Jan 10, 2013 6:59 PM by Associated Press
SOLEDAD, Calif. (AP) - President Barack Obama has signed a bill designating central California's Pinnacles National Monument as a national park.
The bill signed on Thursday makes Pinnacles National Monument the country's 59th national park.
Established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908, the 26,000-acre site southeast of Salinas includes towering volcanic rock formations popular with climbers, and caves.
The park is home to the endangered California condor. The area also holds cultural significance for several of California's Native American tribes.
The park designation will help increase the number of visitors and boost area tourism, Sen. Barbara Boxer, who sponsored the Senate bill, said.
The legislation also renames the current Pinnacles Wilderness as the Hain Wilderness after Schuyler Hain, an early conservationist whose efforts led to the establishment of the Monument.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
1/10/2013 12:06:49 PM (GMT -8:00)
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