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California Desert Protection Bill passes in House and Senate

Posted: 5:27 PM, Feb 27, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-27 20:27:19-05
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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Senator Dianne Feinstein's California Desert Protection and Recreation Act has passed in both the House and the Senate.

The bill is part of a package that protects land across the United States. This specific bill creates more than 375,000 acres of protected wilderness space in Southern California. It also expands Joshua Tree National Park by 4,518 acres and expands Death Valley National Park by 35,292, which includes 1,600 acres donated by the Mojave Desert Land Trust. The bill designates off-highway vehicle recreation areas and scenic areas.

Mojave Desert Land Trust Director of Management Peter Satin said this new added space will help California wildlife.

"It's providing this giant what we call connectivity corridor. It's allowing the wildlife to migrate from one portion of the desert to another, almost uninterrupted by human development," said Satin. Satin added that the bill will also help people enjoy the state's nature in a safe and protected way.

The bill passed 92 to 8 in the Senate and and 363 to 62 in the House. Now, it's on the desk of President Trump to sign.