*For Immediate Release*
Hunters and Anglers Support Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument
By J.R. Young
On December 19, 2014 officials from the Obama Administration held a public meeting to discuss the proposed Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. Officials want to know if the public lands between Lake Berryessa and Snow Mountain in the Mendocino National Forest merit designation as a national monument.
The Berryessa Snow Mountain region 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 in the Mendocino National Forest. The region provides habitat for dozens of iconic California birds and animals. Blacktail deer, wild turkey, black bears, mountain lions and herds of wild tule elk call the region home. Trout streams in the region include the trophy trout fisheries of Putah Creek and the headwaters of the Eel River. The Middle Fork of Stony Creek in the Snow Mountain Wilderness is now state-designated wild trout water, and a segment of Putah Creek is proposed for this designation as well. The bass fishing in Clear Lake and Lake Berryessa is world-class.
The Berryessa Snow Mountain region provides many places for outdoor recreation. Within close reach of the San Francisco and Sacramento residents and visitors alike also enjoy visiting these public lands for hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, horseback riding, motorized and non-motorized boating, photography, nature viewing, riding OHVs on legally designated routes and much more.
In the ever expanding and technological world in which we live, there is a need and a longing to return to the natural world and experience the wonders that the great outdoors provides. Hunting and angling are inextricably linked to a healthy environment, and it is a privilege to experience the awesome power of nature and wildlife. Therefore, it is our responsibility to recognize the importance of, and defend our wild country and public land, for all visitors to enjoy.
Establishment of a national monument will improve coordination between federal agencies, protect our clean water and provide additional federal funding opportunities for conservation management, invasive species eradication and recreational enhancement.
The outdoor recreation industry supports more than 400,000 California jobs and generates $46 billion of economic activity in the Golden State every year. Fishing and hunting are big business in the Golden State too. California’s more than 1.8 million recreational anglers contribute some $2.3 billion to the state’s economy every year, while the state’s 287,000 licensed hunters generate more than $964 million in economic impact (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife Associated Recreation). Protecting our special places encourages tourism, supports local businesses and creates desirable places to live and work.
California's Berryessa Snow Mountain region is a national treasure worthy of permanent protection for continued enjoyment today as well as for future generations. Backcountry Hunters and Anglers support permanent protection of the Berryessa Snow Mountain region and urge President Obama to use his authority to designate this area as a National Monument.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglersseeks to ensure North America's outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, through education and work on behalf of wild public lands and waters. J.R. serves on the California board of directors for Backcountry Hunters and Anglers.