1994 Scorecard Vote
For more than a decade, environmentalists have been working to strengthen federal protection for the hauntingly beautiful -- and biologically unique -- desert lands of California. For years, efforts to pass a California Desert Protection Act failed in the face of opposition from the Reagan and Bush Administrations and members of California's congressional delegation.
This year, however, the presence of two new senators from California -- Dianne Feinstein (D) and Barbara Boxer (D) -- helped advance efforts to establish three new national parks and extensive new wilderness areas in the state. Together, Sens. Feinstein and Boxer introduced S. 21, the California Desert Protection Act, which enlarges the Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Monuments and designates both as national parks. It would also create a new 1.5 million-acre Mojave National Park and designate nearly four million new acres of wilderness that would be administered by the Bureau of Land Management. During debate on the Senate floor, opponents of new parks and wilderness areas attempted to weaken the bill by amendment. Recorded votes were taken on three amendments:
On April 13, 1994, the Senate passed the California Desert Protection Act by a vote of 69 - 29. YES is the pro-environment vote. The bill was the largest parks and wilderness designation bill ever passed for the lower 48 states.