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Subcommittee Hearing on Clear Creek National Recreation Area & Conservation Act - UPD

Discussion in 'Recreational Land Use Issues' started by KaiserM715, May 21, 2014.

  1. KaiserM715

    KaiserM715 Kaiser Söze

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    BRC wants to commend Congressman Sam Farr, Steve Koretoff and the AMA for their testimony in support of legislation to designate certain lands in Central California as the Clear Creek National Recreation Area and Conservation Act, H.R. 1776. Congressmen David Valadao and Jeff Denham joined Congressman Sam Farr as original cosponsors of this legislation. Unfortunately, Congressman Sam Farr is ranking member on another co

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  2. M3ichael

    M3ichael Full Access Member

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    Could you give a brief background update on this and where its' going.
    I'm in Salinas and very interested on what's going on. Currently doing catch up reading on this topic but if you have any other helpful information that would be great.
     
  3. KaiserM715

    KaiserM715 Kaiser Söze

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    Try the "Read More" link in the original post.
     
  4. M3ichael

    M3ichael Full Access Member

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    Done. Sent Congressman Farr an email thanking him for his support.
    If you have any other information let us know.
     
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  5. M3ichael

    M3ichael Full Access Member

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    Response from Congressman Farr.

    Thank you for contacting me with your support for H.R. 1776, the Clear Creek National Recreation Area and Conservation Act. I am proud to have introduced this piece of legislation so that outdoor enthusiasts may again enjoy the unique and sprawling terrain of Clear Creek.

    The debate on re-opening Clear Creek rests on two facets of argument: 1. The conflict surrounding the legitimacy of health effects posed by the naturally occurring asbestos in the recreation area. 2. The economic and cultural loss that the closure of Clear Creek creates.

    There is no question that Clear Creek contains deposits of naturally occurring asbestos; however, the potential dangers that this asbestos poses must be prudently evaluated. Based off findings of a study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2005, the Bureau of Land Management began instituting seasonal closures to the recreation area in an effort to protect the health of visitors. The BLM took these seasonal closures a step further in 2008 when it issued an emergency closure to the recreation area, effectively shuttering all 70,000 acres to visitors. However, evidence has emerged calling into question the validity of the EPA study. First, a 2011 study by the International Environmental Research Foundation found that the health risk of recreating in Clear Creek is much lower than is stated by the BLM. Second, a study by a Harvard research team, commissioned by the state of California, found sampling errors made by the EPA in its study of asbestos in Clear Creek. Third, the EPA has not conducted a study on cancer rates amongst visitors to Clear Creek.

    The economic toll that the closure of Clear Creek has inflicted is extensive. According to San Benito County Supervisor Jerry Muenzer, “(San Benito County) has lost thousands of dollars since Clear Creek closed. (H.R. 1776) would bring much needed tourism dollars back to our small businesses, providing an immediate boost the local economy.” Further, the closure deprives our neighbors of the distinguishing natural beauty of Clear Creek which has been enjoyed for generations.

    The Clear Creek National Recreation Area and Conservation Act will not only allow the use of off-highway vehicles in Clear Creek, it also will anoint 21,000 acres of land adjacent to Clear Creek as the Joaquin Rocks Wilderness and designate five segments of creeks and rivers in Monterey County as Wild and Scenic Rivers. As well, the bill instructs the BLM to develop a rigorous plan to minimize the risk from asbestos exposure and to educate visitors to the recreation area about the natural asbestos. I have sponsored this bill to bring environmentalists and off-road vehicle enthusiasts together in the common goals of reopening Clear Creek for the public to enjoy and creating new wilderness land for future generations to treasure.

    Thanks again for contacting me and I appreciate your time. It is wonderful to see that Californian’s support for wilderness lands is not diminishing. You can be assured that I will continue to push this Congress and Administration for more protections of our precious resources. Please do not hesitate to contact me again in the future to let me know of issues that are important to you.



    Sincerely,

    SAM FARR
    Member of Congress

    SF/JM
     
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