Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, May 4, 2018

Contact:  Aruna Prabhala, (408) 691-6272,
Nancy Tamarisk, (707) 206-5238,  

Appeal Challenges Approval of Destructive Napa Vineyard Development

NAPA, Calif.— The Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club filed a legal appeal today challenging the approval of a large vineyard development in the mountains east of the city of Napa. The project will tear up more than 300 acres of undisturbed riparian, oak and native grassland habitat and convert it into vineyards sprawled haphazardly across the 2,300-acre Walt Ranch property.

Today’s appeal is prompted by the project’s destruction of habitat for vulnerable wildlife, including California red-legged frogs, cutting down of 14,000 mature trees, impairing water quality in vital streams and drawing down of local groundwater aquifers the community relies upon.  

“Thousands of oak trees, acres of wildlife habitat and precious water supplies will all be lost if this project is built,” said Aruna Prabhala, staff attorney and Urban Wildlands director at the Center. “The local community and wildlife shouldn’t have to pay the price so that another luxury vineyard can be planted in Napa County.”

Today’s appeal comes after a Napa Superior Court ruling in March finding the “environmental impact report” for the private vineyard development complied with the California Environmental Quality Act, despite significant impacts on wildlife, water supply and greenhouse gases.

“The Sierra Club is filing this appeal as an extension of Redwood Chapter’s long tradition of forest and woodland protection,” said Napa Sierra Club Chair Nancy Tamarisk. “Worldwide, deforestation is the second strongest driver of global warming, and this degree of deforestation should be unthinkable in the context of our climate crisis.”

Today’s appeal was filed in the 1st District Court of Appeal against the county of Napa and the Board of Supervisors for the county of Napa. 

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

The Sierra Club is a national, non-profit conservation organization headquartered in Oakland, California with over 1.3 million members. The Redwood Chapter of the Sierra Club has approximately 9,600 members who reside in the north coast region of California, including Napa County.

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