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Congress to Look at Protecting SoCal Wildland

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Taken at Sequoia National Park, which has parts included in the bill | Photo by Allie_Caulfield via Flickr

A federal bill seeking to protect hundreds of thousands acres of California wildland will possibly be voted on in a House of Representatives committee tomorrow. The Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands will hear about the Eastern Sierra and Northern San Gabriel Wild Heritage Act, which will protect 800,000 acres of California land, including 42,133 acres within Los Angeles County.

Submitted by Representative Buck McKeon (R-Santa Clarita), H.R. 6156 would protect three areas around Los Angeles by adding the land to The Wilderness Act, which prohibits development, vehicles, permanent structures, mining or basically anything else that would alter the environment. Hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, hunting and fishing are allowed. An identical bill, S. 3069, was submitted to the Senate by Barbara Boxer.

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Magic Mountain (not theme park, but nearby) in Santa Clarita (13,709 acres), Pleasant View Ridge (28,424 acres) in the San Gabriel Mountains and Piru Creek (7 acres) in Piru off the 126 highway between Ventura and Santa Clarita are the three LA County representatives in the bill that includes land two other California counties.

Another local bill will also be heard in the same committee meeting dealing with National Forest Land in San Bernardino. The San Bernardino Biomass Use Facilitation Act would "direct the Secretary of Agriculture to convey certain National Forest System (NFS) land in the San Bernardino National Forest, California, in exchange for the conveyance of certain non-federal land by the County of San Bernardino to the Secretary for the purpose of making available to the county land for biomass utilization facilities, biomass recycling activities, and industrial resource recovery and recycling activities."