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Berryhill Resolution Advocates Expanding Yosemite Boundaries

POSTED April 19, 2013 7:29 p.m.

Senator Tom Berryhill (R-Twain Harte) recently announced the passage of Senate Joint Resolution 5 (SJR 5), urging the Federal Government to pass legislation to expand Yosemite National Park.

“Today the Senate expressed its support for Yosemite National Park with the unanimous approval of SJR 5. Yosemite National Park is one of the crown jewels in our National Parks System. For those of us that live in its shadow, it is a not only a source of great pride, it also means jobs,” said Berryhill. “Adding this 1,600-acre area to the Park is the right thing to do, both for the integrity of the Park and Sierra National Forest, as well as to protect the interests and finances of Mariposa County.”

The land in question is two parcels, one owned by Pacific Forests Trust, and the other by a private group of investors. Each has expressed willingness to sell their properties for the purpose of expanding Yosemite.

The proposed federal legislation would appropriate no funds. Project proponents would still have to apply for a grant from the Land and Conservation Fund, and compete with other proposals. This change simply allows for these properties to be considered for acquisition as part of Yosemite National Park.

The legislation is also supported unanimously by the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors. Last year’s federal measure, H.R. 5709 (Costa) listed Congressmen Denham and Lungren as co-sponsors.

SJR 5 is co-authored by Senators Fuller and Gaines, and Assemblymembers Bigelow and Maienschein.

Rural residential development adjacent to the park creates resource management challenges for the park, the adjacent Sierra National Forest, as well as local government because of the difficulty of providing county services such as fire protection, water and road services to such a remote location. The addition of this land will assist in in addressing these concerns.

“I’m happy to join the County Board of Supervisors in supporting this effort, and very pleased the Senate expressed its support of the park,” concluded Berryhill. “I look forward to moving this Resolution through the Legislative process and to the Governor for signature.”

Senator Berryhill represents the counties of Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne. As a result of redistricting, he also services the needs of citizens from Amador, Calaveras, Inyo, Mono, Tulare and parts of Sacramento. For additional information about Senator Berryhill visit his website at www.senate.ca.gov/berryhill.

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