Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
|For Immediate Release: |
March 30, 2009
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553
Boxer and Costa Laud President for Signing Lands Package
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative Jim Costa (D-CA) today praised President Obama for signing the public lands package, which includes their bill, The Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park Wilderness Act, to protect nearly 85,000 acres of pristine public land within the Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park.
Senator Boxer introduced this bill in the Senate with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Representatives Costa and Devin Nunes (R-CA) introduced it in the House.
Senator Boxer said, “I thank President Obama for signing this important bill, which reflects a lot of bipartisan work and compromise to protect wild and beautiful lands in California. California is defined by its environment, and we have preserved some magnificent places for future generations.”
Representative Costa said, “The lands bill includes many measures that will help our state and our Valley. One section adds 85,000 acres of wilderness in the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. 40,000 of these acres will be a new wilderness area, and will be named after former Congressman John Krebs who served two terms in Congress representing the San Joaquin Valley and the central Sierra Nevada mountains. This new acreage becomes part of the Mineral King Wilderness Area, which Congressman Krebs created to protect from development during his time in office. Therefore, it is fitting and appropriate we name this area after him.”
Specifically, the bill designates these acres as wilderness — the highest level of protection for public federal land. The areas will remain open to the public for recreational activities such as camping, hiking, and horseback riding. The wilderness area will now include the Redwood Mountain Grove, the largest Giant Sequoia grove within the park. It will also include California’s longest cave and the Old Hockett Trail, one of the first cross-Sierra routes in the southern Sierra Nevada range. The land is home to many wild animals, including the California Spotted Owl and the Golden Eagle.
Approximately 39,740 acres of this proposed wilderness area will be named after John Krebs, a former Fresno County Supervisor and U.S. Congressman who successfully fought to keep Mineral King Valley undeveloped by transferring the land into the National Park.
Boxer added, “Today, we finally honor John Krebs – a great conservationist and legislator – with this long overdue and fitting tribute. John courageously led the fight to protect Mineral King Valley from development and deserves our gratitude for its pristine, natural beauty today.”
This legislation was developed in consultation with local communities, elected officials, recreation organizations, businesses, federal and state agencies and local property owners.