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. Only a short drive north of the San Francisco Bay Area in the Inner Coast Range, 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, California’s second largest population of wintering bald eagles, and the rare Pacific fisher. Berryessa Snow Mountain is a biodiversity hotspot and also a fishing, hiking, camping, birding and horseback-riding paradise.
Under the leadership of Congressman Mike Thompson and with strong support from Congressman John Garamendi, whose district now includes most of the area proposed for protection, we’ve been working for more than five years to persuade Congress to designate the region as a National Conservation Area — but that legislation seems to be stalled in Washington gridlock. So now 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, including portions of four of the Chapter’s six local Groups: please take a moment to add your name to the petition to help protect it for the enjoyment of future generations.
By the way, please also take a minute to check out a recent Sacramento Bee op/ed authored jointly by Lake County Supervisor Denise Rushing, Yolo Supervisor Don Saylor, and Solano Supervisor Linda Seifert. These local elected leaders are also urging the President to protect the Berryessa Snow Mountain Region — as a National Monument!
Thanks so much for your help! It really does make a difference.