Home Events - CNPS Marin Chapter Meeting – 8 May, 2023
Serpentine Ridge on Molok Luyuk

Chapter Meeting – 8 May, 2023

” Monumental Opportunities: Molok Luyuk and Beyond”

Guest Speaker: Nick Jensen, Conservation Program Director CNPS

7:30 p.m. – Online Zoom Presentation
preregister HERE

Oak Woodland on Molok Yuluk Jim Rose sMolok Luyuk (Patwin for Condor Ridge) is a fabled area of botanical richness formerly known as Walker Ridge. Located in Lake and Colusa Counties just west of Clearlake, the area is home to nearly 500 native taxa, more than three dozen plants included in the CNPS Rare Plant Inventory and a bewildering array of habitats. Molok Luyuk is notable for its variety of habitats influenced by serpentinite, our state rock, from barren serpentine ridges to seasonal meadows dotted with showy wildflowers. The ridge is also of great cultural significance to Native Americans. As noted last year by Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation Tribal Chairman Anthony Roberts, Molok Luyuk is “steeped in thousands of years of rich history and is profoundly meaningful to the Patwin people.”

Over the past couple of decades, the area has been targeted by several commercial wind development proposals, which threatened thousands of acres of irreplaceable habitats. These threats led CNPS and a growing number of allied organizations, members of the local community, and the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation to pursue permanent protection of Molok Luyuk through federal legislation.

This year’s H.R. 1396, authored by Representatives John Garamendi and Mike Thompson, and companion legislation, S.683, authored by Senator s Alex Padilla and Dianne Feinstein, seeks to ensure permanent protection of the ridge. The legislation would add a portion of the ridge to the adjacent Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, change the area’s name officially to Molok Luyuk, and require cooperative management of the monument with Native American Tribes.

In his talk, CNPS Conservation Program Director, Nick Jensen, will discuss Molok Luyuk’s botanical resources and the path forward, in 2023, to the ridge’s permanent protection. The talk will also provide background on the historical and current use of the Antiquities Act, and the prospects for large-scale conservation in the coming months/years.

Nick Jensen – BiographySerpentine Ridge on Molok Yuluk Tuleyome s
Nick Jensen currently serves as the Conservation Program Director for the California Native Plant Society (CNPS). In this position he oversees the conservation work of staff and volunteer advocates statewide. Nick’s work involves state and federal legislative advocacy, project level work including presiding over litigation, participation in coalitions of environmental organizations, media relations, and supervising a team of talented conservation professionals.
Nick earned his BS degree in Environmental Horticulture at UC Davis, and recently completed his Ph.D. in botany at California Botanic Garden/Claremont Graduate University. As a graduate student Nick produced the first Flora of Tejon Ranch, documenting plant diversity on California’s largest contiguous piece of private land. He also studied evolutionary patterns in perennial Streptanthus (jewelflowers). From 2006-2010, he was employed by CNPS, first as a Vegetation Program Assistant, and later as the Rare Plant Program Director. Nick has also worked as a botanist for the U.S. Forest Service, Chicago Botanic Garden, and the private consulting industry. He has taught botany classes to professionals and interested members of the public for CNPS, RSABG, the Jepson Herbarium, and Theodore Payne Foundation.

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