Two bills recently introduced in Congress would create new wilderness areas and name one of them after a local congressman who fought to save the storied Mineral King area from ski resort development.

On July 12 Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced into the U.S. Senate the Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park Wilderness Act of 2007 (S. 1774), a bill that would designate almost 70,000 acres of Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park as the John Krebs Wilderness.

A companion bill, H.R. 3022, was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Jim Costa (D-Fresno) and Devin Nunes (R-Visalia).

The bill also would add protected acreage to the existing Sequoia-Kings Canyon Wilderness around the North Forks of the Kaweah River in Sequoia National Park and in the Redwood Canyon/Chimney Rock area in Kings Canyon National Park.

Altogether about 114,488 acres of new wilderness would be protected.

The two parks already contain 723,000 acres of wilderness between them. The new legislation would protect all the remaining land in those parks that is eligible for wilderness designation.

The areas of the parks that would be given wilderness status range from foothill oak woodlands to alpine forests and meadows, and include Mineral King region, focus of a long legal struggle over its protection. As a result of this battle, in 1978 Mineral King became part of Sequoia National Park. Management of the Mineral King valley was transferred from the Forest Service, which had been negotiating with the Walt Disney Corporation to build an extensive ski resort there, to the National Park Service.

The congressman who sponsored the bill that accomplished this, and who steered it through to passage, was John Krebs, a Democrat from Fresno. Krebs lost a re-election bid in 1979, partly due to a local backlash against the protection of Mineral King.

Krebs still lives in the Fresno area.


Write to your representative and ask him or her to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 3022, the Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park Wilderness Act of 2007.

You can find contact information for your representative here:


Write to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and ask her to support Sen. Boxer’s S. 1774.
Contact Sen. Feinstein at:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein
One Post St., #2450
San Francisco, CA 94104


Forests Forever:
Their Ecology, Restoration, and Protection
John J. Berger

from Forests Forever Foundation
and the Center for American Places