Sacramento – One hundred local businesses released a letter calling on President Obama to protect California’s Berryessa-Snow Mountain region as a national monument. The region, which spans 350,000 acres north of Napa up to the Mendocino National Forest, is a haven for rare wildlife and a popular destination for hiking, boating, and outdoor recreation.
“Berryessa-Snow Mountain is a national treasure,” said Nathan Weaver, Preservation Advocate with Environment California. “I am proud to stand with 100 local businesses in support of permanently protecting this hidden gem.”
“Despite strong bicameral support for permanently protecting the Berryessa Snow Mountain Region, my legislation has not been voted on in either the House or Senate,” said Congressman Mike Thompson. “If Congress will not act to protect this area, then the Obama Administration should. Protecting the Berryessa Snow Mountain Region will help boost tourism, grow the local economy, improve recreation opportunities and protect important species. We do not want to lose out on these benefits because Congress will not act – and we do not have to. The Obama Administration should take action where Congress hasn’t and permanently protect this natural treasure.”
Protecting Berryessa-Snow Mountain will help safeguard rare animals and dozens of endemic plant species from fires, invasive species, development, and other dangers. Berryessa-Snow Mountain is home to one of California’s largest winter colonies of bald eagles. It’s a refuge for the rare Humboldt marten, a species of mammal once thought to be extinct.
“Whether it’s hunting up at Snow Mountain Wilderness or photographing Tule Elk near Cowboy Camp, the Berryessa Snow Mountain region offers something for everyone,” said Sara Husby, Executive Director of Tuleyome. “The whitewater rapids of Cache Creek draw people from across the state as does Lake Berryessa, a favorite spot for boating and a renowned bass fishery. Along the oak-dotted hillsides and rushing creeks lies a trail system which appeals to residents and attracts tourists who love hiking, horseback riding, driving ORVs along the designated trails, and mountain biking. The Berryessa Snow Mountain region is a hidden treasure of Northern California well worth exploring, and an area that deserves to be protected for future generations. I hope President Obama will take action to permanently protect this beautiful wild place.”
Recognizing Berryessa-Snow Mountain as a national monument can raise the region’s profile, boosting local tourism. Many stores and hotels in Napa, Winters, and Clear Lake rely on visitors to support their businesses. The region offers a wealth of recreational activities, from hiking and horseback riding to fishing, boating, and off-road vehicle use in designated areas.
“We should do everything we can to protect nature and its beauty,” said Aaron Curtin with APEX Cycles in Davis. “If we pave over it, it will take 10 generations to get it back.”
Momentum to protect Berryessa-Snow Mountain has been building for years. Lake, Napa, and Yolo counties have already endorsed permanent protection. So have the Napa Valley Vintners Association and dozens of elected officials. President Obama promised that “I’ll use my authority to protect more of our pristine federal lands for future generations” earlier this year in his January State of the Union Address, and has already moved to protect 500,000 acres of land in New Mexico.
Environment California is a state-based, citizen-funded, environmental advocacy organization working toward a cleaner, greener, healthier future.