SANTA BARBARA, Calif -- House representatives from California met Thursday to discuss the importance of protecting one million acres of public land across California.
The meeting came ahead of Friday's vote on the Protecting America's Wilderness and Public Lands Act. It's a package of public lands bills strongly supported by the Biden Administration that would protect lands and waters across California, Colorado, Washington and Arizona.
The package includes Rep. Salud Carbajal's Central Coast Hertiage Protection Act.
"I'm proud this act includes my bill, the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act, which puts into wilderness conservation over 250,000 acres. It establishes the Condor Trail between Los Angeles and Monterey. It protects the ecosystem in the region and it helps our climate change challenge that we have," Carbajal said.
The Central Coast Heritage Protection Act designates four new wilderness areas in the Carrizo Plain National Monument and expands nine existing wilderness areas in Los Padres National Forest. This would prevent new roads, vehicles, or permanent structures from being erected and prevents oil and gas drilling from taking place on any of these protected areas. The bill also designates Condor Ridge and Black Mountain as new scenic areas and designates the Condor Trail as a National Recreation Trail within the Los Padres National Forest.
It's not yet known when the Senate could take up the bill.
The bill also includes:
- Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act (Rep. Huffman)
- Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (Rep. Kilmer)
- San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and River Protection Act (Rep. Chu)
- Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act (Rep. Schiff)
- Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act (Rep. Neguse)
- Grand Canyon Protection Act (Rep. Grijalva)