Pres. Obama just declared the “Berryessa-Snow Mountain National Monument”!

The official declaration provides a nice summary of some of the area’s unique and significant geological and ecological qualities.

Cascadians & Bioreregionalists should shout out the news from the highest rooftops!

If you look on the new Master Map of Cascadia, you will see that Snow Mountain is entered as the farthest southwestern point of Cascadia in its “foot” in the Klamath-North Coast Range of N. California. The dividing line between the Central Valley and Coastal Mountains, Snow Mtn stands at the headwaters of the Eel River which gathers waters from this entire area, and drains into the Pacific just north of Cape Mendocino and just south of Eureka….

The shattering of the North Coast Range by the San Andreas Fault and our micro-plates differentiates the north-trending rivers like the Eel from south-trending rivers like the Russian. Further, the name “Snow Mountain” suggests its uniqueness going south climatically, where, in normal times, the last feathered edge of the N Pacific storm-track hits the twin peaks…. For the southern boundary of Cascadia can be found where high elevation snow lasts into early summer, where closed-canopy forests end, where sheltered snowmelt & springs feed river flow, feeding salmon habitat, etc. So, in many ways, Snow Mtn stands forth as an important landmark bioregionally.

(We need not follow the geographic extent southward to Lake Berryessa, but it does highlight Snow Mountain….)

From a bioregional perspective, Snow Mtn, like the Shasta “gate” and the twin horns of Cape Mendocino, are shared sacred sites between Cascadia and California….If we become deeply grounded in the life of the larger place, then we may learn the shared guardianship of such “bridges, gates,” etc.

– A Note From David McCloskey