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A Place Uniquely Preserving Central Coast Wildlife


By J.D. Hillard | KUSP -

The ceremony dedicating the Pinnacles was headlined by a speech from Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar. He was flanked by California Secretary of Natural Resources John Laird, Congressman Sam Farr — who introduced the bill the president signed earlier this month making the region a national park — and Valentin Lopez, tribal chairman of the Amah Mutsun band of the Ohlone. It was an auspicious day for a field trip says teacher Kim Williams.

Ranger Beatrice Lujan invited signed in visitors to the newly named national park. Photo: J.D. Hillard / KUSP

Williams and the six children of the one-room Panoche Elementary school drove 90 minutes to the park. Its not the first time either. Williams says the park offers excellent opportunities to teach cultural history and for students to experience wildlife.

Condor watchers patiently await a visitation from a species that nearly went extinct. Photo: J.D. Hillard

The wide variety of wildlife is referred to in the act that made this a national park. The act specifically singles out the region for its preservation of Central Coast flaura and fauna. Which is what ranger Jenny Jones was offering a look at. She stood next to a viewing glass aimed at a ridge frequented by some of the California condors that have been resettled in the park after they nearly went extinct.

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