Lake County News, California – Supervisors approve letter to support expansion of Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument

Indian Valley / Walker Ridge Recreation Area in Lake County, California. Photo by Jesse Pluim / Bureau of Land Management.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif .– The supervisory board voted this week to send a letter in support of a new federal bill to expand the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument.

Congressman John Garamendi’s Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument Expansion Act would add the 4,000-acre area of ​​Walker Ridge in Lake County to the 330,000-acre National Monument, which President Barack Obama created in July 2015.

The letter is addressed to Garamendi, who represents the northern part of Lake County, but is also sent to Congressman Mike Thompson, who represents the southern part of the county, and county state lawmakers, MP Cecilia Aguiar -Curry and Senator Mike McGuire. .

Walker Ridge – which is owned by the Bureau of Land Management – was in the monument’s original footprint but was not in the final declaration, board members EJ Crandell and Bruno Sabatier explained in their memo asking their colleagues supervisors to support the letter.

“We bring this letter of support to the expansion law for consideration by the board, believing that this expansion will enhance the opportunities that this national monument offers our county both for the conservation of our precious environment and for the economic benefits that a national monument destination brings to local jurisdictions, ”Crandell and Sabatier explained in their memo.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Crandell said he struggled with some of the other things that have been proposed for Walker Ridge, an apparent reference to the large wind turbine projects that have been on the drawing board during of the last decade.

Adding Walker Ridge to the monument, Crandell said they can now focus on preserving the area as it should.

Sabatier said he was invited by Tuleyome, the nonprofit that defended the national monument, to fly over Walker Ridge, which he says is a beautiful area filled with rare plants and is also the trajectory of flight of many migratory birds.

He said it is an incredible area that must have been part of the original monument.

Tuleyome representative Victoria Brandon of Lower Lake said she was delighted the county was taking the position.

“It’s a wonderful resource for our county, and it’s underutilized and under-recognized,” Brandon said of Walker Ridge.

By adding Walker Ridge to the monument, it will be included in the overall planning of the monument, giving it the opportunity to be recognized for what it is.

The letter explained, “Walker Ridge is a remarkable ecological treasure that needs to be conserved. The landscape is home to many habitats including chaparrals, meadows, unique low-lying pine and cypress forests, and oak forests. Rare and endemic plants have evolved to grow only on unusual serpentine soils derived from ancient seabeds. Walker Ridge is also home to endangered wildlife such as bald and royal eagles, badgers, ring tails and peregrine falcons among a long list of others, besides being a recognized flyway for a multitude. of wild animals.
species, including deer, elk, cougar, black bear, and bobcat. Walker Ridge is steeped in thousands of years of rich and culturally significant history for several Native American tribes.

He also noted that it is in Lake County’s best interests to permanently preserve Walker Ridge, which is used for everything from outdoor recreation to scientific and natural studies.

“Special designations such as National Conservation Area and National Monument have been shown to help local communities diversify their economies and increase tourism, as well as
help attract businesses, thereby generating economic benefits for neighboring communities through local employment and tax revenues, ”the letter said.

Crandell offered to approve the letter of support, with the endorsement of supervisor Jessica Pyska and the board vote 5-0.

Email Elizabeth Larson at This e-mail address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow her on Twitter, @ERLarson, or Lake County News, @LakeCoNews.

Letter of support – Expansion of the national monument through LacCoNews on Scribd

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