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Wilderness protection bill moves forward

Subcommittee approves McKeon, Boxer legislation after hearing

Posted: July 17, 2008 1:34 a.m.
Updated: September 18, 2008 5:02 a.m.

A U.S. Senate panel took testimony Wednesday on bipartisan legislation that would protect nearly 475,000 acres of wilderness in California’s Eastern Sierra and San Gabriel Mountains.

After the testimony was complete, the subcommittee marked an advance for the legislation.

Sen. Barbara Boxer testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests on the Eastern Sierra and Northern San Gabriel Wild Heritage Act, bipartisan legislation she introduced with Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon to protect almost half a million acres of pristine public lands in California.

“This legislation would permanently protect the stunning landscapes of the Eastern Sierra and Northern San Gabriel Mountains as wilderness,” said McKeon, R-Santa Clarita. “Sen. Boxer and I continue to refine the language of the bill to better serve the needs of all our constituents.”

The bill by Boxer and McKeon would also protect nearly 52 miles of rivers.

“Working with my colleague, Congressman Buck McKeon, we have crafted a bipartisan, compromise bill that will preserve the magnificent mountains, rivers and open spaces of California’s Eastern Sierra and Northern San Gabriel Mountains,” said Boxer, D-Calif. “In addition to Eastern Sierra, the bill also protects about 40,000 acres in the Magic Mountain and Pleasant View Ridge areas, and seven miles of Piru Creek, one of the few year-round trout fishing streams in southern California.”

The marking for advancement comes as the Democratic-controlled Congress is working to extend wilderness protections around the country.


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