Protect California Redwoods from Clear-Cutting

Target: California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention Acting Director Ken Pimlott

Goal: To stop Codorniu’s Artesa Napa Winery and Premier Pacific Vineyards from clear-cutting coastal redwoods.

Near the town of Annapolis in Sonoma County the redwood forest has been slowly recovering from the devastation of nearly a century of logging.  Provided no further damage befalls this area the existing second-growth starting to arise should be able to eventually flourish.  Unfortunately a pair of California wineries seek to deny the region that opportunity.

These wineries, the Artesa Napa Winery and Premier Pacific Vineyards are proposing to clear-cut over 1,900 acres of redwood forest to make room for their expanding vineyards.

There are more than 50 rare and sensitive plant and animal species living within this area that are struggling just to survive.  This includes endangered salmon and steelhead trout that course through the location’s Gualala River.  These animals already face extinction, and such rampant disregard for the environment could trigger not only their extinction but a catastrophic blow to the entire ecosystem that may be irrecoverable.

The increase in greenhouse gas emission from both the depletion of carbon dioxide-scrubbing trees and the energy outlay needed to destroy those trees will be significant.  The harmful environmental effects from this massive forest-to-vineyard conversion will stretch far beyond the local ecosystem, carrying with it a global impact.

Were those environmental ramifications overlooked another issue still holds weight.  The Kashia Pomo tribe deems this area spiritually and culturally significant.  Burial grounds for the tribe reside deep within the heart of the region proposed to be clear-cut.  The destruction of this land in exchange for a quality glass of Pinot stands as a considerable slap in the face to cultural sensitivity regarding Native Americans.

Also notable is the downward trend in the luxury wine market since 2008.  With this ongoing downturn there is no reason to believe maintaining vineyards on this land will continue to be viable in the future.  Should these companies deem the enterprise a failure the forest it supplanted will not be able to return.  All that will remain is 1,900 acres of desiccated earth.

This proposal cannot be approved.  These redwoods need to be protected from any additional deforestation.


Dear Director Pimlott,

California redwoods have long suffered at the hands of an overly active logging industry.  In recent years the opportunity to recover has been afforded them and the slow process of second-growth recovery has begun.

Sadly this recovery may be short lived as two wineries seek to clear-cut over 1,900 acres of coastal redwoods near the town of Annapolis in Sonoma County.  This environmental devastation as proposed by the Artesa Napa Winery and Premier Pacific Vineyards cannot be allowed to come to fruition.

The area these wineries wish to destroy contains within it over 50 rare and sensitive plant and animal species struggling just to survive amidst environmental destruction.  Among them are endangered salmon and steelhead trout populations within the Gualala River.

The flora and fauna of the coastal redwood region would suffer a catastrophic blow should this massive destruction of land be allowed to continue.  The area is still in the early recovery phase from a century of logging–a massive clear-cut operation could just collapse the struggling ecosystem.

The area not only requires protection for ecological purposes.  It is also a culturally and spiritually significant area for the Kashia Pomo tribe.  As an ancestral home to the tribe the area contains within in burial grounds that have been declared by Professor Peter Schmidt of the University of Florida, Department of Anthropology as worthy of an “Archaeological District” designation.

These trees and the land they encompass need protection, not destruction.  I urge you not to approve the proposal by these two wineries to destroy a California treasure for the sake of a bottle of wine.


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  1. Logging without re-planting clearcut areas should be prohibitted. Already denuded areas should be re-established as clearcut-and-plant lumber farms so old growth no longer needs to be cut. The word is ‘sustainability’! Grow the grapes elsewhere and keep the redwoods intact!

  2. Redwoods are too slowgrowing for us to lose any more of them. Also, when will people think we have enough, especially of luxuries like wine?!

  3. We hope to reduce the world’s population. If we do this, we will need a healthy planet, not vineyards, as there will be enough vineyards with no more than we have, now!

  4. Winona "Silver" Dye says:

    I wanted to write a witty comment here to make the point but the truth is the point is already so obvious.
    It is the height of greed and stupidity to let the Redwood trees be destroyed for something as ridiculous as growing grapes for wine. DO NOT allow this travesty to be perpeuated on nature and everyone who depends on it to survive

  5. Everyone benefits from forests, not everyone drinks expensive wine!

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