The Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Mateo County is adding more than 4,800 acres of open space after President George W. Bush signed the authorizing legislation by U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo.
"The work to protect our extraordinary natural heritage will be appreciated for generations to come,” Lantos stated Tuesday in announcing the president’s final approval.
The Rancho Corral de Tierra Golden Gate National Recreation Boundary Adjustment Act of 2005, introduced by Lantos in January, lets the federal government buy the land for about half its market value.
The GGNRA is already considered the world’s largest urban park and continues growing with the addition of sites on the Peninsula and the coastline. The newly added land includes the 4,076-acre area, one of the largest tracts of undeveloped land along the coast, and about 800 acres of state property near Devil’s Slide. The land includes views, watersheds, public trails and a range of plant and animal life.
"Permanent federal protection of these open spaces will preserve unique coastal habitats,” Lantos stated. "And it will provide important scenic and recreation opportunities for the people of the Peninsula and our many visitors from around the world.”
Lantos’ bill was folded into a bill by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., that included provisions for Yosemite and Redwood national parks. The Senate approved the bill in July and the House followed two weeks ago. Congress considered similar legislation last year but did not vote before the end of the session.