Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) today praised Committee passage of her conservation bill in the House Committee on Natural Resources. Bono Mack's legislation, H.R. 3682, the California Desert and Mountain Heritage Act, would preserve desert, forest, and river areas throughout California's 45th Congressional District. The bill is now ready to be considered on the House Floor.
"As one of the nation's fastest growing regions, it is important that we take steps to protect the unique and spectacular environment that surrounds us," said Bono Mack. "This bill is the result of an inclusive process involving the input and cooperation of many individuals throughout California's 45th District. Only through this collaborative effort can we ensure that the diverse needs of our community are met.
"These lands make up a valuable part of our heritage, and I am pleased that we are now one step closer to ensuring that they are preserved for future generations. I thank the leadership in the House Resources Committee for recognizing the importance of these stunning and environmentally sensitive wilderness areas in our County."
The California Desert and Mountain Heritage Act would create four protected wilderness areas, add 31 miles of rivers to the National Wild and Scenic River system, and expand the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, which was created legislatively by Bono in 2000. The bill would protect over 190,000 acres of wilderness areas, including in Joshua Tree National Park, Cahuilla Mountain, the San Bernardino National Forest and the Pinto Mountains. The legislation is also written to clarify the ability of the U.S. Forest Service to effectively fight fires; protect renewable energy potential; and continue access to for visitors to enjoy all that the region has to offer, according to Bono Mack.