Project Profile: Permanent Protection for the Berryessa Snow Mountains

Smittle Creek Photo: Jim Rose

Charlotte Orr is the Media & Communications Manager at Tuleyome. The Conservation Alliance twice-funded Tuleyome’s campaign to permanently protect the Berryessa Snow Mountains as a National Conservation Area or National Monument. 
Tuleyome, a conservation non-profit working to protect the wild and agricultural heritage of the Northern Inner Coast Range and Western Sacramento Valley is working to protect over 350,000 acres of federal public lands in the Berryessa Snow Mountain region. This area is the crown jewel of Northern California’s wild Inner Coast Range.
These public lands stretch nearly one hundred miles from the shores of Lake Berryessa to the flanks of Snow Mountain. The area includes thriving blue oak woodlands, Shasta red fir forests, creek side habitat, an annual explosion of wildflowers, nearly half of California’s dragonfly species, a wealth of butterflies, river otters, trout, tule elk, deer, mountain lions, bears, osprey, and provides habitat to California’s second largest population of wintering bald eagles. The Berryessa Snow Mountain region has botanical biodiversity that makes it the center of the California global hot spot.
Campaign Progress:
Legislation to protect the area as a National Conservation Area was introduced in 2011, but due to a lame duck session in congress, it had to be reintroduced the following year. Backers of the legislation in the house and senate include Senator Barbara Boxer, and Representatives Mike Thompson, John Garamendi, and Jared Huffman.

With 2014 coming to a close, Congressman Mike Thompson has pronounced a call for action: if congress will not protect the Berryessa Snow Mountain region, then President Obama should.
During his January State of the Union Address, President Obama made a promise to use his authority to protect more of the country’s magnificent federal public lands for the benefit of future generations.
Protecting the Berryessa Snow Mountain Region will not only help future, but also current generations by boosting tourism which will help local economies and improve recreation opportunities for the public. The Berryessa Snow Mountain region is a popular destination for those who enjoy going outside to hike, horseback ride, and hunt, camp, fish, bird watch, use motorized vehicles on designated routes, enjoy both motorized and non-motorized boating, water recreation, and more.
Communities Taking Action:
By October, 2014 over 100 local businesses and more than 43,000 individuals have taken a stand to support permanent protection for the Berryessa Snow Mountain region and the list continues to grow.
Many nationally recognized conservation, recreation and sportsmen groups have also voiced support for the designation, including the Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, International Mountain Bicycling Association, Trout Unlimited, Back Country Horsemen, the Equine Land Conservation Resource, and many more. The Blue Ribbon Coalition, a national group that champions responsible off-road recreation is also supportive as long as the Monument designation captures the recreation access tenets in the legislation and public narratives.
Permanent protection of these federal public lands will improve coordination between federal agencies, help adjustments to climate change, keep our water clean and provide additional federal funding opportunities for conservation management, invasive species eradication, and recreational enhancement.
Take Action! How You Can Help:
Ask President Obama to permanently protect the Berryessa Snow Mountain region. Go to our website at or click here to fill out an online postcard of support!