President Designates Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument

Friday, July 10, 2015
Local delegation celebrates Berryessa designation at the White House. (Pictured left to right: Randy Moore, Regional Forest Service; Jose Gonzalez, Founder of Latino Outdoors; Judy Ahmann, Rancher; Sara Husby, Executive Director of Tuleyome; Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield); Congressman Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena); Winters Mayor Cecilia Aguilar-Curry; and Assemblymember Bill Dodd (D-Napa))

WASHINTON, DC – Assemblymember Bill Dodd (D-Napa) along with Congressman Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena) and environmental leaders attended a White House ceremony today where President Obama designated the Berryessa Snow Mountain region as California’s newest national monument. The President’s action comes after years of work by Congressman Thompson and local residents. The designation follows a recent resolution by Assemblymember Dodd that called on the President to create the national monument. The resolution was passed by the state legislature with bipartisan support. Dodd’s resolution marked the first time the State of California has formally petitioned the White House for such a designation.

“The designation of the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument marks the culmination of a long standing effort to promote and protect the Berryessa Snow Mountain Wilderness. This is a great win for California and our environment, our local economies, and future generations.” said Assemblymember Bill Dodd. “President Obama has answered the call of our region and of our state to preserve these lands.” said Dodd.

The President’s action will permanently preserve approximately 331,000 acres of existing federal land, rich in wildlife, and a haven for recreational activity due to its close proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento. First exercised by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, the authority of the Antiquities Act has been used by 16 presidents to protect areas of unique significance to our national heritage. President Obama is responsible for 19 of those designations. Berryessa Snow Mountain now joins the ranks of such celebrated American landmarks as the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty, and Muir Woods.

“Local businesses, conservation groups, outdoor recreation groups, and Congressman Thompson have worked long and hard for the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument,” said Dodd. “I was happy to lend my support to this grassroots movement.”

Studies have shown significant economic benefits to areas surrounding national monuments, and a study commissioned by the Winters Chamber of Commerce projects $50 million in additional economic activity in our region due to the designation over the next 5 years. There are now 117 National Monument designations throughout the United States and occupied territories.  Recent estimates show that upwards of $50 billion are added to the national economy from visits to public lands ever year. In California, tens of millions of people participate in outdoor recreation, supporting over 700,000 jobs. The designation of the national monument was supported by a broad coalition of hundreds of local businesses, environmental organizations, and outdoor recreation groups. The local conservation group Tuleyome took a leadership role.