Public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service in the new Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument are some of the most scenic and biologically diverse landscapes in northern California. They range from rolling, oak-studded hillsides to steep creek canyons and ridgelines with expansive views.
Surrounding the farms, ranches and orchards in a region stretching from Napa County to the mountains of the Mendocino National Forest north of Clear Lake, these lands provide valuable wildlife habitat, lands critical for scientific study and recreational opportunities for residents of the region and beyond.
The new national monument is within easy driving distance for residents of the San Francisco Bay Area, the Sacramento Metropolitan region and expanding communities of the North Bay Area including Santa Rosa.
On BLM-managed lands, area residents and visitors can explore monument lands by hiking on trails in the Cache Creek Wilderness, rafting the white water of Cache Creek, boating in to the secluded Cedar Roughs Wilderness, or traveling the rugged terrain of the Knoxville Recreation Area in their four-wheel-drive vehicles, motorcycles or all-terrain vehicles.
A closer look at these public lands will reveal an intricate world of plants, animals and insects that have adapted to thrive in harsh and rocky serpentine soils. These greenish-gray-colored soils lack essential nutrients needed by most plants. To survive these soils, plants must tolerate drought, exposure to heavy metals and full sun. For years, scientists have studied conditions on BLM-managed lands within the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument to improve their understanding of these habitats and the specially adapted plants.