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Kellie Duckhorn
 
May 23, 2016 | Kellie Duckhorn

Fall in love with Mother Earth

Today I am headed off to Yosemite National Park for a week of waterfalls and sunrises…normally, my husband and I choose to interact with nature in a more isolated way. We often backpack and enjoy the solitude and amazement of living in nature in some remote space.

Half Dome by Ansel Adams

This week, though, we decided to honor the 100 year anniversary of our National Parks. We’ve been watching the Ken Burns series, on PBS, and it has inspired us to revisit Yosemite after nearly 25 years. Our National Parks, and the vision behind their creation, is something that I try hard not to take for granted. It isn’t easy to act today for the benefit of a very distant future.

Locally, our Napa Valley’s agricultural heritage was set in motion by the actions of a group of legislators and vintners, in 1968. Beginning with then Napa County Assessor George Abate and County Administrator Albert Haberger, plans were drawn up to protect some 26,000 acres of farmland, mostly on the valley floor. Chaired by Felix Vanderschoot, of the Napa County Planning Commission hearings on the ordinance were started. Supporters of the proposed ag preserve included Louis M. Martini, Robert Mondavi, brother Peter Mondavi from Charles Krug, Roy Raymond from Beringer and Jack Davies from Schramsberg. After much heated debate, on April 9, 1968, the board of supervisors, on a 4-0 vote, approved the first agricultural preserve in the United States. Today, the Napa Valley Ag Preserve protects more than 38,000 acres of land.

Side by side comparison of Napa and Santa Clara Counties
Napa Valley, 2005 Santa Clara, 2005

Although the Ag Preserve is a powerful tool for land preservation, there are also other dedicated entities such as the Land Trust of Napa County and the JLD Ag Fund to help bridge the gap. The County also has a variety of state and local parks for connecting with nature. Our wine grape economy does not come without its challenges, but it has provided a base for both financial opportunity and land preservation. This is a unique combination, and not easily duplicated in other high public use areas of natural beauty (Lake Tahoe basin, for example).

Regardless of how you feel about wineries and vineyard land, there is no denying that the Napa Valley is beautiful.

Baldacci Honey B Vineyard, Carneros

 

Comments

c0ck's Gravatar
 
c0ck
@ Jun 18, 2016 at 7:50 PM
You mentioned that fantastically.

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