From the BlueRibbon Coalition: Earlier this year, California Reps. David G. Valadao (CA-21), Sam Farr (CA-21), and Jeff Denham (CA-10) introduced H.R. 1838, the Clear Creek National Recreation Area and Conservation Act, to direct the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to reopen the 75,000 acre Clear Creek Management Area in San Benito and Fresno counties for recreational use, including access for off-road vehicles. Additionally, the legislation would protect approximately 21,000 acres of BLM land adjacent to Clear Creek as the Joaquin Rocks Wilderness.
Once considered a premier off-road vehicle recreation site, Clear Creek was temporarily closed in 2008 to the public after an Environmental Protection Agency analysis about the risk created by naturally occurring asbestos.
The bill instructs the BLM to develop a rigorous plan to minimize the risk from asbestos exposure and educate visitors about the naturally occurring asbestos. The BLM would also be required to find ways to reduce the impact of off-road vehicles to protect the area’s habitat.
“This legislation is one of the rare opportunities where all stakeholders will benefit from land designation legislation.” said Steve Koretoff, member of the BlueRibbon Coalition and the American Motorcyclists Association. “It will allow responsible motorized recreation while at the same time protecting sensitive lands and habitat. Californians look forward to being able to recreate in this unique area once again.”
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