The New Year brings a new national park – the first to be initiated into the system since 2004.
The 26,000-acre Pinnacles National Monument, home to the endangered California condor and a popular spot for climbers from Hollister, was elevated to national park status due to a bill authored by Congressman Sam Farr. It was passed by the U.S. Senate during a rare Sunday session.
Established in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt, the central Californian Pinnacles National Monument is the eleventh oldest National Monument in the U.S. It is now set to become the 59th National Park once President Obama signs the bill.
The area – home to over 600 species of animals and insects – received its name from the volcanic spires that were formed by the eruption of the Neenach Volcano over 23 million years ago.
“The legislation moved quickly through Congress because of its broad, grassroots support due to the positive impact it would have on the surrounding communities,” said Farr spokesperson Adam Russell.
Russell pointed out the outpouring of supporting from chambers of commerce Monterey and San Benito Counties, who hoped the Park would draw in more tourists from around the state and world.
“The Central Coast is ready to welcome visitors to this national treasure,” said Congressman Farr in a press release. “From exploring caves, to viewing springtime wildflowers, to hiking through spire-like rock formations, visitors and families can participate in activities that leave lasting memories. It is truly worthy of National Park status.”