Earlier this week, CalWild’s Senior Policy Director Ryan Henson traveled to the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument to meet with Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Tracy Stone-Manning, Representatives Mike Thompson and John Garamendi, along with federal, Tribal, state, and local officials, and community members to share our vision for conserving the natural and cultural resources in the region.
There is pending congressional legislation to expand the monument by 3,925 acres, rename the area commonly known as “Walker Ridge” to Condor Ridge, or Molok Luyuk in the Patwin language, and provide opportunities for the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service to further collaborate with Tribes in the management of the National Monument.
A hidden gem
Molok Luyuk has earned its reputation as a paradise for botanists and scientists alike, thanks to its remarkable plant diversity and captivating geological wonders. But this enchanting terrain is not just a sanctuary for flora and rocks; it’s also a bustling wildlife corridor, frequented by majestic elk, deer, mountain lions, and the magnificent golden eagle.
In recent years, Molok Luyuk has witnessed a surge in popularity among outdoor enthusiasts seeking recreational opportunities like wildflower viewing and hiking. And for good reason – standing atop Molok Luyuk on a clear day, one can take in the breathtaking panorama of California, stretching from the southern reaches of the Bay Area all the way to the towering presence of Mount Shasta.
But there’s more to Molok Luyuk than meets the eye. In a groundbreaking move, H.R. 6366/S. 4080 presents a unique proposition that has garnered attention nationwide. This bill introduces a framework for tribal involvement in the day-to-day management of federal lands in California, opening up new avenues for Indigenous communities to play a crucial role in shaping the destiny of these natural treasures.
The threats this area faces
Since the 1970s, the BLM parcels within Molok Luyuk have faced relentless threats from ill-conceived mining ventures, road construction initiatives, and energy development proposals. Compounding these challenges, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has struggled with inadequate resources to effectively oversee recreational activities and other uses in this area.
The proposed inclusion of Molok Luyuk within the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, coupled with the stipulation of a comprehensive management plan, holds the promise of transformative change. Furthermore, the provision for the Yoche Dehe Wintun Nation to actively participate in the day-to-day management represents a groundbreaking step forward.
We want to extend gratitude to Secretary Haaland and Director Tracy Stone-Manning for meeting with local community members about the opportunity to expand BSMNM, and protect Molok Luyuk. Please take action and thank Secretary Haaland for visiting this precious area.