California's Central Coast

Wild lands, scenic rivers need conservation

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California’s Central Coast is a land of many ecosystems. These diverse landscapes—including grassland, semi-desert, and redwood forest—are home to a stunning variety of plants and animals. The region's Los Padres National Forest alone contains roughly 470 species, and more than 90 are at risk of extinction, including the San Joaquin kit fox, steelhead trout, arroyo toad, spotted owl, and California condor.

The Carrizo Plain National Monument, inland from the forest, is traversed by the San Andreas Fault and made up of ridges, ravines, and ponds that are normally dry. This area contains the last intact native grassland where pronghorn antelope and tule elk roam free.

In April 2015, Representative Lois Capps (D-CA) introduced the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act, which would protect 245,500 acres of wilderness in the Los Padres National Forest and Carrizo Plain. The legislation would also create two scenic areas encompassing 34,500 acres and safeguard 159 miles of wild and scenic rivers.

More videos and facts on U.S. wilderness conservation: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/projects/americas-wilderness.

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