Sweeping vista from newly acquired property.

The Wilderness Land Trust Protects Property in the Proposed Berryessa-Snow Mountain National Monument

The Wilderness Land Trust Protects Property in the Proposed Berryessa-Snow Mountain National Monument

Mar. 24, 2015

A 40-acre land acquisition project protects a new piece of California's Cache Creek Wilderness


SACRAMENTO, CA … Perched above a tributary to Cache Creek with views of the surrounding Northern California Wilderness, 40 acres that could have been developed as a private retreat will now be forever home to mountain lions, golden eagles, majestic oaks, hikers and hunters.  Humans will be “visitors who shall not remain” — consistent with the Wilderness Act of 1964.  The Wilderness Land Trust recently purchased this private property, one of 139 private properties inside the Wilderness, and will now work to transfer it to the United States Bureau of Land Management for permanent protection as Wilderness.


“The acquisition of this property is really something for us to be proud of. We greatly appreciate the work of Wilderness Land Trust. Their efforts in acquiring this key 40-acre parcel has significantly enhanced the values of Cache Creek Wilderness Area”, said U.S. Bureau of Land Management Ukiah Field Office Manager, Rich Burns.


The Trust is working systematically to eliminate the holes in the fabric of this wilderness, to make it complete and protect its wealth of values.This is the third property the Trust has protected in the Cache Creek Wilderness—totaling 280 acres of newly protected Wilderness. All these properties are in the proposed Berryessa-Snow Mountain National Monument, stretching from oak woodlands just above fertile valley floor to high alpine environments, providing clean water for local farms and ranches in the Capay Valley, featuring the annual Almond Festival every spring, for 100 years.  The area’s oak woodlands host spring wildflowers and over 170 species of birds, 105 mammal species, 58 amphibians and reptiles and over 5,000 kinds of insects.


In February, U.S. Representative Mike Thompson and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation to designate the area as a National Monument. The Berryessa Snow Mountain region stretches nearly one hundred miles from Northwest Solano County to the flanks of Snow Mountain. It encompasses more than 350,000 acres across Napa, Mendocino, Lake, Solano and Yolo Counties in Northern California. The area is rich in biodiversity, including bald and golden eagles, black bears, mountain lions, tule elk, and rare plants found nowhere else on Earth. The area provides habitat to so many kinds of plants and animals that it has been named a biodiversity hotspot. Establishment of a National Monument will improve coordination between federal agencies and provide additional federal funding opportunities for conservation protection, invasive plant eradication, recreation management, and a coordinated multi-agency fire management plan.


“The Cache Creek Wilderness provides clean water for local organic farms, critical migration corridors for wildlife and gorgeous scenic vistas for hikers and hunters,” said Aimee Rutledge, the Trust’s Vice President and California Program Manager. “Eliminating the possibility for incompatible private uses protects these important values.”


Cache Creek Wilderness (www.wilderness.net)

The United States Congress designated the Cache Creek Wilderness in 2006 and it now has a total of 27,294 acres. All of this wilderness is located in California and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The Cache Creek Wilderness is centered on a 17-mile stretch of Cache Creek flowing from Clear Lake in eastern Lake County. The prominent feature within the wilderness is Cache Creek, which runs east towards the Capay Valley and the Sacramento River while forming a steep-sided canyon through most of the area. The steep canyon walls occasionally open to broad, grassy meadows with scattered valley oaks, such as Baton Flat, Wilson Valley, and Kennedy Flats. Numerous steep tributaries also feed into Cache Creek within the wilderness including Dry Creek, Rocky Creek, Trout Creek, and Crack Canyon. Outside the river canyon, the majority of the wilderness is dominated by rugged chaparral-covered hills. Elevations within the wilderness area range from 750 feet on Cache Creek at the eastern boundary to 3,196 feet at Brush Sky High.


The National Wilderness Preservation System

Wilderness is a refuge for animals, plants, clean water, clean air and a foundation for 21st century conservation. It may hold the key to future conservation and the tools for adapting to global climate change. However, the system is still filled with holes, 180,000 acres of private lands that fracture the whole. Across the country there are plans to develop mines, retreats, logging operations and resorts deep within wilderness holdings, fragmenting a resource that cannot afford to be lost.  The Trust’s continuing mission to eliminate these pockets of inholdings and create a seamless wilderness system is vital, echoing the spirit and intent of the original Wilderness Act. The Wilderness Land Trust is the only national organization dedicated solely to buying these lands and adding them to the National Wilderness Preservation System.


The Wilderness Land Trust

The Wilderness Land Trust (WLT) is a small, highly specialized nonprofit organization established to buy and protect wilderness land. Since it was founded in 1992, the non-profit organization has preserved 416 parcels comprised of more than 42,000 acres of wilderness inholdings in 91 designated and proposed wilderness areas. The Wilderness Land Trust, a 501(c)(3) organization, has offices in California and Colorado. WLT is an accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission and is a 1% for the Planet Non-Profit Partner. For more information visit our website www.wildernesslandtrust.org.


Contact: Aimee Rutledge, Vice President and California Program Manager

415-606-5895, aimee@wildernesslandtrust.org 



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