Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act


The Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act is a U.S. federal law enacted in 2006 that enlarged existing wilderness boundaries and created new wilderness areas for protection under the National Wilderness Preservation System. These newly designated protected wilderness areas help safeguard habitat for more than 250 endangered species including the California condor and the bristlecone pine, the oldest living trees on earth.

It also added Wild and Scenic status to sections of the Black Butte River, created the Cow Mountain Recreation Area and designated the Elkhorn Ridge Potential Wilderness Area.

The Act was sponsored by Representative Mike Thompson and Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, and was signed into law on October 17, 2006.


May 21, 2002-

Senator Barbara Boxer introduces California Wild Heritage Act of 2002 (S. 2535) in the 107th United States Congress.

" In short, this bill preserves, prevents, and it protects." - Senator Boxer[1]

March 27, 2003-

Bills are introduced in 108th Congress.

  • House of Representatives:
    • H.R. 1501, Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act of 2003 introduced by Representative Mike Thompson.
  • Senate:
    • S. 738, introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer.

October 16, 2003-

Companion bills introduced in U.S. House of Representatives:

  • H.R. 3325, Southern California Wild Heritage Wilderness and Wild Rivers Act of 2003, introduced by Representative Hilda Solis.
  • HR 3327, Representative Mike Thompson's bill titled Northern California Wilderness and Wild Rivers is introduced.

March 4, 2004-

Senator Dianne Feinstein joins Senator Boxer and Representative Mike Thompson in supporting the bill.

December 8, 2004-

U.S. Senate passes Senate bill 738, which was bundled together with several other bills collectively titled H.R. 620. It was then sent to the House for consideration, but the House adjourned before action was taken.[2]

January 4, 2004-

  • House bill H.R. 233 introduced in the 109th Congress.
    • Committee and Subcommittee hearings held Feb. 3, 2005 to July 19, 2006.[3]

January 14, 2005-

  • Senate bill S. 128 is introduced.
    • Passed Senate by unanimous consent and was sent to the House July 26, 2005.

July 24, 2006-

Debate on bill for 40 minutes.

October 5, 2006-

Bill was presented to President of the United States.

October 17, 2006-

Bill is signed and becomes Public Law No. 109-362


New Wilderness
Name Area Agency County
Sanhedrin 10,571 acres (42.78 km2) Mendocino National Forest Mendocino, Lake
Yuki 53,887 acres (218.07 km2) Mendocino National Forest Mendocino, Lake
Mount Lassic 7,279 acres (29.46 km2) Six Rivers National Forest Humboldt, Trinity
Cache Creek 27,245 acres (110.26 km2) Bureau of Land Management Lake
Cedar Roughs 6,350 acres (25.7 km2) Bureau of Land Management Napa
South Fork Eel River 12,915 acres (52.27 km2) Bureau of Land Management Mendocino
King Range 43,585 acres (176.38 km2) Bureau of Land Management Mendocino, Humboldt
Wilderness Additions
Name Area Agency Total
Trinity Alps Wilderness 22,863 acres (92.52 km2) Six Rivers National Forest 525,627 acres (2,127.14 km2)
Snow Mountain Wilderness 23,706 acres (95.93 km2) Mendocino National Forest 50,076 acres (202.65 km2)
Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness 27,036 acres (109.41 km2) Mendocino National Forest, Bureau of Land Management 180,877 acres (731.98 km2)
Siskiyou Wilderness 30,122 acres (121.90 km2) Six Rivers National Forest 182,802 acres (739.77 km2)


  1. ^ [1] Full text of introduction by Senator Boxer where direct quote is taken from. ( Middle of document)
  2. ^ [2] Press release from Energy Committee / U.S. Senate explaining the "bundle" of bills.
  3. ^ [3] Govtrack website's full summary of H.R. 233


[4] The complete text of this law in PDF format. retrieved April 4, 2008

The pages on each new / expanded wilderness areas, with detail of acreage by agency:

  • [5] Siskiyou Wilderness
  • [6] Snow Mountain Wilderness
  • [7] Trinity Alps Wilderness
  • [8] Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness
  • [9] Sanhedrin Wilderness
  • [10] Yuki Wilderness
  • [11] Mount Lassic Wilderness
  • [12] Cache Creek Wilderness
  • [13] Cedar Roughs Wilderness
  • [14] South Fork Eel River Wilderness
  • [15] King Range Wilderness

See alsoEdit

[16] San Francisco Chronicle's columnist Tom Steinstra's article (dated Oct. 2002) concerning fraud charges against Senator Boxer by mountain biking groups. retrieved April 4, 2008

[17] Press release of a working agreement between several mountain biking clubs and wilderness advocates, from a meeting held at Reno, Nevada on March 19-20, 2002