On Wednesday, Rep. Salud Carbajal’s Central Coast Heritage Project Act (H.R. 2199) passed the U.S. House as part of the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act, a bill package aimed at preserving public lands.
To celebrate the bill’s passage, Mr. Carbajal will host a press conference with local leaders and advocates on Friday. Los Padres ForestWatch, Carrizo Plain Conservancy and Condor Trail Association are among the organizations that will be in attendance.
Introduced in April 2019, the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act seeks to designate nearly 250,000 acres of land within Los Padres National Forest and Carrizo Plain National Monument as protected wilderness areas.
One of the highest forms of government protection for public lands, wilderness designation restricts any commercial enterprise or permanent road from residing within the specified region. The designation also restricts any motorized vehicle or form of mechanical transport from entering the space, barring emergency situations.
With this classification, Mr. Carbajal’s bill stands to protect the 468 unique species housed in Los Padres, as well as Carrizo Plain’s high concentration of diverse wildlife.
“Our district is the most beautiful in the nation,” Mr. Carbajal said in a news release. “We must do all we can to preserve the ecosystems that make our Central Coast so special.”
The piece of legislation also stands to create a 400-mile long Condor National Recreation trail that will stretch from Los Angeles to Monterey County.
“I am thrilled that my Central Coast Heritage Protection Act passed in the House,” Rep. Carbajal said in a news release. “I will continue working to elevate public lands and public safety along our Central Coast.
“For the sake of our environment, economy, recreation and future generations, I urge the Senate to act quickly on this bill.”
For those interested, the press conference will be held on Feb. 14 from 11 to 11:45 a.m. at Vista Point off State Route 154.