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A Report from the Soil and Water Conservation Society

Dear Interested public:
One of the objectives of the growing community with respect to changes to Vineyard and Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance (VESCO) is to satisfy conditions of Reg’l Board’s Irrigated Lands waiver. Although the condition of our impaired water bodies and fisheries are the public’s business, the growers do not want the public to participate in their adventures in our watersheds thus their insistence on a ministerial permit for vineyard development. Tree removal should be subject to public env’l review insofar as most tree removal may be said to threaten potentially significant adverse impacts. Respectfully, trading trees for some set of imperfect BMPs is not cutting it and will not cut it. The following excerpt, from the Soil and Water Conservation Society, affirms the significance of impacts of crops on soil loss now and into the future. thx.

“Conservationists should be seriously concerned about the implications of climate change—as expressed by changes in precipitation patterns—for the conservation of SOIL and water resources in the United States. The magnitude and extent of increased rates of soil erosion and runoff that could occur under simulated future precipitation regimes are LARGE. More importantly, analyses of the climate record in the United States show that changes in precipitation patterns are occurring now. In fact, the magnitude of observed trends in precipitation and the bias toward more extreme precipitation events are, in some cases, larger than simulated by global climate change models, particularly since 1970. Extrapolating those relationships to the changes in precipitation observed over the past century suggests increases in soil erosion ranging from 4 percent to 95 percent and increases in runoff from 6 percent to 100 percent could already be evident on cropland in some locations.” (emphasis added; executive summary; CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS OF CLIMATE CHANGE: SOIL EROSION AND RUNOFF FROM CROPLAND

A Report from the Soil and Water Conservation Society January 2003