Press Release – Unanimous Passage of Alabama Hills Legislation Applauded
House of Representatives’ Unanimous Passage of Alabama Hills National Scenic Area Legislation Applauded by Conservation Lands Foundation
(May 25, 2015) The Conservation Lands Foundation congratulated U.S. Representative Paul Cook on the House of Representatives vote to unanimously pass legislation to permanently protect the Alabama Hills, located at the doorstep of the Eastern Sierra, and add this unique area to our National Conservation Lands.
“We thank Congressman Cook for his continued efforts to protect the Alabama Hills for future generations and look forward to working with Senator Feinstein and local stakeholders to ensure that the Alabama Hills receive the protection and recognition they deserve,” said Sam Goldman, California State Director with the Conservation Lands Foundation.
The Alabama Hills in California’s Inyo County are one of America’s most familiar, yet unprotected landscapes. The dramatic and scenic Alabama Hills have a remarkable history, from early Native American sites to more than 400 feature-length Hollywood movies that have been filmed in this iconic high desert landscape since 1920. Today the Alabama Hills draw visitors from near and far for hiking, climbing, photography, camping and appropriate motorized recreation. Together with their local partner the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group, the BLM manages the area to balance high public visitation with conservation of the area’s unique values.
The Alabama Hills National Scenic Area proposal was developed by Inyo County residents and users of the Alabama Hills through a robust and inclusive campaign to ensure the values of the Alabama Hills are conserved for future generations.
If the Alabama Hills are designated a National Scenic Area, the area will become part of America’s National Conservation Lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. These special places throughout the West preserve our nation’s pioneering spirit by preserving open space and wildlife habitat while also ensuring access for hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation. In California, the National Conservation Lands include nearly seven million acres including national monuments, national conservation areas, wilderness areas, wild and scenic rivers and national scenic and historic trails.
“The Alabama Hills are an outstanding area, and are fully deserving of inclusion in the BLM’s National Conservation Lands,” stated Ryan Bidwell, Senior Director for Conservation with the Conservation Lands Foundation. “While the House made some changes to the Alabama Hills legislation that leave the area open to new development, we are excited to continue working with Senator Feinstein to advance her proposal for conserving the Alabama Hills, and to ensure the National Scenic Area designation protects the area’s unique values.”