California’s wild lands and rivers are some of our greatest treasures.
While invaluable in so many ways, these places and their resources
are currently threatened by destructive activities such as logging, mining
and dam building.
On October 17 President Bush signed the Thompson/Boxer/Feinstein Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act (AKA Wilderness Bill, or HR 233/S 128) into law. It had been passed by the House in August and by the Senate on September 29. Passage of this legislation has given nearly 275,000 spectacular acres in the Redwood Chapter PERMANENT protection as Federal Wilderness, including:
- Black Butte Wild and Scenic River
- Cache Creek Wilderness (small chunk removed to maintain mountain bike access on Perkins Creek Ridge Trail)
- Cedar Roughs Wilderness
- Elkhorn Ridge Potential Wilderness
- King Range Wilderness
- Mount Lassic Wilderness
- Sanhedrin Wilderness
- Siskiyou Wilderness Additions, Bear Basin Butte unit
- Snow Mountain Wilderness Additions
- South Fork Eel Wilderness
- Trinity Alps Wilderness Additions
- Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness Additions
- Yuki Wilderness
The Wilderness Bill has been one of the Redwood Chapter's primary conservation objectives during the five years since it was first proposed. Along the way, it has gained an exceptional level of broad-based, bipartisan local constituent support, due to the inclusive process its sponsors used in crafting the details. Besides virtually every conservation group in the five affected counties, 21 out of the 25 local Supervisors have gone on on record as favoring the bill, as has Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and this broad base of support greatly facilitated its passage through the bottleneck of the House Resources Committee.
As Ryan Henson, policy director of the California wilderness Coalition, said,, "Please raise a toast to North Coast wild places in honor of this stupendous event." The Redwood Chapter shares wholeheartedly in rejoicing at this triumphant conclusion to five years of effort and dedication, and in thanking Senators Boxer and Feinstein, and especially District 1 Congressman Mike Thompson, for the skill and patience of their leadership. The true beneficiaries are future generations, and - above all - the precious wild places that now will be preserved in perpetuity.
Courtesy of National Park Service
Photos of some of our great wilderness areas