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Support Grows for Berryessa-Snow Mountain

May 21, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO - Support is growing to designate the Berryessa-Snow Mountain region, just north of San Francisco and west of Sacramento, as a National Conservation Area. Local environmental groups, recreationists and business owners are praising legislation introduced by California Representatives Mike Thompson, John Garamendi and Lynn Woolsey to protect more than 100 miles of federal lands between Lake Berryessa and Snow Mountain.

Sara Husby, executive director of the conservation group Tuleyome, says community members have long called for protection for the scenic area so that it can be enjoyed by future generations.

"It will secure continued recreation opportunities and provide well-managed recreation and user education. We feel that it'll safeguard the region's natural beauty, sensitive areas, wildlife and rare plants."

Husby says the whitewater rapids of Cache Creek and Lake Berryessa's popular bass fishery, hiking and horseback riding make the area a major outdoor recreation destination.

Paul Spitler, senior regional conservation representative for The Wilderness Society, says protecting Berryessa-Snow Mountain is a home run for California's land, water, people and economy.

"It'll ensure that the lands remain the way they are, will prevent reckless development like road construction and unregulated mining that would really harm the region's natural character."

Stephen Karr, chairman of the board for Putah Creek Trout, says protecting this area will help the waterways that so many people already love and use.

"It would help us to promote use of the area not just only for fishing, but for other outdoor enthusiasts. It's used for kayaking, other forms of boating, as well as the fishing, some swimming although the water is 50 degrees year 'round."

The region covers four Northern California counties. The Napa County Board of Supervisors recently passed a resolution in support of making Berryessa-Snow Mountain a National Conservation Area.

More information is at www.berryessasnowmountain.org.

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA