For his work to protect the America’s public lands, including the Berryessa Snow Mountain area in his district, Congressman Mike Thompson was honored by The Wilderness Society and other organizations as one of America’s Great Outdoors Congressional Champions.
Rep. Thompson introduced the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area Act (H.R. 5545) that would protect more than 300,000 acres of oak savannah, pine and fir forests, and rivers in California. This area is a haven for plants and animals and is a popular recreation destination for hunting, fishing, hiking and camping.
“It was a high honor to receive this award,” said Thompson. “The Berryessa Snow Mountain region is a national treasure and I will keep working to make sure the area is managed efficiently and effectively so it’s protected for our kids and grandkids to enjoy.”
“California is fortunate to have such a strong advocate for protecting and reconnecting people to the great outdoors,” said Paul Spitler, director of wilderness policy at The Wilderness Society. “Californians depend on our great wild places for clean air and water, sustainable jobs and recreation opportunities. We salute Congressman Thompson for his efforts to ensure that current and future generations are able to enjoy America’s great outdoors.”
The Berryessa Snow Mountain boasts a stunning display of annual wildflowers, glittering snowfields, and clean water flowing from Cache Creek, a water source that sustains surrounding communities. Many animals - such as bald eagle, tule elk, Pacific fisher, black bear, mountain lion, osprey, river otter, trout and butterfly and dragonfly species - call this area home.
For all these reasons, Berryessa is a haven for hiking, biking, kayaking, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, bird watching and camping. Protecting this gem is a win-win for the spectacular lands and surrounding communities, as outdoor tourism keeps money flowing in. According to the Outdoor Industry Foundation, California’s outdoor recreation economy contributes $46 billion annually to the state’s economy and supports 408,000 jobs.
Great Outdoors America Week offered an opportunity for advocates to take direct action on a number of conservation issues, ranging from wilderness and national monument protection to reconnecting inner-city kids to the great outdoors. Great Outdoors America Week is also another example of the long-standing, bipartisan tradition of conservation in the United States.