The House has voted to extend wilderness designation to nearly 57-thousand acres of federal lands in Monterey County. The designation was approved yesterday and preserves the rugged Big Sur land for research and recreation. With Senate approval, most of the land from the lush coastal mountains to 15 miles offshore would be protected.
Protections would cover the remaining segments of the Los Padres National Forest that haven’t been included in wilderness areas, and the Ventana Wilderness would grow by about 37-thousand acres. The remaining land would go into the Silver Peak and Pinnacles National Monument wilderness areas. No logging or mining was permitted in the area and none of the forestlands were in danger of development. Small swathes of land would remain open for grazing.