Bipartisan Bill to Reopen Clear Creek for Recreation and Conservation Passes House
Bill introduced by Farr, Denham and Valadao moves to Senate
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.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.
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.