Sonoma County Oak Woodlands

Below is a recent letter sent by the Oak Foundation to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. To date no reply has been received from the Board.

August 12, 2009

Board of Supervisors
Sonoma County Administration Building
575 Administration Drive, Room 102A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403-2887

Re: Sonoma County Oak Woodlands

Honorable Supervisors:

The California Oak Foundation (COF) writes with brief comments and questions regarding current Sonoma County oak woodland policies:

1. Why doesn’t Sonoma County have an oak woodlands conversion ordinance similar to the one it has for conifer timberland conversions, particularly in light of deforestation carbon biological emissions? Notably, the Preservation Ranch timberland conversion proposal commits this vineyard development to compliance with the California Air Resources Board forest protocols methodology, net present value carbon accounting and carbon neutrality. Why are these CO2 emission standards not being applied to the conversion of Sonoma County oak woodlands?
2. Sonoma County claims it is not exercising discretionary approval in its Vineyard Ordinance. COF contends that Sonoma County is in fact exercising discretionary judgment in the Ordinance by its conclusion that oak woodlands deforestation CO2 emissions due to vineyard development do not significantly contribute to climate change.
3. If carbon biological emissions due to vineyard development are deemed significant environmental impacts in Napa County, Santa Barbara County and other wine regions, why aren’t these adverse public health effects considered significant in Sonoma County?

Oak Foundation looks forward to a response from the Board at its earliest convenience.

Respectfully, Janet Cobb, President
California Oak Foundation