September 27 - Orr Springs Ranch (Mendocino County)
I am Denise Levine, the newest member of the Communications Committee. Our family owns almost 200 acres of the Napa River Watershed in the Mayacamas Mountains, the ridge that runs between the Napa Valley and the Sonoma Valley. Heavily forested and one of the original homesteads in the western hills, my father bought the property in the late 1970s with the intent to do a select harvest.
Our Forest contains Dougas Fir (41%), Coastal Redwood (25%), Bay Laurel (20%), Madrone (8%), Black and White Oak (3%), Tanoak (2%) and Miscellaneous Hardwoods (1%). The understory consists of hardwoods, shrubs, grasses and forbs. Species include buckeye, big leaf maple, alder, ash, willow, pacific yew, coyote brush, manzanita, chamise, gooseberry, toyon, hazelnut, buckbrush, coffeeberry, elderberry, dogwood, bear grass and poison oak.
In 1983, my husband Steven Levine and I moved into the original house, built in 1929. A year later, my father began the last timber harvest for almost twenty years in Napa not resulting in a clear cut conversion to vineyard. Long, expensive and ending in a lawsuit with Napa County (which Napa eventually lost), the harvest proceeded, but took its toll on everyone involved.