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Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus
Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | monterey county
Congressman Sam Farr’s Bill to Establish Pinnacles National Park
January 2013

Pinnacles National ParkThe high peaks of Pinnacles National Park photo by Steve Zmak.

The bill, HR 3641 passed the US Congress in July and the US Senate in December. This legislation elevates the 26,000 acre Pinnacles National Monument into a National Park. This will be the 59th National Park created by Congress and the first since 2004.

This unique landscape full of soaring rock spires and crags so moved President Theodore Roosevelt that he named the area a National Monument in 1908. The area draws its name from the volcanic spires that were formed by the eruption of the Neenach Volcano over 23 million years ago.

Now Pinnacles National Park will provide the best remaining refuge for floral and fauna species representative of the central California coast and Pacific coast range, including 32 species holding special Federal or State status. Home to 30 California condors, Pinnacles also contains 149 species of birds, 49 mammals, 22 reptiles, six amphibians, 68 butterflies, 36 dragonflies and damselflies, nearly 400 bees and many thousands of other invertebrates.

Pinnacles National Monument also encompasses a unique blend of California heritage from prehistoric and historic Native Americans to the arrival of the Spanish, followed by 18th and 19th century settlers, including miners, cowboys, vaqueros, ranchers, farmers, and homesteaders.

The legislation also renames the Pinnacles Wilderness within the National Monument as the Hain Wilderness. Schuler Hain was a conservationist who lead the effort to establish Pinnacles National Monument in 1908.

The bill includes language that allows the U.S. Interior Secretary to acquire land within the boundaries of the park as deemed necessary.

Update: This bill was signed into law on January 9, 2013.

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