- Measure would protect more than 470,000 acres in Mono, Inyo and Los Angeles Counties -
Jul 16 2008
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today announced her cosponsorship of a measure recently introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to protect more than 470,000 acres in Mono, Inyo and Los Angeles Counties as wilderness. Companion legislation has been introduced in the House by Representative Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.).
The legislation, called the “Eastern Sierra and Northern San Gabriel Wild Heritage Act,” will give wilderness designations to more than 470,000 acres of federal public land in California. “Wilderness” designations offer the highest level of protection and conservation for federal lands. The designation will prevent future development, but allow the areas to remain open to the public for non-motorized recreational activities.
“The White Mountains, the Eastern Sierras and northern San Gabriel Mountains number among California’s most stunning and beautiful landscapes. The nearly 500,000 acres of remote lands that would be designated in this legislation include craggy granite peaks, ancient bristlecone pine forests, unspoiled alpine lakes, winding river valleys and a host of diverse wildlife,” Senator Feinstein said.
“So I’m delighted to join Senator Boxer in the effort to ensure that these magnificent lands are protected for future generations to enjoy. And I look forward to working with my colleagues and local leaders to refine this proposal as the legislation moves forward.”
Specifically, the bill designates:
- 224,000 acres (approx.) of wilderness in the White Mountains, America’s largest and highest desert mountain range;
- 207,000 acres (approx.) of wilderness in the Eastern Sierras, including additions to the Hoover and Emigrant Wilderness;
- 29,000 acres (approx.) of special protection designation for the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, the 5,000-year-old bristlecone pines, found in the White Mountains, are the world’s oldest living trees;
- 42,000 acres (approx.) of wilderness in Los Angeles County, in the northern San Gabriel Mountains near Santa Clarita;
- 10,800 acres (approx.) of snowmobiling recreation area, in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest (3,200 acres) and the Bridgeport Winter Recreation Area (7,600 acres); and
- 53 miles (approx.) of wild and scenic river designations, including:
- 26 miles on the Amargosa River, which is the only river flowing into Death Valley,
- 19 miles of the Owens River Headwaters, and
- 7 miles on Piru Creek.