Pinnacles to be California’s new National Park?

August 5, 2010

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California) introduced legislation Thursday designed to elevate Pinnacles National Monument to a National Park. [LA Times]

The 26,000 acre parcel of land, located near Soledad, is a nesting place for the endangered California condor. Hikers and naturalists come from around the world to climb around the rocky landscape and enjoy the scenic views.

Making Pinnacles a National Park, Boxer said, would “draw even more visitors to this spectacular piece of California’s natural and cultural heritage.”

The monument was initially established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908, though park boundaries have expanded over the years.  Pinnacles is a culturally significant area for several Native American tribes, and it served as a backdrop for John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” and “East of Eden.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Sam Farr (D-Carmel) introduced companion legislation in the House, calling the area “packed with historical significance.”

Supporters of the two Congressional bills include the California Wild Heritage Campaign, the California Wilderness Project and the Wilderness Society.