Celebrating President Joe Biden’s expansion of the Berryessa Snow Mountain

BROOKS, CA — Today, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and Kletsel Dehe Wintun Nation, in the presence of U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, Congressmen Mike Thompson, representatives for Congressman John Garamendi, federal, state, and local leaders, and regional environmental groups, marked a momentous occasion. They celebrated President Biden’s expansion of the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument to include Molok Luyuk and signed a tribal costewardship agreement with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for the management of lands in the Molok Luyuk area. This agreement, a testament to a commitment from a diverse set of stakeholders, ensures that tribes will collaborate on managing their ancestral lands and protecting cultural resources. It’s a joint effort with BLM. Collective efforts with environmental groups will also help preserve biodiversity and conserve a critical wildlife corridor.

Tribal leadership and Tracy Stone-Manning, Director of Bureau of Land Management, and Gordon Toevs, Acting California BLM Director, signed the agreement during a celebration at Séka Hills Olive Mill, which was also attended by State Majority Leader Cecilia Aguiar–Curry and State Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot.

“We are profoundly grateful for this commitment to protect tribal cultural resources and the environment. All the support we received to expand the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument and include Molok Luyuk, especially from U.S. Senator Padilla, Congressman Thompson, Congressman Garamendi, and environmental organizations — their care and commitment to tribal lands has ensured a better world for generations to come. We look forward to additional opportunities to partner in our ancestral lands,” said Yocha Dehe Chairman Anthony Roberts.

On May 2, President Biden, utilizing his authority under the Antiquities Act, played a pivotal role in expanding the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, located in Northern California. The expansion includes Molok Luyuk, a ridge on the eastern edge of the existing monument that consists of 13,753 acres of BLM-managed public lands in Lake and Colusa Counties.

The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, which requested the expansion, has a long and significant connection to Molok Luyuk, stretching back thousands of years. The ridge includes areas where religious ceremonies are practiced and sites central to vital trading routes. The monument expansion also returns an Indigenous name to the ridge. Molok Luyuk is Patwin for “Condor Ridge,” a name provided by the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation. The area was previously referred to as “Walker Ridge.”

Today’s celebration and signing ceremony is just the beginning, reflecting the continued commitment of the Biden Administration to engage with Tribal Nations to explore consultations, co-stewardship agreements, and other methods of ensuring tribes can collaborate on managing their Indigenous lands.

Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation
The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation is a self-governed, sovereign nation that supports our citizens by strengthening our culture, stewarding our land, and creating economic independence for future generations. We are commited to building strong communities and developing effective partnerships with our neighbors in California’s Capay Valley and regionally in Yolo, Solano, Colusa, Lake, and Napa Counties, where our people have lived from time immemorial. (www.yochadehe.gov).

Written By

Crystal Smyth Schneider