San Francisco, Calif. - Yesterday, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland visited Molok Luyuk (pronounced “Ma.lok/ Lue.yoke”), the proposed addition to Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument near Sacramento, California. Haaland met with representatives from the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, Kletsel Dehe Wintun Nation, Koi Nation, Pomo of Upper Lake Habematolel, local elected officials, the Conservation Lands Foundation, and other conservation and outdoor recreation groups who are leading the effort to permanently protect the Molok Luyuk landscape.
Below is a statement from Elyane Stefanick, California Program Director for Conservation Lands Foundation, in response to the Secretary’s visit:
“We thank Secretary Haaland for her visit and interest in hearing from Tribal Nations and local communities on how protecting Molok Luyuk is necessary to safeguard sites of sacred, cultural and historic significance, wildlife and rare plant habitat, and outdoor recreation for current and future generations.
“The Biden administration, with support from Secretary Haaland, has protected more than 1.5 million acres of lands sacred to Native communities by designating the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni - Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument in Arizona and the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument in Nevada. Expanding Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument to include Molok Luyuk builds on that legacy, while helping to meet the administration’s goals of protecting 30% of lands and waters in the United States by 2030.
“Molok Luyuk means “Condor Ridge'' in the Patwin language and is the ancestral home of the Hill Patwin people. Descendants of the Hill Patwin live here today as the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, the Kletzel Dehe Wintun Nation and the Cachil DeHe Band of Wintun Indians. Historic trails across Molok Luyuk linked these tribes to each other and to the wider network of trade and cultural exchange throughout the region. Indigenous people from all directions have come to its springs for ceremonies and healing since time immemorial.
“Adding Molok Luyuk to Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument is supported by Tribal Nations and Indigenous organizations, including the Yocha Dehe, the Kletsel Dehe, and the National Congress of American Indians. The tribes are a significant cultural and economic presence in this region and have pledged their assistance and resources to manage Molok Luyuk. The expansion is also supported by Lake County, the California Department of Natural Resources, and many conservation and recreation groups in California and across the nation.
“We truly appreciate Secretary Haaland’s visit. We hope she leaves the landscape inspired and carries forward the message that Tribes and local communities share: Molok Luyuk is worthy of and in need of permanent protection.”