Congressman Salud Carbajal introduced new legislation Wednesday aimed at protecting public lands across California and here on the Central Coast.
Representative Carbajal and Senator Kamala Harris reintroduced the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act.
It would designate nearly 250,000 acres of public land as “wilderness.”
The wilderness designation prohibits roads, vehicles or permanent structures, as well as logging and mining.
It would include four new wilderness areas in the Carrizo Plain National Monument, and it would expand nine existing wilderness areas in the Los Padres National Forest.
The legislation would also establish a 400-mile long Condor National Recreation trail stretching from Los Angeles to Monterey County.
“With this administration taking action to open up public lands and national monuments to oil and gas drilling, it is more important than ever that we act to permanently protect our open spaces that provide invaluable local watersheds and recreational outdoor activities that we enjoy on the Central Coast,” said Rep. Carbajal in a press release.
“California is home to some of the nation’s most scenic wild spaces and boasts the nation’s largest outdoor economy. However, under this administration, California’s beautiful public lands and its outdoor economy are under direct threat. Restoring and expanding our public lands means protecting Americans’ right to clean air and clean water and providing everybody the opportunity to explore and enjoy the outdoors. That’s why I am proud to partner with Rep. Carbajal to provide comprehensive protections for the Central Coast and establish the 400-mile-long Condor National Recreation trail,” said Senator Harris in a press release.
Lawmakers say the bill would help sustain the ecological future of 468 species of wildlife and more than 1,200 plant species.