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Hispanic Access’ Statement on the Berryessa Snow Hispanic Access’ Statement on the Berryessa Snow
14 December 2023

Hispanic Access’ Statement on the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument Expansion

Category: News Releases

Washington, D.C. – On December 13, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) hosted a public meeting to collect input on the legislative proposal for expansion of the Berryessa Mountain National Monument in Northern California, which encompasses 330,780 acres of public lands and would permanently protect Molok Luyuk (Condor Ridge), which includes 13,753 acres of public lands. In response to the recent public meeting, Maite Arce, president and CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation, released the following statement:

In California, Latinos and other people of color are two times more likely to be deprived of nearby nature than white people, thus they are deprived of the benefits nature provides. Protecting Molok Luyuk will help to ensure equitable access to the outdoors in a county where 22 percent of residents identify as Hispanic or Latino. We want to thank BLM Deputy Director Nada Culver and BLM officials for hosting the public meeting and gathering feedback from the community.

“Expanding the national monument would safeguard public lands that are sacred to the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and are critically important to protect in the face of a changing climate. The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, the original residents of the area, have a long and significant connection to Molok Luyuk, stretching back thousands of years. The ridge includes areas where religious ceremonies are practiced, sites that are central to origin stories, and vital trading routes. Protecting these lands would establish co-stewardship with federally recognized tribes and would give area residents much-needed access to nature and the outdoors.

“It is also home to imperiled wildlife, including bald and golden eagles, badgers, peregrine falcons, and over 30 species of rare plants. Protecting this important habitat will help preserve biodiversity and allow for continued wildlife migration. Tribal leaders, elected officials, community members, and local residents voiced their overwhelming support for the proposal. We urge the Biden Administration to advance this locally-driven, widely supported effort by using the Antiquities Act to expand Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument.”

The proposed expansion area, Molok Luyuk, is located on the eastern edge of the existing monument and includes oak woodlands, rocky outcroppings, meadows of wildflowers, forests of pine, and the world’s largest stand of McNab cypress. The Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument stretches from Napa County in the south to Mendocino County in the north. Residents and stakeholders expressed their overwhelming support for the expansion when Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Bureau of Lands Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning visited the lands and held a roundtable discussion to hear from local community leaders on September 24, 2023, when BLM Deputy Director Nada Culver hosted the public meeting today, and throughout the multiple public meetings held since 2022.

MANO Project
is an initiative of Hispanic 
Access Foundation.

P: (202) 640-4342