Bills would expand Yosemite National Park slightly

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Climbers stand at summit of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park (AP Photo)

Climbers stand at summit of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park (AP Photo)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Two members of California’s Congressional delegation have introduced bills that would expand the boundaries of Yosemite National Park for the first time in 70 years.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Jim Costa introduced the companion bills on Tuesday.

They would add 1,600 acres on the park’s western border to its existing 761,000-acre territory, fulfilling the vision of famed naturalist John Muir. He had argued for the land’s inclusion more than a century ago, but lost out to timber interests.

The land offers stunning views of the Merced River. Pacific Forest Trust has agreed with a group of private landowners to sell it to the National Park Service. The value still has to be appraised.

Costa and Feinstein, both Democrats, say the money would come from fees from offshore oil drilling.

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