Big Wilderness Protection Bill Passes U.S. House, Heads to Senate
Monday, March 1, 2021
SAN GABRIEL MOUNTAINS, Calif. -- A massive public-lands bill, now headed to the U.S. Senate, would better protect more than three million acres of public land, including one million acres in California.
The Protecting America's Wilderness and Public Lands Act combines eight pieces of legislation, including four that cover the Golden State.
Belinda Faustinos, executive director of the nonprofit Nature for All, said bills like the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act will make the wilderness experience much more accessible to families.
"The U.S. Forest Service has managed the San Gabriel Mountains for purposes of water supply, which is critically important," Faustinos pointed out. "However, there was very little attention paid to how it could be managed as a recreational resource."
In addition, the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act would benefit the Los Padres National Forest, and the Carrizo Plain National Monument and would designate a 400-mile National Scenic Trail from Los Angeles to Big Sur.
The Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act would protect more than 300,000 acres, encourage wildfire prevention and boost the outdoor economy. But opponents argue the changes could hamper jobs in logging, oil and gas development and mineral extraction.
Kate Hoit, California state director for the Vet Voice Foundation, supports the bills, adding public lands have played a pivotal role in helping veterans recover from the stress of deployments.
"There's 1.8 million living veterans in California right now," Hoit explained. "And the ability to access these public lands has made it easier to transition back to civilian life - whether that's reconnecting with family and friends, or hunting, fishing, hiking and finding time, and peace and solitude, in the outdoors."
A fourth bill, the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act, would add 191,000 acres to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in Los Angeles.
Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
get more stories like this via email
RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia's General Assembly Special Session begins today to budget more than $4 billion in federal COVID relief funds, and advocates …
ROSLINDALE, Mass. - A new report finds Massachusetts residents would rather repair electronic devices than send them to landfills, but manufacturers …
DENVER-During the COVID health emergency, the federal government made school meals available for free to all students, regardless of their financial …
HELENA, Mont. - COVID-19 is underscoring the importance of ensuring that people's estates are in order, but estate planning can be be tricky for …
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Pandemic fallout still has U.S. states clawing their way back to normalcy, and New Mexico believes its decision to provide more …
CONCORD, N.H. - New polling finds many New Hampshire voters think it's important that wealthy individuals and corporations pay what's described as …
AMARILLO, Texas - The American Farm Bureau Federation hosts more than 100 college level chapters across 35 states, but this is the first time its …
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - As activists mark more than 100 days of protest since the April 21 death of Andrew Brown Junior - killed outside his Elizabeth …