Padilla Bills to Build Urban Parks, Protect Sacred Tribal Land Advance in the Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) today applauded the Energy and Natural Resources Committee for unanimously advancing two of his bills to improve access to the outdoors—the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument Expansion Act and the Outdoors for All Act, which was included in the bipartisan America’s Outdoor Recreation Act. The two bills were reported favorably out of committee and now head to the floor for consideration before the full Senate.

“These bills will help us tackle inequitable access to the outdoors on two fronts,” said Senator Padilla. “One bill would create and improve much-needed neighborhood parks and green spaces while building community resilience to climate impacts in disadvantaged communities, while the other would protect the abundant natural and sacred resources on Molok Luyuk for today’s children and for generations to come. I am glad to see these important pieces of legislation advance and urge my colleagues to support them so we can improve access to our beautiful public spaces.”

Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument Expansion Act

The Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument Expansion Act, cosponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), would add an adjacent 3,925 acres to the current National Monument and support tribal input into the management of the Monument. In recognition of the sacred and religious importance of the lands protected in the bill, the legislation would also change the name of the wildlands known as “Walker Ridge” to Molok Luyuk—Patwin for “Condor Ridge”—a name the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation provided. For over 11,000 years, dozens of tribes have called “Molok Luyuk” home, and enactment of this bill can ensure that their unique tribal knowledge, history, and cultural practices will permanently be part of the National Monument.

Full text of the bill is available here.

Outdoors for All Act

The Outdoors for All Act, cosponsored by Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), would codify the popular Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) into law and make improvements to this program. The ORLP program awards grants to urban and low-income communities around the country to improve outdoor recreation infrastructure, revitalize local economies, and enhance the quality of life in neighborhoods. Padilla’s bill would make ORLP more equitable by allowing the Interior Department to waive the required local cost-share if communities don’t have reasonable means, make tribal communities eligible for funding, lower the population threshold so more communities can compete for funding, and require the National Park Service to consider whether projects improve outdoor recreation in communities with inadequate park access. It would also build community resilience to climate change by requiring NPS to consider whether projects reduce urban heat islands, enhance air or water quality, or provide habitat for fish and wildlife.

Full text of the bill is available here.

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources also advanced the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act, a bill introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), that Padilla also cosponsored. The legislation would add more than 119,000 acres to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.


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