Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | monterey county
The Los Padres National Forest and the Ventana Wilderness
Letters and calls needed to support Ventana wilderness bill
Hikers pause on the divide between the Arroyo Seco and San Antonio Rivers. Photo by Mike Splain
Last November, Representative Sam Farr introduced HR 4040, the Big Sur Management Unit Act of 2009, into the U.S. House of Representatives. If passed, this visionary piece of legislation would greatly enhance the protection of biological and recreational resources in the Ventana Region and Big Sur Coast. In essence, HR 4040 provides for a guaranteed share of the Los Padres National Forest budget, a wild future for some of the central coast’s last undammed rivers, and permanent protection of recreational and biological values that define the Ventana region. But this rare opportunity may well be delayed without an outcry of public support.
The bill’s most significant provisions will establish the Big Sur Management Unit of Los Padres National Forest; designate over 90 miles of Federal Wild and Scenic Rivers including Big Creek and portions of the Arroyo Seco, San Antonio, and Carmel River; convert the closed Arroyo Seco-Indians Road to the Arroyo Seco National Recreational Trail creating unparalleled opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, and bicycling; add 2000 new acres of federally-designated Wilderness; and establish the Jeff Norman Botanical Area within a rare stand of endemic maritime chaparral on National Forest lands immediately south of Pfeiffer Beach.
HR 4040’s best hope of passage is inclusion in an omnibus public lands bill prior to the end of the summer session. Representative Farr needs to hear from you. Please don’t hesitate; write him a letter today. Express your support for the Big Sur Management Unit Act of 2009, and urge him to request a committee hearing.
Get Trail Guides from REI or online
The Ventana Chapter Trail Guide and Map featuring trails and campsites for the Ventana and Silver Peak Wilderness is available for $14.95 plus tax at the REI store in Marina or online at: http://www.rei.com. Type "Los Padre Trail Guide" in the search window, and there it is to order.
You can submit an electronic letter to Representative Farr and find out more information about HR 4040, by visiting www.ventanawild.org.