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Obama designates Pinnacles Monument a national park

  • FILE - This March 5, 2010 file photo provided by the National Park Service shows a nesting California condor in a cranny near the High Peaks Trail in Pinnacles National Monument, Calif. President Barack Obama signed a bill Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, designating central California's Pinnacles National Monument as a national park. (AP Photo/National Park Service, John Maio, file)

SOLEDAD, — California's Pinnacles National Monument, a 40 square-mile site that includes caves and towering volcanic rock formations popular with climbers, became the country's 59th national park on Thursday.

President Barack Obama signed the bill creating the park in Washington.

The Central California area holds cultural significance for several Native American tribes and is also home to the endangered California condor.

A condor re-establishment program has been in place at Pinnacles since 2003. Every fall, captive-bred condors are released into the wild.

In 2010, for the first time in more than a century, a condor chick successfully hatched there. The park now manages a population of 32 free-flying condors. Other wildlife includes bobcats, cougars, coyotes and wild turkey.


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