Quantcast

Paso Robles winery criticized for deforestation - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Paso Robles winery criticized for deforestation

Posted: Updated:

Farmers in Paso Robles are outraged after a local winery cut hundreds of oak trees to plant more vineyards.

The deforestation by Justin Vineyards is being done to make way for additional grape fields and an irrigation pond.

"It can only be described as a crime against nature," said Neil Heaton, a farmer in Paso Robles.

More than 100 concerned residents came out to discuss the situation in a meeting held Monday. Residents say they have been watching trucks full of logs leave the nearly 400-acre property off Willow Creek Road in Paso Robles throughout the month.

The project is temporarily halted for an investigation.

"We found them in violation of grading without a permit on slopes," said San Luis Obispo County Code Enforcement Officer R. Moore.

While removing oak trees isn't illegal within the county, approval is needed.

"We recognize the beauty and importance of our natural resources, and as part of this process, beginning this fall and throughout 2017, we will plant 5,000 oak trees across our properties," The Wonderful Company Associate Director for Corporate Communications Mark Carmel said in a statement on behalf of the winery. "As a leading employer in the area and major contributor to the local economy, JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery is proud of both its long-standing commitment to the Paso Robles community and responsible environmental stewardship."

Farmers below the land say too much damage has already been done, not only for the wildlife that once lived there, but for what a rainy season could bring.

"Looking at the hills, they are totally erased from any kind of vegetation that might keep erosion from occurring on those steep slopes," said Heaton.

Now the community is having talks of an ordinance to prevent future deforestation and mass water pumping in order to stop not only this project, but others like it.

"Nobody wants crazy restrictions on our properties, but if we don't do something about a situation like this, then nobody is going to have property worth protecting their rights for," said Mark Adams, a farmer in Paso Robles.

Similar ordinances have been defeated in the past. San Luis Obispo County supervisors say it will take a change of mindset from the agricultural community to agree on one.

WEATHER
Doppler Radar
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • More than 3 dozen snakes seized from Arroyo Grande storage facility

    More than 3 dozen snakes seized from Arroyo Grande storage facility

    Thursday, May 25 2017 8:38 PM EDT2017-05-26 00:38:30 GMT
    Animal Services Manager Dr. Eric Anderson holds one of the pythons seized from a storage facility. (KSBY photo)Animal Services Manager Dr. Eric Anderson holds one of the pythons seized from a storage facility. (KSBY photo)

    Officers with San Luis Obispo County Animal Services found 42 ball pythons at a self-storage facility in Arroyo Grande Wednesday evening after responding to a report of abandoned animals.

    Officers with San Luis Obispo County Animal Services found 42 ball pythons at a self-storage facility in Arroyo Grande Wednesday evening after responding to a report of abandoned animals.

  • 2 injured in head-on crash on Highway 154

    2 injured in head-on crash on Highway 154

    Thursday, May 25 2017 11:46 AM EDT2017-05-25 15:46:02 GMT
    Fire officials say the driver of the car had to be extricated and suffered major injuries. (Photo: SB Co. Fire)Fire officials say the driver of the car had to be extricated and suffered major injuries. (Photo: SB Co. Fire)

    Two people were reportedly injured in a head-on crash Thursday morning on Highway 154 near Santa Barbara. 

    Two people were reportedly injured in a head-on crash Thursday morning on Highway 154 near Santa Barbara. 

  • House burned in rural Paso Robles is a total loss

    House burned in rural Paso Robles is a total loss

    Thursday, May 25 2017 1:43 AM EDT2017-05-25 05:43:22 GMT
    Courtesy: Cherise Franke NerelliCourtesy: Cherise Franke Nerelli

    CAL FIRE SLO is on the scene of a fire that destroyed a home off of Nacimiento Lake Drive and injured one person.

    CAL FIRE SLO is on the scene of a fire that destroyed a home off of Nacimiento Lake Drive and injured one person.

Powered by Frankly

© KSBY.com 2017, KSBY.com
A CORDILLERA COMMUNICATIONS Station
All rights reserved
Privacy Policy, | Terms of Service, and Ad Choices

Can't find something?