KPIX: Senators propose renaming Joshua Tree Visitor Center after late Sen. Dianne Feinstein

By Tim Fang

California’s two senators have introduced a proposal that would rename a visitors’ center at Joshua Tree National Park to honor the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

The legislation by Sen. Alex Padilla and Sen. Laphonza Butler is being heard Wednesday in a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. If approved, the Cottonwood Visitors Center near Interstate 10 would bear Feinstein’s name.

In a statement, Padilla highlighted the senator’s role in protecting California’s public lands during her three decades in the Senate. Feinstein authored the California Desert Protection Act of 1994, which included expanding and re-designating Death Valley and Joshua Tree into national parks.

“Thirty years after the enactment of Senator Feinstein’s landmark California Desert Protection Act, which created Joshua Tree National Park, I can think of no better way to honor her legacy than by ensuring that the Park’s visitors are reminded of Senator Feinstein’s enduring public lands legacy,” Padilla said.

Butler said, “Senator Feinstein was a strong advocate for California’s public lands, and spent her lifetime securing investments to protect landscapes like Joshua Tree National Park. Renaming the Cottonwood Visitor Center in her honor is another way for us to celebrate Senator Feinstein’s remarkable legacy.”

Feinstein died last year at the age of 90, following a trailblazing career which included being the first woman to serve as mayor of San Francisco and the longest serving woman in the U.S. Senate.

The proposal to rename the visitors’ center follows another bill from Padilla and Butler that would rename the post office at 180 Steuart Street in San Francisco after Feinstein.

Earlier this year, the San Francisco Airport Commission unanimously approved renaming the International Terminal at SFO after the late senator.

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