July 10, 2008

Pelosi Plays Park Name Game With Bill

By Mark Prado, The Marin Independent Journal, Novato, Calif.

Jul. 10--What's in a name? A lot, if you talk to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Pelosi has fashioned legislation that would rename the recreation area the "Golden Gate National Parks."

The amount of recreation area land in Marin is significant: Of its 75,500 acres, roughly 55 percent is in the county and represented by Muir Woods and areas such as the Bolinas Ridge, Fort Baker, Fort Cronkhite, Gerbode Valley, Kirby Cove, Marin Headlands, Muir Beach, Muir Beach Overlook, Nike Missile site, Olema Valley, Point Bonita Lighthouse, Stinson Beach and Tennessee Valley.

The rest of the recreation area covers parts of coastal San Francisco and San Mateo counties.

The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, which raises money for the recreation area, likes the idea of the switch. In fact, it uses "national parks" in its title.

"We want to get across to people that there are these great national park areas right at their doorstep," said David Shaw, conservancy spokesman. "And a change could also bring more funding and more volunteers."

If the bill -- which will be heard by a House subcommittee next week -- passes, "Golden Gate National Parks" would be the 59th national park.

"This bill is dedicated to renowned environmentalist Edgar Wayburn, and to my friend and predecessor in Congress, the late Congressman Phillip Burton, and to all those who have dedicated their careers and lives to preserving these remarkable natural and historical

spaces for our and future generations to enjoy," Pelosi wrote in statement on the bill.

Contact Mark Prado via e-mail at [email protected]


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