Statement from The Wilderness Society: Rep. Sam Farr's Pinnacles National Park bill headed to House for vote

Jul 11, 2012
A bill that would upgrade California’s Pinnacles National Monument to a national park was passed unanimously by the House Natural Resources Committee today and sent to the House of Representatives for a vote.

The Pinnacles National Park Act, or H.R.  3641, was introduced last year by Rep. Sam Farr (D, CA-17) and co-sponsored by Rep. Jeff Denham’s (R, CA-19). It was first introduced by Rep. Farr in 2009.

A climbers’ paradise, located near Soledad in northern California, Pinnacles is named for its finger-like volcanic spires that dominate its wildlands. Upgrading Pinnacles to a national park would draw more visitors and help boost the tourism economy of San Benito County and other nearby communities. Pinnacles is the only National Park system site in the ancestral range of the endangered California condor. 

The Wilderness Society issued the following statement from Paul Spitler, director of Wilderness policy at The Wilderness Society:

“Today the House Natural Resources Committee unanimously approved H.R. 3641, ‘The Pinnacles National Park Act,’ legislation that would elevate this unique national monument to a national park. Pinnacles is a rare American landscape that will be even more significant as a national park, attracting new visitors to experience its oak savannas, grasslands, dramatic volcanic spires and caves. 

The Wilderness Society applauds Rep. Farr for his years of dedication to preserve and enhance Pinnacles. Rep. Farr’s legislation has the widespread support of cities and businesses that would benefit from increased tourism. We urge passage of this important bill.

While we are pleased this legislation is moving forward, H.R. 3641 no longer includes the provision that would have preserved nearly 3,000 acres of new wilderness.  The Wilderness Society has long supported this permanent protection which would have further enhanced Pinnacles’ scenic beauty and importance as a critical habitat for the California condor and other species and we urge Congress to designate these deserving lands as wilderness.”

To learn more about Pinnacles:  http://wilderness.org/article/top-place-pinnacles
 

Paul Spitler
(202) 360-1912

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