Board to weigh formal support for Clear Creek reopening

Clear Creek Management Area has been closed since 2008. File photo.

The San Benito County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider supporting a bill aiming to reopen Clear Creek National Recreation Area.

Supervisors at their 9 a.m. Tuesday meeting are set to consider a letter of support for H.R. 1838 introduced by Congressman Sam Farr, D-Carmel, in April 2015. The bill passed in a House vote July 5 and will be considered by the Senate next.

If passed, the bill would direct the Bureau of Land Management to reopen the 75,000-acre Clear Creek Management Area in the two counties for recreational use, including for off-road vehicles. The bill would also protect an additional 21,000 acres of BLM land near Clear Creek as the Joaquin Rocks Wilderness.

Clear Creek closed in 2008 after an Environmental Protection Agency analysis concluded that naturally occurring asbestos posed a risk to the public. Before its closure, the location was a popular off-road vehicle recreation site.

HR 1838 would instruct the BLM to create a plan to minimize risk of asbestos exposure, as well as educate the public about naturally occurring asbestos.

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