Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Senate Subcommittee on National Parks’ hearing today included a bill to expand Yosemite National Park. The proposal, sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein and co-sponsored by Senator Barbara Boxer, would permit adding nearly 1,600 acres to the park. This proposal enjoys both local and statewide support in California. The Board of Supervisors in Mariposa County, where the land is located, supports adding this parcel to Yosemite, as do the current landowners. In addition, the California State Legislature unanimously passed a resolution supporting the expansion earlier this year.
The bill is S. 781. Congressmen Jim Costa has introduced a companion measure in the House of Representatives, H.R. 1677.
Nathan Weaver, preservation advocate with Environment California, issued the following statement:
“This is a great day for Yosemite. We applaud Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer for their work to preserve and strengthen Yosemite National Park, one of the most beautiful places in California.
“The Senators’ proposal to expand Yosemite National Park would protect a crucial migration corridor for deer travelling between Yosemite National Park and the Sierra National Forest and safeguard habitat for endangered animals, like the Sierra Nevada red fox, and rare plants, like Congdon’s wooly sunflower and the Yosemite popcorn flower. Yosemite is one of the largest and least fragmented habitat regions left in the Sierra Nevada, and it’s critical that we protect and enhance the park.
“Great figures throughout our history have done all they can to protect Yosemite: From the Buffalo Soldiers who patrolled the park, to Benjamin Harrison and Theodore Roosevelt who signed laws creating and expanding Yosemite National Park, to John Muir and Ansel Adams who advocated tirelessly on Yosemite’s behalf. I thank Senator Feinstein and Senator Boxer for their continued leadership on this issue.
“Every day, more Californians are speaking up for expanding Yosemite National Park. Businesses, citizens, landowners, environmental organizations, local governments, and a unanimous California State Legislature all support adding this land to Yosemite’s majestic beauty. Together, we can expand Yosemite in time for the 150th anniversary of the original Yosemite land grant, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1864.”