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Bill to protect Central Coast wildlands passes House

Bill to protect Central Coast wildlands passes House

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A bill that would protect more than 279,000 acres of Central Coast wildlands was passed Wednesday by the House of Representatives, as a matching bill awaits action in the Senate.

If signed into law, HR 2199 would protect more than 245,000 acres of wilderness and 400 miles of the Condor National Recreation Trail, create two scenic areas encompassing 34,500 acres and safeguard 159 miles of wild and scenic rivers, according to advocates.

Also known as the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act, the bill was introduced in April 2019 by Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, and passed on a vote of 231-183.

The Senate version was introduced last year by Sen. Kamala Harris, D-San Francisco, and she is expected to reintroduce a single piece of companion legislation that also will protect public lands in the state’s Northwest and San Gabriel Mountains areas.

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County Reporter/Associate Editor

Lee Central Coast Newspapers associate editor Mike Hodgson covers Santa Barbara County government and events and issues in Santa Ynez Valley. Follow him on Twitter @MHodgsonSYVNews.

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Andy Caldwell believes he can see government from both sides of the aisle. He spent half his life as a registered Democrat before becoming a Republican. But Caldwell, who’s challenging incumbent Democrat Salud Carbajal for his 24th Congressional District seat in the House of Representatives, said he doesn’t believe either party is serving the needs of the people any longer.

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