Boxer, DeSaulnier Introduce Bill to Expand John Muir National Historic Site

March 4, 2015
Press Release
Legislation Would Expand the Site Honoring the “Father of the National Park Service”

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (both D-CA) today introduced legislation to expand the Martinez, California historic site that celebrates the life and legacy of John Muir. The John Muir National Historic Site Expansion Act would authorize the National Park Service to acquire land that is being donated through a trust, which would improve access to the park and provide more for visitors to see and do at the site.

“John Muir was the father of the National Park Service and he worked tirelessly to preserve our country’s public lands for future generations,” Senator Boxer said. “This bill will honor his legacy by improving public access to this historic site, providing more for visitors to do, and connecting the site to the Bay Area Ridge Trail.”

“With the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, it would be a fitting tribute to honor John Muir by expanding the site where he lived, wrote and brought to life the conservation movement.  Today we have over 400 National Parks, and I am honored to represent the place where this idea was born and where it developed into a model to be copied throughout the world,” said Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11).

Although the land is being donated by the Muir Heritage Land Trust, congressional approval of the acquisition is necessary because the acreage of the donated land parcel exceeds the percentage of land that the Park Service is allowed to acquire administratively.

The 44-acre addition would include lands once part of the estate of John Swett, a former California Superintendent of Public Education who helped found the California Teachers Association, and was a neighbor and friend to John Muir in the Alhambra Valley Hills.

Muir is considered the “father of the National Park Service.” He was a lifelong conservationist who helped create Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, and was a founder of the Sierra Club.  The John Muir National Historic Site, which stretches across 330 acres currently, includes the home where Muir lived until he died in 1914.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) joined Boxer and DeSaulnier as an original cosponsor of the legislation.

Former Congressman George Miller (D-Martinez) first introduced the bill on November 13, 2014, and it passed the House in December 2014.