Press Releases

Bipartisan Bill to Reopen Clear Creek for Recreation and Conservation Passes House

Bill introduced by Farr, Denham and Valadao moves to Senate

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Washignton, July 5, 2016 | Anna R. Vetter ((202) 815-1685) | comments
On Tuesday, July 5, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation introduced by Reps. Sam Farr (CA-20), David G. Valadao (CA-21), and Jeff Denham (CA-10) to reopen Clear Creek for recreational use.
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On Tuesday, July 5, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation introduced by Congressmen Sam Farr (CA-20), David G. Valadao (CA-21), and Jeff Denham (CA-10) to reopen Clear Creek for recreational use.

“From the start, this has always been about bringing people together to support recreation, conservation and economic growth. It’s been a pleasure to work with Representatives Denham and Valadao to reopen Clear Creek and I’m excited to see people enjoy this unique area in a safe, responsible way,” said Rep. Farr.\

"Californians have been enjoying Clear Creek for decades and I am excited Congressmen Denham, Farr and I were able to pass this bill through the House of Representatives today. Not only does this common-sense solution reopen land for off highway vehicle use but the legislation will also preserve land for future generations,” said Rep. Valadao.

“California is fortunate to be endowed with an abundance of natural landscapes and I’m glad that my colleagues in the House recognize the need for public access. I look forward to the reopening of these lands for recreation and thank Sam Farr for working diligently to see the area reopened,” said Rep. Denham


If enacted, the Clear Creek National Recreation Area and Conservation Act (H.R. 1838) would direct the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to reopen the 75,000 acre Clear Creak Management Area in San Benito and Fresno counties for public recreational use, including access for off-road vehicles. It would also protect an additional 21,000 acres of BLM land adjacent to Clear Creek as the Joaquin Rocks Wilderness.

Once considered a premier off-road vehicle recreation site, Clear Creek was temporarily closed in 2008 to the public after an Environmental Protection Agency analysis laid out the perceived risk created by naturally occurring asbestos. H.R. 1838 instructs the BLM to develop a rigorous plan to minimize the risk from asbestos exposure and educate visitors about the naturally occurring asbestos. The BLM would also be required to develop ways to reduce the impact of off-road vehicles to protect the area’s habitat.

Located next to Clear Creek is Joaquin Rocks, sandstone outcroppings that rise over 4,000 feet from the valley floor. Considered the centerpiece of this remote area, the three scenic monoliths are the eroded remnants of an ancient Vaqueros Sandstone formation.

Due to the cool climate created by the rocks elevation, the formation is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna and several species of wildlife. In addition to falcons, hawks and owls, the cliffs provide a potential nesting habitat for the California condor which was reintroduced in the nearby Gabilan Range.

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