Pew Applauds Senate Committee Consideration of California Desert Bill

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The Campaign for America's Wilderness of the Pew Environment Group today applauded the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for hearing testimony on the California Desert Protection Act of 2010 (S. 2921).

Senator Dianne Feinstein's (D-CA) bill would protect more than two million acres of desert landscape by designating more than 346,000 acres as wilderness, creating the Desert Trails and Sand to Snow National Monuments, expanding existing national parks, and protecting vital waterways such as the Amargosa River and Deep Creek as wild and scenic. The legislation also identifies specific lands as suitable for renewable energy and would improve permitting procedures for new energy development.

“Senator Feinstein and her staff have worked hard to put together a comprehensive bill to protect sensitive public lands as wilderness and national monuments, while also addressing the nation's need for renewable energy,” said Jim Mathews, policy manager for the Campaign for America's Wilderness of the Pew Environment Group. “By working closely with stakeholders, they have developed legislation that has earned wide support among communities, elected officials, conservationists, local businesses and recreationists. They should be commended for their thoughtful and inclusive approach to crafting this important bill.”

Anchored by Death Valley and Joshua Tree national parks and the Mojave National Preserve, Southern California's desert region offers some of the nation's most spectacular scenery.  California Desert Protection Act of 2010 will ensure that areas like the Avawatz Mountains, Buzzards Peak, and additional parts of Death Valley stay just as they are for future generations to enjoy.

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