by Yasmine S. Mehmet
As a regular hiker in Napa County and environs, I was recently introduced to Linda Falls and the beauty of this little area. On that day, my friends and I discovered lots of mushrooms, a rushing fall filled with water from the recent rains, a partial mountain lion skeleton and plenty of other recreational users enjoying the same on this sunny Saturday.
At the same time that I was newly introduced to this place (near to my home in Berryessa Estates), I also learned of the development plans threatening it. I have done some research now into the proposed development plans of Le Colline Vineyard, as well as reading the various issues published by concerned users of Linda Falls. Given the scale and dimensions of the project and the very limited breadth of the existing forest in the area, it is impossible to see how the development would not seriously impact the current experience of Linda Falls. That is to say nothing of the further downstream impacts (environmental degradation, further depletion of limited water resources, destruction of habitat) of this project on the watershed leading directly to Lake Hennessy!
It may be that some of the more jaded members of the relevant committees making this decision have “given up” in essence since vineyards so dominate the current landscape of Napa County. That in fact is all the more reason to be increasingly vigilant about what further projects are supported. This project simply cannot co-exist with the Linda Falls area and it becomes a question of supporting one or the other.
All of us have seen the impacts to the local fisheries, the landslides, the desiccated trees blown over by winds fueled by climate change and you must therefore ask at what point is it enough? At what point does the development stop and the prioritization of the needs of the public for nature respites and the need for flora and fauna to thrive in preserved habitats such as this one occur? I urge you to be forward-thinking. Please consider this project first of all with its specific impacts and second of all in its context in a county at the very frightening forefront of what will be our future with an environment we have badly taken for granted without regard for future impacts.
Yasmine S. Mehmet