In January, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to issue a four-month moratorium on new vineyard projects until a revised policy on tree removal and erosion mitigation is adopted. The board directed the Agricultural Commissioner’s office to develop standards governing tree removal and erosion mitigation on certain vineyard and orchard development projects because the current policy (PDF) does not include adequate tools for evaluating tree removal on slopes or the potential cumulative impacts on the surrounding ecosystem.
County staff has a short period to develop these standards. The deadline to complete the recommended policies is April 5, with the initial reading at the Board of Supervisors on April 10, and final adoption on April 24, 2012.
If you want to get involved, the Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner’s office is holding a public meeting, to collect stakeholder feedback, on February 23, 7-9 p.m., at the Agatha Furth Center at 8400 Old Redwood Highway in Windsor.
Read more information about the County’s current policies (PDF).