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Op-Ed: Neal Desai: New Law Elevates Pinnacles National Monument to Become 9th National Park in California

Statement by Neal Desai, Pacific Region Association Director, National Parks Conservation Association

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By: National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA)

Jan. 10, 2012 - The National Parks Conservation Association commends the bipartisan leadership demonstrated in the House and Senate by Representatives Sam Farr, Jeff Denham, and Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein for passing the Pinnacles National Park Act, signed into law by President Obama today.”

The park’s sanctuary for the California Condor and native wildlife, its red crags, caves, impressive displays of spring wildflowers, and opportunities for star viewing under its noteworthy dark skies make Pinnacles a special place and worthy of its national park status for future generations to enjoy. But the work isn’t done. For years, an adjacent landowner has urged Congress to allow his 18,200 acre, geologically significant property to be included in Pinnacles, but Congress has yet to act on this landowner’s proposal. In the spirit of protecting and enhancing Pinnacles National Park, the National Parks Conservation Association will continue to support efforts to expand the park’s boundaries, when it becomes feasible to do so.”

San Benito County is one of the fastest growing counties in the state, and Pinnacles National Park is located less than 100 miles from San Jose and south Bay Area communities. National Park Service studies demonstrate a $10 return to communities from every federal dollar invested. In 2010, visitors to national parks in California spent more than $1.3 billion in local economies and supported nearly 17,000 jobs statewide. Designating Pinnacles a national park will undoubtedly also lead to increased visitation which, in turn, will directly benefit communities including Soledad, Salinas, Greenfield, King City, and Paicines.

www.npca.org

 

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