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Paso Robles Billionaires Apologize For Clear-Cutting Oaks To Expand Vineyards

PASO ROBLES, San Luis Obispo (AP) — California agriculture billionaires Stewart and Lynda Resnick are apologizing for the clear-cutting of iconic old oaks at their vineyard.

The removal of hundreds of old oaks at Justin Vineyard and Winery near Paso Robles prompted local boycotts and at least one town meeting earlier this month.

The property belongs to the Resnicks, who also market popular lines of pomegranate juice, almonds and bottled water.

In a statement Friday, the Resnicks said they were "asleep at the wheel" when the clear-cutting was happening. The couple says they have now canceled part of their vineyard expansion project and are in talks with local officials to donate land.

Officials in San Luis Obispo County had issued a stop-work order after hundreds of oaks were already removed.

© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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