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House committee OKs Mendocino coastline as national monument

The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill that would add 1,255 acres of scenic Mendocino County coastline to the California Coastal National Monument.

The bill by Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, heads next to the House floor — its rapid passage out of committee a coup for the freshman lawmaker who picked up the bill from Rep. Mike Thompson, who formerly represented the North Coast.

The California Coastal National Monument Expansion Act of 2013 would create the first mainland addition to what's otherwise a monument consisting of 1,100 miles of coastal rock formations, pinnacles and reefs along the California coast between the Oregon and Mexico borders. It is Huffman's first bill.

Passage would grant monument status to a section of mainland coast already, or soon to be, held in public interest under the Bureau of Land Management. Additions include the Stornetta Public Lands and two contiguous properties known as Cypress Abbey Ranch.

Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer have sponsored companion legislation in the Senate.


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