Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

For Immediate Release:
September 11, 2008  
Contact:
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553

Senate Energy Committee Approves Three Boxer Bills to Protect More than 700,000 Acres of California Wilderness  

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today commended the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for including three bills she sponsored that would designate more than 700,000 acres of federal public land in California as wilderness in a larger package of legislation that will now proceed to the Senate floor for consideration.

Senator Boxer said, "Working with colleagues from both sides of the aisle, we have put together legislation that protects some of California and the nation's most magnificent places and ensures that they will be preserved for generations to come.  I commend the Committee's decision to include these measures, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to see them become law."

The three bills approved by the committee were the California Desert and Mountain Heritage Act, the Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park Wilderness Act and the Eastern Sierra and Northern San Gabriel Wild Heritage Act, all three of which are cosponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

"Preserving California's rich natural heritage is one of my top priorities in the Senate," Senator Feinstein said."I'm pleased to work with Senator Boxer to help ensure the lasting federal protection of these pristine wilderness areas in the Eastern Sierras and San Gabriel Mountains, in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park, and in Riverside County. And I thank Chairman Bingaman and the members of the Committee for their help in moving these bills one step closer to reality."

The California Desert and Mountain Heritage Act, introduced in the House by Representative Mary Bono (R-CA-45), designates new wilderness areas and expands existing wilderness areas. It designates segments of four rivers as wild and scenic and adds four parcels to the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.  The total scope of the proposal encompasses approximately 200,000 acres of federal lands and 31 miles of rivers.

The Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park Wilderness Act, introduced in the House by Representatives Jim Costa (D-CA-20) and Devin Nunes (R-CA-21), designates approximately 90,000 acres of land within the Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park as wilderness.  The proposed wilderness area includes the Redwood Mountain Grove, the largest Giant Sequoia grove within the Park and California's longest cave.  This bill also establishes the John Krebs Wilderness Area, honoring former Congressman John Krebs, who authored the law transferring Mineral King Valley to the National Park Service in 1978, which protected the valley from development.

"This is a fitting honor for a man of great political courage and vision," Boxer said.

The Eastern Sierra and Northern San Gabriel Wild Heritage Act, introduced in the House by Representative Buck McKeon (R-CA-25) will give wilderness designations to more than 450,000 acres of federal public land in Mono, Inyo and Los Angeles Counties, including magnificent High Sierra lands, California's second highest mountain range—the spectacular White Mountains, and classic southern California mountain landscape accessible to millions of people.

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