APAC: Nature Holds the Final Card

An historic oak savanna: will it get the protection it needs?

Comments to the Agricultural Protection Advisory Committee, APAC, on June 8, 2015

I am Patricia Damery, and I live at 3185 Dry Creek Road, in Napa County, where my husband and I are growers. I am also a Jungian psychoanalyst in private practice here in Napa. I want to read a quote from the psychiatrist and philosopher C. G.  Jung, who wrote a great deal about balance with nature, whether that nature be our inner nature, the lion’s share of my work with patients, or the natural world— the lion’s share of our work in farming.

Jung stated,

The facts of nature cannot in the long run be violated. Penetrating and seeping through everything like water, they will undermine any system that fails to take them into account.

If we fail to put first the facts of nature—the needs of a healthy environment— everything is undermined, including the economics of our Valley. Yet who will advocate for Nature? Director Morrison, as you so eloquently pointed out at the CEQA workshop on Saturday, CEQA, while an important and groundbreaking process, is not that advocate. As that ad on NPR says, Nature needs an attorney. 

But, potentially, Nature has you, APAC. That’s how this all got started. You are in an unprecedented position of advising the Board of Supervisors, which does have the power to act on behalf of Nature. If we continue with the status quo, letting money drive the machine, as it appears to be doing now, the result will be the further commercialization of our watersheds and result in further environmental degradation.

One recommendation to this end is to make the Oak Woodland Management Plan, already a part of the General Plan [of Napa County], mandatory, not voluntary, as it is now. If we allow economic and business interests and fine wines to trump our fine forests and oak woodlands, Nature will hold the final cards. We need your bold leadership that goes against business as usual. I ask you to make those bold recommendations to the people who can implement them.