Yosemite, CA — California lawmakers have officially introduced bills that would pave the way towards expanding the borders of Yosemite National Park.
The proposal has been talked about for several months, and a series of bills were formally introduced this morning by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, as well as Fresno Congressman Jim Costa. It would allow Yosemite to add approximately 1,600 acres along the western border in Mariposa County. Yosemite currently has 761,000 acres.
The Associated Press reports that proponents say it would fulfill the original vision of naturalist John Muir who argued for the land’s inclusion over a century ago. The land, currently owned by the Pacific Forest Trust and a group of private developers, offers unique views of the Merced River. The two parties have agreed in principle to sell the land, but an appraisal still needs to take place.
Feinstein noted that funding used to purchase the land would come from fees collected from offshore drilling.
As reported previously, local state Senator Tom Berryhill and Assemblyman Frank Bigelow both support the proposal, while Congressman Tom McClintock has expressed some reservations. To view the earlier story, click here.
To view a map of the proposed expansion provided by Senator Feinstein’s office, click here.