MONTEREY COUNTY (CBS SF) — President Barack Obama signed legislation Thursday making Pinnacles National Monument near Soledad the 59th national park in the U.S.
A 27,000-acre park located in the Gabilan Mountains east of the Salinas Valley, Pinnacles is known for its volcanic rock formations, which are popular with climbers, and spring wildflowers, according to park officials.
Pinnacles is also one of three release sites for the endangered California condor and is home to 31 closely monitored birds.
“This ancient and awe-inspiring volcanic field with its massive monoliths, spires, cave passages and canyons is a place that restores our souls and energizes our bodies with its beauty and abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation,” U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in a statement.
Pinnacles draws more than 343,000 visitors each year, who spend around $4.8 million annually, officials said. The park also generates 48 local jobs.
The legislation signed also designates 16,000 acres of wilderness within the park as the Hain Wilderness. The name honors Schuyler Hain, an 1891 homesteader from Michigan whose efforts to preserve the area led to its designation as a national monument by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908.
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