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Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

June 9, 2008

Contact: Kristina Johnson 415.977.5619

House Votes to Protect Pristine Lands in California and New Mexico
Proposed Wilderness Areas Include Ancient Sequoias and Colorful Cliffs

Washington, D.C.-Following on the heels of key wilderness victories earlier this year, today the U.S. House of Representatives voted to protect more pristine public lands, including giant Sequoia forest and bald eagle habitat in California, as well as the colorful canyons of New Mexico. Wilderness designation offers the highest level of federal protection available for public lands.

"Today’s vote continues the wilderness renaissance we watched unfold earlier this year when the Wild Sky Wilderness Act was signed into law and the House voted to create the Copper Salmon Wilderness in Oregon and the Wild Monongahela Wilderness in West Virginia," said Sierra Club lands protection representative Myke Bybee.

The Sequoia-Kings Canyon Wilderness Act, HR 3022
The Sequoia-Kings Canyon Wilderness Act, sponsored by Jim Costa (D-Calif.) and Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) would permanently protect 115,000 acres of wilderness in the Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park, including Redwood Mountain Grove, the largest stand of Giant Sequoia within the park. Also slated for protection is a large portion of the Mineral King area, which the Sierra Club and former Congressman John Krebs fought hard to protect from a proposal for an amusement park.

"The Sequoia-Kings Canyon Wilderness will protect one of America’s greatest natural wonders, our towering, ancient Sequoia trees," said Sierra Club regional representative Barb Boyle. "The area also serves as a home to a rich variety of wildlife, including the California spotted owl and the Golden Eagle."

The Sabinoso Wilderness Act, HR 2632
Sponsored by Representative Tom Udall (D-N.M.), the Sabinoso Wilderness Act will permanently protect nearly 20,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management land situated in northern New Mexico, including colorful cliffs that tower over long, deep canyons, along with pinyon-juniper and ponderosa pines that serve as a home to birds like red-tailed hawks and American kestrels, along with coyotes, bobcats, and gray fox.

"Protecting this stunning area as wilderness will ensure that Americans can continue to enjoy its outstanding hiking, hunting, and wildlife viewing for generations to come," said Sierra Club representative Myke Bybee.

The California Desert and Mountain Heritage Act, HR 3682
The California Desert and Mountain Heritage Act, sponsored by Representative Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) will permanently protect 191,000 acres in California’s Riverside County as wilderness, add 31 miles of  the North Fork San Jacinto River, Fuller Mill Creek, Palm Canyon Creek, and Bautista Creek to the Wild and Scenic River system, and expand by 5,000 acres the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.


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