Carbajal Land Protection Bill Passes Through Natural Resources Committee

Next stop: House floor

Rep. Salud Carbajal’s Central Coast Heritage Protection Act, H.R. 2199, passed through the House Natural Resources Committee today. The next stop for the bill is a full vote on the House floor.

The Central Coast Heritage Protection Act seeks to designate nearly 250,000 acres of land within Los Padres National Forest and Carrizo Plain National Monument as protected wilderness areas. The bill also creates a 400-mile long Condor National Recreation trail that will stretch from Los Angeles to Monterey County.

“For the sake of our community, economy and environment, I am thrilled that my Central Coast Heritage Protection Act passed through the Natural Resources Committee today,” said Rep. Carbajal. “We must do all we can to defend the public lands we have so that future generations can enjoy them—wilderness designation for some of our most treasured forests will help us with this goal. I’m looking forward to a day in the near future when this bill hits the House floor.”

California’s outdoor recreation economy employs over 650,000 people and is worth about $92 billion. The Los Padres National Forest provides habitat for around 468 species of unique wildlife, while the Carrizo Plain National Monument contains one of the highest concentrations of protected species in the continental U.S. Under the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act, these lands will receive wilderness designation—one of the highest forms of government protection for public lands. A Senate companion bill to the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act was introduced by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) earlier this year.

The Central Coast Heritage Protection Act has support from Los Padres ForestWatch; California Wilderness Coalition; Latino Outdoors; Pew Charitable Trusts; San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper; Santa Barbara Channelkeeper; The Ocean Conservancy; Ventura County; City of Goleta; Santa Barbara County; more than 80 local farms, ranches and vintners; state, local and federal officials; schools, businesses, landholders and more

Full bill text can be found here.

Rep. Salud Carbajal represents California’s 24th congressional district, encompassing Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and part of Ventura County.

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