America just got a new national park. Pinnacles National Monument in California was signed into law becoming the 59th national park in America.
Pinnacles National Park is located in the Gabilan Mountains of central California’s Salinas Valley, a popular tourist attraction. The new park has spectacular rock formations, beautiful spring wildflowers and houses a group of endangered condors in its 27,000 acres.
The park gets its name from the rock formations called pinnacles. Pinnacles are the remains of half an ancient volcano that was worn down by erosion over the eons. The other matching half of the volcano sits 195 miles to the southeast which is on the other side of the San Andres Fault.
According to Yahoo News, Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, issued a statement announcing President Obama’s signing of the legislation making Pinnacles a national park. In his statement Salazar said,
“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.”
Pinnacles National Park has 30 miles of trails which lead hikers and climbers to the park’s various geological formations. It’s also one of three release sizes for the endangered California condor. Living in the park are 31 free-flying condors. All the chicks born and condors released are monitored by park biologists and volunteers. One of the key threats to condors is lead poisoning, so biologist check blood and feather samples for any signs of lead poisoning.
Back in 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt designated the park as a national monument. The Interior statement said the importance of the various ecosystems, unique geological setting, and historical and cultural significant to Native Americans and early American exploreres and settles is very important according to Live Science.