The United States Congress designated the Cedar Roughs Wilderness (map
) in 2006 and it now has a total of 6,287 acres
All of this wilderness is located in California
and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
The Cedar Roughs Wilderness, west of Lake Berryessa in Napa County, is a large mound of "serpentine" soil. Serpentine, California’s official mineral, is a bluish-green (but sometimes reddish) rock that is not only nutrient poor, but poisonous to many plants since it naturally contains mercury and other harsh elements.
Despite this, the area is bursting with plant life that has evolved to not only survive, but to thrive in the harsh soil. One of these plants is the rare Sargent cypress which can range from small shrubs kept at pygmy size by especially pure areas of serpentine soil, to handsome trees sixty feet or more in height. It is this tree-form of the cypress that convinced pioneers to erroneously call the area "Cedar" Roughs.
The area is also known to be a black bear breeding area. Indeed, Cedar Roughs supports Napa County’s last wild black bear population. Deer, squirrels, coyote and other wildlife also roam the area.