Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein (both D-CA) today introduced the Eastern Sierra Rural Heritage and Economic Enhancement Act, legislation to protect thousands of wild and beautiful acres in the Eastern Sierra region of California. Congressman Buck McKeon (CA-25), whose congressional districts contain these lands, introduced the companion bill in the House.

The legislation will specifically add 40,320 acres of land to the existing Hoover and Emigrant Wilderness areas—both entirely in Mono County. The bill also designates almost 24 miles of the Amargosa River as a Wild and Scenic River.

Boxer said, “This is a bipartisan effort to protect the stunning Sierra landscape of snow-capped peaks, glacial valleys and lush forests that people all around the world associate with California. This legislation will ensure that these beautiful areas will be sustained for future generations to enjoy. I thank Senator Feinstein and Congressman McKeon for their commitment to this issue.”

“The eastern Sierra is home to some of the starkest, most beautiful landscape in California,” Senator Feinstein said. “Its silver lakes, towering peaks, and grassy meadows are environmental jewels, which should be preserved for all time. I'm so pleased to work with Senator Boxer and Congressman McKeon to introduce this legislation and ensure that these 40,000 acres are protected as federal wilderness areas.”

Under the legislation, the Hoover and Emigrant Wilderness designations would be administered by the U.S. Forest Service, and the Amargosa Wild and Scenic River designation would be administered by the Bureau of Land Management.

The measure also authorizes the appropriation of $2 million to support management and enforcement in the new agreed upon area of snowmobile use.