By Chris Morrill, Executive Director
For the past two years, many of our worlds have shrunk dramatically. The “bubble” of people with whom we’ve been able to connect has been much smaller than we needed. We’ve missed birthdays, holidays, annual trips, and even simple dinner parties and other social events. It’s clear that has impacted each of us and many are ready to find opportunities for more connection.
This month, most of the CalWild staff and a number of strong supporters took a tour in and around the Berryessa-Snow Mountain National Monument. It was a wonderful experience and I loved getting to see an area CalWild has worked on for years. Condor Ridge/Molok Luyuk, on the eastern edge of the National Monument, has faced many development threats. The Bureau of Land Management recently rejected a proposed industrial wind turbine project in this area in large part because of the dramatic environmental impacts the project would have, including leveling the entire ridgeline.
Condor Ridge is an area that is sacred to the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, who’s name for the ridge is Molok Luyuk (which means “Condor Ridge” in Patwin). After a lot of engagement with the Tribe and environmentalists, we were excited by Rep. John Garamendi introducing a bill to expand the Berryessa-Snow Mountain National Monument to include Molok Luyuk. Learn more about that effort here.
CalWild staff and supporters were given an opportunity to tour the Ridge and were thus able to experience the spiritual nature of the region. The vistas reached north up to Mt. Shasta and south down to Mt. Diablo. It overlooked beautiful river valleys and contained picturesque wildflowers. The ridge was situated so you could see the Sacramento Valley and Sutter Buttes in the east and the inner coastal range in the west.
While the beauty of the area was undeniable, I left remembering how impactful it is to connect with people over special natural places. Our shared experience of Molok Luyuk and beauty of the area will remain with us for a long time. As we continue to reconnect with people, getting outside to the wild places around us are important spaces we can return to our old selves and reconnect with more people around us.
Please let me know your thoughts, comments, and questions by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.