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Berryessa Snow Mountain Public Meeting on Dec. 19 in Napa, California

Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, will host a public meeting Friday, December 19, 2014 in Napa to discuss permanent protection for the Berryessa Snow Mountain region. The meeting will run from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center, 2277 Napa-Vallejo Highway, Building 100. Thompson will be joined by Sally Jewell, U.S. secretary of the interior; Robert Bonnie, undersecretary for natural resources and environment with the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove; and a representative for U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.. A panel discussion will also feature Austin McInerny, a mountain biker and Executive Director of National Interscholastic Cycling Association speaking in support of the protection of Berryessa Snow Mountain.

IMBA supports the protection of the Berryessa Snow Mountain region in California, and is calling on President Obama to designate the area a national monument using his powers under the Antiquities Act. The Berryessa Snow Mountain region begins near sea level at Putah Creek below Lake Berryessa and stretches about 100 miles northwest to the flanks of Snow Mountain. It spans an area of 350,000 acres and includes diverse ecosystems ranging from blue oak woodlands to sub-alpine habitat. It supports native and rare plants, as well as vast recreational opportunities including the potential for a network of hundreds of miles of mountain biking and multi-use trails.

Located less than 100 miles from the Sacramento and Bay Area metropolitan regions, the Berryessa Snow Mountain region spans five counties including Napa, Solano, Yolo, Lake, and Mendocino. The protected lands would include federal lands managed by the USFS, BLM, and Bureau of Reclamation.

IMBA has worked closely with Tuleyome, the nonprofit spearheading the conservation campaign, to ensure that mountain biking trails are considered as the proposal takes shape. Once the Berryessa Snow Mountain region is declared a national monument, the federal agencies owning the land in the region will create a common management plan, including a comprehensive recreation plan. IBMA looks forward to continued involvement in this process.

Outdoor recreation and tourism in California generates $85.4 billion in consumer spending, 732K direct jobs, $27.0 billion in wages and salaries, and $6.7 billion in state and local tax revenue. The gateway communities of the Berryessa Snow Mountain region stand to gain economically, due to the quality of the recreational opportunities that national monument designation will enhance. The designation of Berryessa Snow Mountain as a national monument is yet another example of how the recreation economy and the conservation ethic can work together to enhance and protect our cherished places to ride.