--U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today introduced legislation that would designate the Berryessa Snow Mountain region as a National Conservation Area to better manage and protect 319,000 acres of federal lands in Lake, Mendocino, Napa and Yolo Counties and to promote recreational opportunities across the region.
Senator Boxer said, "The Berryessa Snow Mountain region is one of California's treasures, and this bill will help ensure that it is protected for future generations to enjoy. The designation of a new National Conservation Area will not only help preserve the region's natural resources, it will also promote tourism and create jobs in local communities."
The legislation would designate a new National Conservation Area encompassing 319,000 acres of existing federal lands stretching more than 100 miles from Putah Creek below Lake Berryessa up to the peak of Snow Mountain. The area is a haven for hiking, camping, rafting, and horseback riding, and is home to a diverse array of wildlife including bald and golden eagles, black bears and tule elk.
The designation would unite all currently owned federal lands within the National Conservation Area under one management plan, which would allow for better coordination among federal agencies to protect wildlife, restore habitat, improve water quality, expand recreational opportunities and prevent wildfires.
The designation will also help raise the profile of the Berryessa Snow Mountain region, increasing tourism and business opportunities for local communities. The bill would create a public advisory committee so that local residents, outdoors enthusiasts and business owners can share their ideas for preserving and promoting the area's wildlife and pristine rivers, forests, canyons and creeks.
The measure has strong support from a broad coalition of local governments, elected officials, business owners, landowners, farmers, and many conservation and recreation groups.
The Senate bill is a companion bill to legislation introduced in May by Reps. Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena), Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma) and John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove).