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Flights Support New Berryessa-Snow Mountain National Monument

Part of California's newest national monument Berryessa-Snow Mountain. image: Pam Flick/LightHawk

We are pleased to learn of a great outcome in California - a new National Monument! Many times over a five-year span, LightHawk flew for our conservation partner Tuleyome in their campaign to protect the Berryessa Snow Mountain region. Flights helped promote informed decision-making and contributed to joining together scattered parcels of publicly held, yet unprotected, areas vulnerable to encroachment in northern California.

“LightHawk was invaluable,” said Bob Schneider, Senior Policy Director, Tuleyome. “The ability to fly influential decision makers and reporters over the region was critical in generating the support that we needed to succeed in the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument campaign.”

Cold Canyon in the Berryessa Snow Mountain region. Visable are the steeply dipping sandstone and shales of the Great Valley formation (Cretaceous- 60-130 million years old) of the North American Plate which has been forced up by the Pacific Ocean plate. Bob Schneider/Tuleyome/LightHawk

The National Monument designation is good news for wildlife such as black bear, bald eagles, peregrine falcons, Pacific fisher and herds of Tule elk who can count on healthy habitat. Increased outdoor recreation and the associated economic opportunities will also benefit local communities and visitors to the area.

Bill Rush, a LightHawk volunteer pilot who flew in support of Tuleyome’s campaign was pleased to hear the news. “As a young man, working the boat docks at Lake Berryessa, I didn’t think much about the future of the lake, or the surrounding lands,” he remarked.

Click here to see a map of the new Berryessa-Snow Mountain National Monument and surrounding area.

That same lake is now just south of the Berryessa-Snow Mountain National Monument and Rush is one of the pilots whose flight skills helped to preserve the area so that future generations may enjoy them. Steve Bowser, Ralph Britton, David McConnell and Bruce McLean also donated flights to the effort.

From left, Lake County Supervisor Denise Rushing, Lake County News editor Elizabeth Larson, Volunteer Pilot Bill Rush. Victoria Brandon/Tuleyome/LightHawk

“It is gratifying to hear news that a project I flew for has moved towards its goal.  As a tiny part of this tireless team, I’m celebrating decades of effort coming to fruition with the National Monument status being bestowed on the Berryessa-Snow Mountain region.

Read more about the flights that helped preserve this special part of California in this story.