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04/27/2012

Help Us Protect Berryessa Snow Mountain


The public lands of the Berryessa Snow Mountain region, just north of Sacramento, are rich in natural wonders and loaded with recreational opportunities. Occupying nearly 500,000 acres of California’s ecologically diverse inner Coastal Ranges, the region is home to a plethora of wildlife and an extensive variety of rare plants. The area provides critical habitat and long-term movement corridors for many species of wildlife such as the tule elk. The high level of plant diversity encompasses an unusually rich part of the California Floristic province, which is a geological hotspot on the planet, meaning that some of these plants are found nowhere else in the world.

This scenic treasure needs permanent protection so that future generations will be able to enjoy the vast wilderness and abundant recreational activities. Hiking is one of the most popular activities for visitors to Berryessa Snow Mountain with miles of maintained trails like the popular Blue Ridge Cross Country Trail. The views from the top are spectacular, and the vertical cliffs are home to prairie and peregrine falcons making it a favorite of visitors. Fishing, horseback riding, rafting, bird watching and skiing are other popular activities. Cache Creek and Putah Creek are the two major waterways within the region and are very popular for fishing and bird watching. Protection will provide well-managed recreation areas and user education. The area’s natural beauty, sensitive areas, wildlife and rare plants will also be safeguarded once under protection.


 The economy will also benefit from protection, as outdoor recreation supports over 400,000 jobs in California, contributes $46 billion to the state economy and $28.1 billion in retail and services each year. A recent study found that counties around Giant Sequoia National Monument saw jobs grow by 11% and real personal income rise by 24% after the area was permanently protected. Berryessa Snow Mountain has the same potential.  A protected region will allow for the improvement of trails, campsites, and other recreational opportunities and thus draw more visitors because of the enhanced experience.

There is strong support for protecting Berryessa Snow Mountain so that the public will be able to enjoy this beautiful wilderness for many years to come. The abundant wildlife and rare plants need protection in order to thrive in their now threatened habitats. The Sierra Club and our allies are working hard to make permanent protection a reality.

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