April 9th 2019
A soon-to-be-introduced federal bill would designate a quarter of a million Central Coast acres as wilderness and establish a new 400-mile trail that would pass through Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.
Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, announced his plan to introduce the new legislation Saturday afternoon before leading about 45 people on a hike in the Los Padres National Forest.
The event drew members of the Central Coast Wild Heritage Coalition, Los Padres ForestWatch, CalWild, Wilderness Society, Keep Sespe Wild, Condor Trail Association, Los Padres Chapter of the Sierra Club and Vets Voice Foundation.
Carbajal, who represents the 24th Congressional District, told the group the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act would strengthen protections for public lands on the Central Coast.
“As the (Trump) administration proposes oil and gas drilling on federal public lands and national monuments along the Central Coast, I believe it is more important than ever that we act to permanently protect our open spaces that provide invaluable local watersheds and recreational outdoor activities in our communities,” Carbajal said.
Carbajal told the group gathered at the Fremont Ridge Trailhead the legislation would establish the 400-mile-long Condor National Recreation Trail that would extend from Los Angeles into Monterey County.
More importantly, he said, the legislation would designate nearly 250,000 acres of public land in Los Padres National Forest and the Carrizo Plain National Monument as wilderness area, the highest form of protection the government can afford public lands.