Park History of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area


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By Hal K. Rothman, Principal Investigator &
Daniel J. Holder Senior Research Historian

Significant Legislation

Public Law 87-657, authorizing Point Reyes National Seashore, signed into law by President Kennedy on Sept. 13, 1962.

Public Law 92-589 (H.R.16444) established the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and an Advisory Commission on October 27, 1972. It sanctioned the expenditure of $61,610,000 for the acquisition of lands and interests in lands. It also authorized inclusion of all Army lands within the boundaries when these lands were declared excess by the Army, immediately transferred administrative jurisdiction of Fort Mason, Crissy Field, Forts Cronkhite, Barry and the westerly one-half of Fort Baker to the Secretary of Interior, and placed the Marina Green, including the railroad right of way, within park boundaries.

The Establishment section read: "In order to preserve for public use and enjoyment certain areas of Marin and San Francisco Counties, California, possessing outstanding natural, historic, scenic, and recreational values, and in order to provide for the maintenance of needed recreational open space necessary to urban environment and planning, the Golden Gate Recreational Recreation Area (hereinafter referred to as the "recreation area" is hereby established. In the management of the recreation the Secretary of the Interior (hereinafter referred to as the "Secretary") shall utilize the resources in a manner which will provide for recreation and educational opportunities consistent with sound principles of land use planning and management. In carrying out the provisions of this Act, the Secretary shall preserve the recreation area, as far as possible, in its natural setting, and protect it from development and uses which would destroy the scenic beauty and natural character of the area."

Public Law 96-199 added $15,500,000 to P.L.'s land acquisition ceiling.

Public Law 1193-544, enacted in 1974, added several relatively small parcels of land to GGNRA's boundary in the Mill Valley/Sausalito area.

Public Law 94-389 (H.R. 738), passed in 1976, provided for Federal participation in preserving the Tule Elk population in California and suggested that Point Reyes National Seashore is one of the Federal areas which offered a potential for use.

Public Laws 94-544 (H.R. 8002), also passed in 1976, and 94567 (H.R. 13160) established the Point Reyes Wilderness Area of 25,370 acres and a Wilderness potential of 8,003 acres.

Public Law 95-625 authorized the acquisition of 3,723.60 acres of private land in the Lagunitas Loop/Devil's Gulch area of Marin County in 1978, as well as the addition of Samuel P. Taylor State Park.

Public Law 96-199, enacted in March 1980, extended the park boundary more than eight miles further northward, adding about 2,000 acres that encompassed most of the waters of Tomales Bay.

Public Law 96-344, enacted in September 1980, modified P.L. 96-199 by adding eighteen more parcels, amounting to about 1,100 acres.

Public Law 96-607 authorized a boundary expansion of Golden Gate National Recreation Area by adding 26,000 acres in San Mateo County, including 1,047 acres of privately held land on Sweeney Ridge. Legislation passed December 28, 1980.

Public Law 100-526 at 102 STAT 2623 (The Base Closure and Realignment Act), enacted Oct. 24, 1988, required that the Army installation at the Presidio of San Francisco close and that it be turned over to the National Park Service to be administered as part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Summary | Superintendents | Legislation | Chronology | Bibliography

Last updated on August 27, 2001

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