December 31, 2012
U.S. lawmakers might be at an impasse as they toe the edge of the fiscal cliff, but the Senate agreed to Congressman Sam Farr's, D-Carmel, bill designating Pinnacles National Monument as a National Park.
If the bill is signed into law by President Barack Obama, it would be the first National Park created by Congress since 2004.
“Pinnacles is a special place and I am proud to have worked with Senator Boxer to elevate it to a National Park,” Farr said in a statement. "This treasure will finally take its rightful place on the shelf next to Yosemite, Yellowstone and all of our other wonderful parks."
Pinnacles was first established as a National Monument by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908. Today, it comprises 26,000 acres featuring caves and volcanic spites formed more than 23 million years ago.
It's home to 149 species of birds, 49 mammals, 22 reptiles, 68 butterflies, 36 dragonflies, nearly 400 bees, 13 bats and its most well-known inhabitants, some 30 endangered California condors.
Senator Barbara Boxer bought Farr's HR 3641, which passed the House in July, to the Senate. The Senate passed the bill Sunday by unanimous consent.