EDITOR: Anyone who loves Sonoma County’s natural beauty has to be appalled by the recent news regarding the bulldozing and removal of 40 acres of oak woodlands and the deep-ripping of over 100 acres near Cloverdale for vineyard development. Destruction included pushing trees, brush and soil into natural water channels that empty into the Russian River and filling a wetland area.
The owner of the property, Hugh Reimers, whose company Krasilsa Pacific Farms undertook this woodland destruction, was formerly president of Foley Family Wines and Jackson Family Wines. Obliteration of this woodland was undertaken without any required permits and inspections. Reimers can hardly claim ignorance about proper regulations and procedures regarding land development.
One major question is whether some wine industry operators assume that they can ignore regulatory protections because the fines are simply part of doing business.
Full restoration of these illegally destroyed areas, in addition to hefty fines, needs to be the corrective action. Otherwise, the bad players in the wine industry will think Sonoma County’s natural woodlands and wetlands are fair and easy game for destruction.
Thank you for “Deep Trouble”
EDITOR: Thank you Sonoma West Publishers for your special section, “Deep Trouble,” included in the Reveille’s regular Aug. 15 edition. Each of eight articles was carefully researched and contains the latest information available to science and the public about the condition of the Pacific Ocean within, and beyond the California controlled three mile limit. Ocean temperatures are rising and acidification is increasing, bringing about disastrous ecological changes to our once lush coastal waters. Kelp forests, a major source of food for marine life and a breeding ground for tiny sea organisms, are dying at an alarming rate. Marine mammals are starving and dying, fishing seasons are shortened or cancelled, invasive species are taking over deep tide pools and fishing grounds. Human caused plastic waste is choking great swaths of the ocean.
In addition, the Trump administration wants to preempt California’s “no oil drilling” legislation by having the Department of Commerce “review” the section of Marine Sanctuary between Bodega Bay and Point Arena in Federal Waters, which could open it to oil drilling.
Thanks to Rollie Atkinson, Zoë Strickland, Heather Bailey, Katherine Minkiewicz and Laura Hagar Rush for their fine investigations and reports. In “Deep Trouble” we have a short, in depth chronicle of the work of scientists, marine foundations, ocean preserves and careful observers, of the current state of our coastal waters.
At risk are coastal fisheries, coastal birds, sea lions, elephant seals, sea otters, bull kelp, sharks, whales, squid, abalone and Dungeness crab. The greatest threat, by far, is climate change with rising temperatures, followed by invasive species, such as the purple sea urchin, pollution by plastic waste, oil spills, raw sewage and the looming threat of offshore oil drilling.
We have a champion of the environment a telephone call or e-mail away: Representative Jared Huffman, is a true warrior for the environment. Call 415-258-9657 or write, huffman.house.gov/contact/email-me today to share your concern for our precious Pacific resource.
To get a copy of “Deep Trouble” visit the office of The Cloverdale Reveille, 207 N. Cloverdale Blvd., or read it online at Sonomawest.com