Senator Boxer: Working to Protect California’s Public Lands
Thursday, February 8, 2007
I am very pleased to let you know that I recently introduced legislation to protect over 2.4 million acres of federal public lands in California.
The California Wild Heritage Act would designate public lands owned by the American people as “wilderness” – the highest level of protection in federal law – and segments of California rivers as “wild and scenic.” These areas would remain open for recreational activities such as horseback riding, fishing, hunting, hiking, backpacking, rock climbing and canoeing.
My bill would also protect vital watersheds in our national forests, which are a source of California’s drinking water supply. In addition, the bill would help protect vulnerable ecosystems and threatened species of plants and animals, such as salmon and trout.
Last year, my Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act – which designated over 273,000 acres of public land in Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, and Napa Counties as wilderness – was enacted into law.
Now I am excited to build on last year’s successes and continue efforts to preserve even more of California’s magnificent wild lands for future generations. These places are the natural treasure of California.
As I work to pass my statewide wilderness bill, I will also continue my successful strategy of working district by district with members of the House of Representatives. In particular, I plan to continue the efforts begun last year with Republican Congressman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon in the Eastern Sierra Nevada and desert portions of his district. I also plan to work with Republican Congresswoman Mary Bono to protect California’s desert.
Last year we proved that protecting wilderness is a bipartisan issue. This year, I believe we have an unprecedented opportunity to preserve California’s natural treasures for future generations to enjoy.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer