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Airline travel and more disrupted by global tech outage; Nevada gets OK to sell federal public lands for affordable housing;Science Moms work to foster meaningful talks on climate change; Scientists reconsider net-zero pledges to reach climate goals.

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Tribes call for new Sáttítla National Monument in northeastern CA

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Wednesday, February 21, 2024   

Tribes in far northeastern California are pressing President Joe Biden to create a new national monument about 30 miles from Mount Shasta.

The Pit River Tribe is asking the president to use his powers under the Antiquities Act to create the new Sáttítla National Monument on just over 205,000 acres in the Medicine Lake Highlands.

Radley Davis, an advocate for the Sáttítla National Monument and a citizen of the Illmawi Band of the Pit River Tribe, said the area is a very important watershed.

"The headwaters of Northern California goes all the way down into the San Francisco Bay Area, gets collected and goes to the aqueduct," Davis pointed out. "That gets further transmitted down in Southern California for agriculture, so we feel protecting this area is very, very key."

Hydrologists said the volcanically formed aquifers below the surface capture snowmelt and store as much water as California's 200 largest surface reservoirs. The Pit River Tribe and the Modoc Nation continuously use the Sáttítla area for ceremonies and gathering medicines. It is also sacred to the Shasta, Karuk and Wintu tribes.

Davis acknowledged there has been some confusion with some local residents mistakenly thinking the area would become a national park with entry fees, rather than a national monument.

"It would not take away any of the rights that people would have to go up and enjoy the land," Davis emphasized. "The cabin owners would still be able to enjoy the winter and the spring and the summer up there. People would still be able to enjoy horseback riding."

The Pit River Tribe has been in litigation with the Bureau of Land Management and CalPine Energy Corporation for 25 years, trying to block consideration of any geothermal projects.


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