Permanent protection of the Berryessa Snow Mountain region has been a top Redwood Chapter priority for a number of years. Only a short drive north of the San Francisco Bay Area in the Inner Coast Range, these very special 350,000 acres of federal lands contain lush forests, wildflower meadows, three designated Wilderness areas, and a Wild and Scenic River. The region is home to tule elk, river otters, California’s second largest population of wintering bald eagles, and the rare Pacific fisher. Berryessa Snow Mountain is a biodiversity hotspot and also a fishing, hiking, camping, birding and horseback-riding paradise.
While continuing to maintain our vigilance in protecting our coastline, towering coastal forests, and the rivers that link them, Redwood Chapter is turning an increasing amount of attention to the defense of another iconic ecosystem characteristic of our region -- upland oak woodlands. These special places with their unique set of plants and animals do not benefit from the regulatory protections that govern forests containing merchantable timber, and they are simultaneously subject to great development pressure and the hazards of climate change. Both Sonoma and Napa Groups are currently deeply involved in efforts to protect woodlands from vineyard and residential development, and we expect this effort to consume a substantial amount of the chapter’s time and resources in 2015.
A new feature-length documentary, The Russian River: All Rivers– The Value of an American Watershed, has been shown in several Sonoma and Mendocino County venues in the fall of 2014. The film dovetails perfectly with many of the Sierra Club’s ongoing conservation campaigns on the North Coast. Redwood Chapter is sponsoring a free screening at 7 pm on Thursday, February 12 at Summerfield Cinemas in Santa Rosa. A brief Q&A session with the filmmakers will follow the screening. In the meantime we encourage you learn more about this gripping documentary and see the trailer at http://www.russianriverallrivers.com/.