Final result: Measure C lost by 641 votes

Napa, Calif.—Three weeks after Napa's June 5 election, the Napa County Registrar of Voters officially certified final results on Measure C, revealing that the Watershed and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative lost by 641 votes with 18,174 "no" votes (50.9%) against 17,533 "yes" votes (49.1%). The Measure C race remained a close one from the beginning, with both sides vehemently voicing their opinions.

Those in favor of the measure believed it would establish regulations that would improve Napa’s water quality and, thus, its agriculture — namely its vineyards. Yet others, including the Napa County Farm Bureau, Napa Valley Grapegrowers, Napa Valley Vintners and the Winegrowers of Napa County opposed Measure C, calling it anti-agriculture. 

The issue will now go to the Napa County Board of Supervisors, which is scheduled to continue its discussion from a June 19 meeting sometime in July and determine the county’s next steps to address some of the issues raised in the debate over Measure C.

Ryan Klobas, policy director for the farm bureau, said the board's involvement could potentially lead to the involvement of scientists, engineers and conservation experts who can scientifically determine what, if any, problems Napa’s agriculture is facing and how best to deal with them. “The fight for Measure C was a very emotionally driven one, and to move forward we need to separate emotion from fact,” Klobas said in an interview with Wines & Vines.

Klobas said there were never any scientific studies conducted to prove the claims touted in Measure C, which was one of the main reasons he and his colleagues opposed it. But, he says, they will fully support what a panel of experts decides is the best next move in preserving Napa County's ag lands and open spaces. “That’s what the board of supervisors is for,” said Klobas. “Let’s let them do their job.”

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