–BY VICTORIA BRANDON, REDWOOD CHAPTER CHAIR
Permanent protection of the Berryessa-Snow Mountain region has been a top Redwood Chapter priority for a number of years. These very special 350,000 acres of federal lands contain lush forests, wildflower meadows, three designated Wilderness areas, and a Wild and Scenic River. The region is home to tule elk, river otters, the second largest population of California’s wintering bald eagle populations, and the rare Pacific fisher. Berryessa-Snow Mountain is a biodiversity hotspot and also paradise for hikers, campers, birders, anglers, and equestrians.
Under the leadership of Congressman Mike Thompson and with strong support from Congressmen Jared Huffman and John Garamendi, whose district now includes most of the area proposed for protection, we’ve been trying to convince Congress to designate the region as a National Conservation Area. Since that legislation seems to be stalled in Washington gridlock, it’s time to look for another quicker, surer route to the same destination, by asking the President to use his powers under the Antiquities Act to create a Berryessa-Snow Mountain National Monument.
Stating that “permanent protection of Berryessa-Snow Mountain will ensure the preservation of this special place and will grow the local economy by bringing visitors and jobs to the region year-round,” the national Sierra Club has created an online petition urging President Obama and Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to designate Berryessa-Snow Mountain as a National Monument. Almost all of the Monument would be right here in Redwood Chapter, in four of the Chapter’s six local Groups: please take a moment to help protect it for the enjoyment of future generations by visiting redwood.sierraclub.org and adding your name to the petition.
Tired hikers in the extreme south of the proposed National Monument get a glympse of Lake Berryessa.
Photo courtesy of Tuleyome