Chairman Testifies Before Congress On Protection of Unique Lake County Natural Resource

BROOKS, CA (March 1, 2022)  –  Citing its unique environmental properties and its cultural significance as a site central to religious ceremonies and tribal origin stories, Yocha Dehe Tribal Chairman Anthony Roberts testified today before Congress on behalf of protections for the Lake County area currently known as Walker Ridge. 

Congressman John Garamendi is advancing a bill (H.R. 6366) to include the ridge in the already-established Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument east of Clear Lake in Lake County. The bill also calls for precedent-setting collaboration between the Federal Government and 12 Native American Tribes culturally connected to the site. That collaboration would lead to the creation of a management plan for the National Monument. 

Additionally, H.R. 6366 calls for Walker Ridge to be renamed “Molok Luyuk” (pronounced:  `Mo.loke  `Loy.uke) which means “Condor Ridge” in Yocha Dehe’s traditional Patwin language. 

“With our long history in this area, we have a unique perspective on how this land should be managed, and we are willing to apply our historical practices with modern technologies to ensure that Molok Luyuk is preserved and healthy, a place for all to enjoy,” Chairman Roberts noted in his testimony.

California Condors were once a common sight above the ridge and, according to Chairman Roberts, with proper environmental protections they could be reintroduced to the area.

Molok Luyuk is also home to endangered wildlife such as bald and golden eagles, badgers, ringtails, and peregrine falcons. In addition, the area is a recognized wildlife migration pathway for a multitude of species, including deer, elk, mountain lion, black bear, and bobcat. 

“Proper management is necessary to preserve these unique lands and protect cultural resources, while also ensuring the availability of recreational opportunities for sightseers, mountain bikers, hikers, off-highway vehicle users, campers, and equestrians,” Chairman Roberts said in his testimony. 

Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation is an independent, self-governed nation that supports our people and the Capay Valley, CA community by strengthening our culture, stewarding our land and creating economic independence for future generations.