PD Editorial: Protect California land that is wilderness in all but name
Two years ago, Rep Jared Huffman tried and failed to convince Congress to better protect some Northern California lands. Now he’s back, but the job is no easier, especially when Republicans control the House of Representatives. The cause isn’t hopeless, though.
Huffman, D-San Rafael, represents California’s 2nd Congressional District, which stretches from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border along the coast. His constituents don’t lack federal lands on which to recreate and experience nature. The district holds Redwood National Park, Six Rivers National Forest, Trinity National Forest, Point Reyes National Seashore and more. That’s not to mention the many state parks, preserves and forests up and down the North Coast.
Those lands are protected from development based on their designations, but the highest level of federal protection is rare. The best protection federal land can receive is designation as a “wilderness.” Only about 2% of the land in the lower forty-eight states have it.
Huffman’s bill, the Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation and Working Forests Act, would extend wilderness protection to about 260,000 acres in Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties. It also would protect 480 miles of river with the comparable Wild and Scenic designation for waterways.
The bill is one of three targeting different parts of California. They are tied together as part of a larger Protecting Unique and Beautiful Landscapes by Investing in California Act that Sen. Alex Padilla is shepherding in the Senate.
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By: Editorial Board
Source: Press Democrat
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