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To the outside, the escalation of the argument between the proponents of and those against the Napa County Watershed and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative, better known as Measure C, the initiative to amend the Napa County General Plan and Zoning Code, appears to have reached a red alert level with record speed.
Since purchasing his vineyard at the top of Spring Mountain in 1970, Stuart Smith has become the leading voice of the hillside grower. While Smith believed that the best grapes come from the mountains, a hypothesis had been written that vineyards on hillsides are detrimental to the land. In response, Smith began arguing in favor of hillside vineyards and land-use issues. Being the leading voice was “thrust upon me,” Smith shared. “It was not my intent. When I first got a permit to log the property from Department of Forestry, I was warned that there would be protesters once I brought out a chainsaw.”