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2019 Desert Protection Act update

The 2019 Desert Protection Act Update

Breaking news from The California Desert Protection and Recreation Act of 2019 (S. 67/H.R. 376) sponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, both (D-CA), and Representatives Paul Cook (R-CA), Juan Vargas (D-CA), and Pete Aguilar (D-CA), would establish the 18,840-acre Alabama Hills National Scenic Area (AHNSA) in Inyo County for continued recreational use and add 35,292 acres to Death Valley National Park.

“We are thrilled to see the passage of a bipartisan public lands package that includes the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area, a landscape with significant recreational, cultural and scenic resources. We thank our congressional champions, Senator Diane Feinstein and Congressman Paul Cook, for their years of tireless work on behalf of rural communities in the California Desert. - Jora Fogg Policy Director for Friends of the Inyo

Friends of the Inyo has been a critical partner on the bill, with leadership from with the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group. This legislative journey began with Mike Prather, an AHSG founding board member and current secretary of Friends of the Inyo, who helped craft
the first language of the bill nearly a decade ago.

The Alabama Hills National Scenic Area will be the first National Scenic Area managed as part of the National Landscape Conservation System, the nation’s newest system of protected lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

The bill now goes to the President for signature to enact it into law. Friends of the Inyo and the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group will continue work with the BLM to establish a management plan for the AHNSA. Through our ongoing partnership with Death Valley National Park we will also continue to steward and safeguard the park’s wilderness and front country areas.

For more information read the press release from our partners with the Campaign for the California Desert.