BROOKS, CA  – On September 24, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation was honored to join U.S Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Tribal and community leaders, and Members of Congress for a tour of the Berryessa Snow Mountain Monument Expansion Act area known as Molok Luyuk (“Condor Ridge” in the Patwin language).

“We are humbled and excited to have our Nation’s leaders visit our ancestral lands, particularly Molok Luyuk, an area of sacred and historic importance to Patwin tribes,” said Yocha Dehe Tribal Chairman Anthony Roberts. “Tribes have stewarded this area for millennia and welcome deeper collaboration with the Department of Interior and local stakeholders to protect Patwin culture and heritage.”

During the visit, Secretary Haaland expressed her support for elevating the voice of tribes and local communities in discussions surrounding the protection of public lands.

Molok Luyuk is a mountainous ridge located at the eastern edge of Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument in Lake and Colusa counties.  The area is the site of religious ceremonies and trade routes, and a place where Native American ancestors hunted game and gathered plants for food and medicine.

The ridge also provides vital habitat for many plant and animal species threatened by development and climate change.

Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument was created in 2015, leaving most of Molok Luyuk out of the designation. Since then, the Expand Berryessa coalition–a group of tribes, environmental and conservation organizations—has been pushing to protect the entirety of Molok Luyuk by expanding the monument to include the remaining 13,753 acres of the ridge.

“Many of the plant and animal species within Molok Luyuk are traditionally important to the lifeways of the Patwin people, and we consider their protection and stewardship to be part of our sacred responsibility to the land,” said Chairman Roberts.

The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation thanks its Congressional representatives and Secretary Haaland for their ongoing support for efforts to help tribes steward and protect these lands for the enjoyment of future generations.

Written By

Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation