attorney at the Center. “To begin addressing the devastating loss of thousands of mature oak trees, developers should protect existing intact habitats that are vulnerable to development to help fight the climate crisis. The board has the power to strengthen the plan, and we hope they act to protect the future of Napa.”

What: Board of supervisors meeting to consider the appeal of the Walt Ranch mitigation plan

When: Tuesday, December 14, at 2 p.m.

Where: Napa County Administration Building, Suite 305, 1195 Third St., Napa

Media Availability: Center attorney Ross Middlemiss will be at the meeting and available for interviews.

Background: The county first approved the Walt Ranch project in 2016, but the Center and Sierra Club filed a legal challenge citing violations of state environmental laws. A state appeals court ruled that the development lacked an adequate plan to offset the environmental harms caused by cutting down thousands of trees for the vineyard conversion.

In September the county approved a mitigation plan that reduced the number of preserved acres and called for planting seedlings to make up for the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the project. The Center filed an appeal asserting that an effective plan must prioritize permanent protection of developable forested land and include detailed science-backed measures to ensure successful tree plantings.

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The Walt Ranch property in Napa County features undisturbed riparian, oak and native grassland habitats. Photo by Hardy Wilson. Image and video footage are available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.