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Democracy Awards

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier

Representing the 11th District of California

Congressman DeSaulnier and Senator Harris’s Legislation to Expand John Muir National Historic Site Signed into Law

June 25, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) announced that his bill to expand the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, California was signed into law. The John Muir National Historic Site Expansion Act (H.R. 1719) adds an additional 44 acres of donated land to the 330 acre park to help improve access to the East Bay’s natural spaces and preserve the land for generations to come. Congressman DeSaulnier’s bill first passed in the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 401-to-15, was then unanimously passed in the Senate, and was signed into law by the President. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) authored the companion bill in the U.S. Senate. 

“Contra Costa’s own John Muir, the father of our National Parks, championed the revolutionary idea that America’s wild spaces ought to be preserved for all to enjoy. Through his writings and teachings, he helped to shape our appreciation of open spaces by reminding us to ‘keep close to Nature’s heart,’” said Congressman DeSaulnier. “It has been an honor to help expand the site where Muir lived and wrote. Providing residents with additional ways to explore the beauty of the East Bay seems to be a fitting tribute to the man who loved and valued our natural wonders.”

"The expansion of the John Muir Historic Site will ensure that future generations of Californians and others will have the opportunity to continue to learn about his legacy as the father of the National Park Service," said Senator Harris. "John Muir's advocacy paved the path toward the protection of Yosemite and Sequoia as national parks, and Californians owe him a debt of gratitude so I’m pleased that this expansion will now move forward. Our public lands are rich with natural diversity, and are worthy of our protection and preservation.”

“Permanently protecting the legacy of John Muir is very much a team effort. Mark DeSaulnier, Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein are the foundation of just such a partnership. Their dynamic leadership, passion and commitment, supported by a remarkably generous group of John Muir Land Trust supporters, will permanently protect this beautiful property for future local, national, and international generations to enjoy forever. John Muir Land Trust is excited, and honored to share in this wonderful achievement,” said Linus Eukel, Executive Director of John Muir Land Trust.

Passing the John Muir Historic Site Expansion in this Congress is a remarkable achievement by Congressman DeSaulnier. We now know that the historic and environmental integrity of the site will be preserved for future generations in our community and in our country. It recognizes the importance of John Muir to the creation of our public lands in California,” said former Congressman Miller.

Currently, the John Muir National Historic Site spans 330 acres of Contra Costa County, and includes the home where Muir lived and wrote. The new, 44 acre parcel of land is being donated by the John Muir Land Trust, and is located on the south side of Mount Wanda. Since the parcel of land donated exceeds the size the National Park Service is permitted to acquire administratively, the transfer needed Congressional approval. The legislative effort to acquire the land was first introduced by former Congressman George Miller, who previously represented California’s 11th Congressional District.

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