Monday, March 22, 2010

"Natural Beauty"

It is difficult to fathom that there could be a plot of ground in California that hasn't been extensively tramped across, camped on, photographed or blogged about.

If anything comes close, it's the proposed Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area, a half-million-acre section of the inner coast range that is home to some of the most biologically diverse landscape in the state, ranging from unspoiled rivers and rolling oak woodlands that begin near the town of Winters to the craggy 7,000-foot peak of Snow Mountain in the Mendocino National Forest, 100 miles to the north.

Wedged between the Bay Area and Sacramento and spanning six counties, this 100-mile swath has not been completely overlooked. State and local groups have pressed hard to unify a patchwork of land managed by more than a dozen federal, state and local agencies into a national conservation area.

That low-key but steady campaign was brought into wider focus when the corridor was included on a list of prospective national monuments in an Interior Department draft document leaked to the media in February.

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