FRESNO, Calif. — The Latest on an expansion of Yosemite National Park (all times local):
Federal officials say a U.S. lawmaker was mistaken in claiming Yosemite National Park broke the law by adding its largest amount of land in decades without clearing it through Congress.
National Park Service spokesman Jeffrey Olson said Friday that the 400-acre addition doesn’t require approval because the land was donated. He says different standards apply to donations vs. acquisitions using Land and Water Conservation Act funding.
U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, a Utah Republican who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee, says the expansion required congressional approval because of its size and value.
Yosemite officials announced this week that a nonprofit conservation group bought the land for $2.3 million and donated it to the park as wildlife habitat. It marked Yosemite’s largest expansion since 1949.
Bishop staffers say the congressman maintains his position and will seek answers.
A U.S. lawmaker says Yosemite National Park violated federal law by adding 400 acres to its boundary without clearing it through Congress.
Rep. Rob Bishop, a Republican from Utah who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee, told The Associated Press in a statement Friday that the National Park Service “acted outside of its authority, and we will require them to account for their actions.”
Yosemite officials announced this week that a nonprofit trust bought the land for $2.3 million and donated it to the park as a wildlife habitat. It marked Yosemite’s largest expansion in 70 years.
Bishop says he doesn’t want to give back the land but wants answers.
Federal law says Congress must approve land added to a national park that’s over 200 acres and worth more than $750,000.
Yosemite spokesman Scott Gediman didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.