WASHINGTON, DC, March 30, 2017 – Today, U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris, Dianne Feinstein (both D-CA) and Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) introduced legislation which would expand the national historic site that celebrates the life and legacy of John Muir in Martinez, CA. The John Muir National Historic Site Expansion Act (H.R. 1719/S. 729) would add an additional 44 acres to the John Muir National Historic site, which currently stretches across 330 acres in the East Bay of San Francisco and includes the home where Muir lived until he passed in 1914.
“The expansion of the John Muir Historic Site will ensure that future generations of Californians and others will have the opportunity to continue to learn about his legacy as the father of the National Park Service,” said Senator Harris. “John Muir’s advocacy paved the path toward the protection of Yosemite and Sequoia as national parks, and Californians owe him a debt of gratitude. Our public lands are rich with natural diversity, and are worthy of our protection and preservation.”
“The time John Muir spent with his daughters at their scenic home and its neighboring property played a major role in launching the national parks movement. Expanding the existing park to preserve more of this history and beauty is a fitting tribute to Muir’s legacy of protecting land for all to enjoy,” said Senator Feinstein.
“Contra Costa’s own John Muir, the Father of the National Park Service, believed ‘everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.’ Expanding the site where he lived, wrote, and championed conservation efforts is a fitting celebration of his legacy, and will offer nature-goers greater access to enjoy the beauty of the East Bay,” said Congressman DeSaulnier.
“John Muir often walked this property with his two daughters to admire the oak woodlands and wildflowers that punctuate its grassy hillsides. Upon congressional approval of this land acquisition, future generations will forever be able to share in the same delights as John Muir and his daughters, exploring the property’s unrivaled beauty,” said Linus Eukel, Executive Director of the John Muir Heritage Land Trust.
The John Muir National Historic Site Expansion Act would authorize the National Park Service to acquire land that is being donated by the John Muir Heritage Land Trust. Since the parcel of land being donated by the trust exceeds the size that the National Park Service is permitted to acquire administratively, Congressional approval is needed to complete the transfer.