Rep. Paul Cook Introduces Bill to Create Alabama Hills National Scenic Area
WASHINGTON – Last night, Rep. Paul Cook (R – Apple Valley) introduced H.R. 5573, legislation that would establish the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area. This designation would encompass 18,610 acres of the scenic Alabama Hills and would preserve it for recreational use by the public and future generations. A Bureau of Land Management (BLM) map of the proposed Alabama Hills National Scenic Area can be found here.
This bill guarantees that all recreational activities currently taking place in the Alabama Hills will continue. This includes not only hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing, but hunting, fishing, and authorized motorized vehicle use as well. Additionally, recreational prospecting (rock-hounding) will continue in the historic mining areas under this legislation.
This bill is the culmination of months of work by Rep. Paul Cook and the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group to draft legislative language acceptable to all key local stakeholders. The stewardship group is dedicated topromoting the long term vision, conservation, use, enhancement, and enjoyment of the Alabama Hills. Groups and organizations that have worked with the stewardship group include Inyo County, the Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce, the Lone-Pine Paiute-Shoshone Tribe, local business owners, and other key stakeholders.
Cook said, “The Alabama Hills are a natural treasure, and I’m excited to introduce this bill to help guarantee our children and grandchildren can enjoy them the same way we do. The level of local input has been incredible and should serve as an example for how land use decisions are made.”
The Alabama Hills Stewardship Group released a statement saying, “The Alabama Hills Stewardship Group is delighted by the introduction of legislation supporting our proposed National Scenic Area designation for the Alabama Hills. This is a culmination of years of collaboration and steadfast support from a broad range of stakeholders. We are proud of our partnership with the Bureau of Land Management in helping manage and protect this semi-primitive area and look forward to both preserving this jaw-dropping landscape and providing access to it for future generations.”
A member of the House Veterans’ Affairs, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.