Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Congressman Mark DeSaulnier’s (CA-11) bill to expand the historic site that celebrates the life of John Muir in Martinez, CA. The John Muir National Historic Site Expansion Act (H.R. 1719) would add an additional 44 acres of donated land to the park to improve access and preserve the land for generations to come. The bill passed the House by a vote of 401-to-15 and now moves to the Senate for consideration.
“John Muir, the father of our National Park Service, championed the revolutionary idea that America’s wild spaces ought to be preserved for all to enjoy. As a nature-lover and proud Californian, it is an honor to lead this effort as a tribute to John Muir. It is my hope that expanding the site where Muir drew inspiration will allow residents to further enjoy the beauty of the East Bay. I thank the John Muir Land Trust for its stewardship and protection of John Muir’s legacy,” said Congressman DeSaulnier.
“Our sincere thanks go out to Congressman DeSaulnier for such critical legislation. Muir often walked this land with his two daughters, to admire the coast live oak that grow there, as well as the annual wildflowers that punctuate its grassy hillsides. Expansion of the John Muir Historic Site will forever protect this beautiful property and allow future generations to share in the same delights as Muir’s daughters,” said Linus Eukel, Executive Director of John Muir Land Trust.
Currently, the John Muir National Historic Site spans 330 acres of Contra Costa County, and includes the home where Muir lived and wrote. The parcel of land being donated is located on the south side of Mount Wanda.
The John Muir National Historic Site Expansion Act would authorize the National Park Service to acquire land that is being donated by the John Muir Land Trust. Since the parcel of land being donated by the trust exceeds the size the National Park Service is permitted to acquire administratively, Congressional approval is needed.
Senator Kamala Harris has introduced companion legislation in the Senate. Congressman DeSaulnier first introduced this bill last Congress, where it passed the House, but was not considered in the Senate. This effort was first spearheaded by former Congressman George Miller, who previously represented California’s 11th Congressional District.