Posted by: Stan Russell | June 19, 2017

Happy Birthday to the Silver Peak Wilderness

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Happy Birthday to the Silver Peak Wilderness

It’s the silver anniversary of the establishment of the Silver Peak Wilderness! On June 19, 1992, President George Herbert Walker Bush signed into law the far-reaching Los Padres Condor Range and River Protection Act which permanently protected approximately 14,500 acres of wildlands in the Big Sur south coast.

This incredible landscape features bountiful natural and cultural resources. The Silver Peak Wilderness rises abruptly from the coast in an especially steep section of the Santa Lucia Mountains. The designation’s namesake, Silver Peak, rises just 3,590 from sea level, yet it challenges the heartiest of hikers who aspire to summit it from trailheads along Highway 1. The Silver Peak harbors the world’s southernmost stands of coast redwoods. Also hidden here are groves of rare Sargent cypress and the endemic Santa Lucia fir. Multiple midden sites offer a glimpse into the lives of the first hunter-gatherers who settled here. Relics of the mission era and the homesteader days lie hidden in deep canyons and dense forest.

Let us be thankful today for the foresight, hard work, and dedication of the citizens and elected officials who worked to secure passage of the Los Padres Condor Range and River Protection Act. In all, this legislation protected over 400,000 acres and designated three Wild and Scenic Rivers. Learn more here.

The Silver Peak was more than doubled in size by the Big Sur Wilderness and Conservation Act of 2002. The founders of the Ventana Wilderness Alliance spearheaded this effort and the resulting law was passed thanks to the extraordinary efforts of both Congressman Sam Farr and Senator Barbara Boxer. We can’t thank all involved enough.

So amidst these troubled times for public lands, let’s celebrate the birthday of the Silver Peak and remember that it belongs to all of us and it is our responsibility to protect it.

The VWA created this map and brochure to teach people to enjoy the Silver Peak responsibly. Click here to download a copy.

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