Washington—Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla (both D-Calif.) reintroduced legislation to expand the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument to include approximately 3,925 acres of adjacent Bureau of Land Management-administered public lands in Lake County, California. It would also require the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service to improve tribal engagement and co-management of the National Monument, including for historic preservation, archaeological sites, and forest health. Congressmen John Garamendi (D-Calif.) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) are leading the legislation in the House.
“Expanding the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument will help secure approximately 4,000 additional acres for federal protection,” said Senator Feinstein. “This area of California is rich with Native American cultural heritage and diverse ecosystems, which is why I’m happy to join Senator Padilla in building on the work started in 2015 to create the more than 330,000-acres national monument.”
“California has some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world—and it is our duty to preserve these pristine outdoor spaces and rare natural habitats to combat the climate crisis and benefit future generations,” said Senator Alex Padilla. “I am proud to be introducing this legislation to not only expand the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, but to usher in a new era of cooperative stewardship between our federal land management agencies and local tribes. For over 11,000 years, dozens of tribes have called “Molok Luyuk” home, and with the enactment of our bill, we can ensure that their unique tribal knowledge, history, and cultural practices will permanently be part of the National Monument.”
“Conserving California’s special places has been a lifelong passion throughout my tenure in the state legislature, as Deputy Secretary of the Interior to President Clinton, and now as a member of Congress representing Lake County. I introduced the ‘Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument Expansion Act’ with Congressman Mike Thompson in the U.S. House of Representatives to protect and expand the national monument, and I applaud Senators Alex Padilla and Dianne Feinstein for championing this legislation in the United States Senate,” said Congressman John Garamendi.
“Back in 2016, I worked to designate the Berryessa Snow Mountain region as a National Monument,” said Congressman Mike Thompson. “I am proud to join Rep. Garamendi and Senators Padilla and Feinstein to reintroduce legislation to expand this designation and protect more of our pristine public lands. The Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument is crucial for protecting the biodiversity of the land and boosting our economy through recreational opportunities.”
The Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument Expansion Act would:
- Expand the existing National Monument to include approximately 3,925 acres of adjacent public land administered by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Lake County known previously as the “Walker Ridge” tract.
- Rename the BLM’s entire “Walker Ridge” tract in Lake and Colusa Counties to “Condor Ridge” translated from “Molok Luyuk” in the Patwin language of the Yocha Dehe and other federally recognized tribes indigenous to the area.
- Not impact privately owned, state, tribal, or non-federal land in any way and does not include the portion of the BLM’s Walker Ridge tract in Colusa County.
- Direct the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to finally complete the management plan for the National Monument, unfinished since 2015.
- Require the federal land management agencies (BLM and USFS) to engage in meaningful consultation with federally recognized Indian tribes regarding the development and implementation of the National Monument’s management plan.
- Provide opportunities for federal land management agencies (BLM and USFS) to enter into voluntary agreements with federally recognized Indian tribes regarding management of the National Monument, including historic preservation, archaeological sites, and forest health.
In the 117th Congress, Senators Padilla and Feinstein were successful in advancing this legislation through the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee with unanimous support.
Endorsements: Lake County Board of Supervisors, Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, Sierra Club, California Wilderness Coalition, The Wilderness Society, Latino Outdoors, Lake County Land Trust, Backcountry Anglers & Hunters, Earthjustice, California Native Plant Society, Hispanic Access Foundation, Conservation Lands Foundation, Defenders of Wildlife, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, Mojave Desert Land Trust, Pew Charitable Trusts, Woodland, CA-based Tuleyome nonprofit and Western Watersheds Project.
Full text of the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument Expansion Act is available here.
A map of the proposed addition is available here.