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Boxer introduces Northern California conservation bill

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer has introduced legislation intended to improve management and recreation on 319,000 acres of public land in Lake, Mendocino, Napa and Yolo counties.

The Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area Act would mandate creation of a single management plan for the land, currently under the split management of three federal agencies, according to an analysis of the bill, introduced Wednesday.

The Bureau of Land Management would be the primary administrator of the multi-agency plan but all would remain involved. The management plan would be created with public input, according to the analysis.

The plan is expected to improve recreational opportunities by rehabilitating trails and installing uniform signs. The designation also could make the projects eligible for new funding sources, officials said.

The designation, if approved, would continue to allow most recreational uses and mining on existing claims.

Boxer's staff said the designation would raise the profile of the region, increasing tourism and business opportunities in the area. Similar legislation has been introduced in the House by representatives Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, and Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma.

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