Costa Bill Would Restore Yosemite to Muir’s Original Vision
Washington, DC- Rep. Jim Costa has introduced legislation that would expand Yosemite to include nearly 1,600 acres of land that were originally intended for inclusion within the park. The Yosemite National Park Boundary Expansion Act of 2013 would adjust the park’s current boundary to protect its vulnerable western border and prevent the potentially problematic and costly development of these remote areas. Senator Dianne Feinstein has also introduced companion legislation in the United States Senate.
“Yosemite is a national treasure and preserving these lands will help maintain the integrity of the park for generations to come,” said Costa.“Yosemite holds a special place in the hearts of all Californians, and that’s why we have had broad bipartisan support line up behind this proposal. As we approach Yosemite’s 150th anniversary, there is no more fitting tribute than recommitting ourselves to protecting the park and restoring it to John Muir’s original vision.”
The bill would specifically authorize the voluntary sale of lands within the new boundary to the National Park Service. While the sale is authorized, Costa’s bill respects rights of local landowners whose property falls within the new park boundary. The legislation does not authorize additional funds for the purchase of the adjacent land in Mariposa County.
Last week, the California State Senate approved a resolution urging the adoption of legislation to add the 1,600 acres to the park. Broad support for park expansion continues to grow among elected officials as the bill has gained the support of California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird, the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors, members of the California State Legislature, including Mariposa County Senator Tom Berryhill and Assemblymember Kristin Olsen.
Additional groups supporting the legislation include Pacific Forest Trust, the Yosemite West Property & Homeowners Association, the Yosemite Conservancy, the Sierra Club, and Environment California.