Padilla introduces bill to advance California wilderness additions

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California’s junior U.S. senator unveiled on Monday a sweeping public lands package in the upper chamber of Congress that if passed into law would designate more than 625,000 acres of new federal wilderness area in the state.

The package, called the Protecting Unique and Beautiful Landscapes by Investing in California (PUBLIC) Lands Act, includes a bill from Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, to create about 260,000 acres of new wilderness in Northern California.

Huffman voiced optimism over the meaning of Padilla’s sponsorship and the fact that the legislation was in play early in the congressional session.

Padilla’s bill includes three of four California bills in the Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act, a broader public lands package the House passed in March.

“We have shown that we can pass [wilderness legislation] out of the House,” Huffman…

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