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Raju Chebium
Gannett Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama on Thursday signed into law a congressionally approved measure to re-designate Pinnacles National Monument as Pinnacles National Park.

The 26,000-acre Pinnacles will become the country's 59th national park now that Obama has signed H.R. 3641, a measure sponsored by Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., shepherded the bill through the Senate.

Pinnacles was the 11th oldest national monument in the U.S. and was established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908.

Designating it as a national park would raise its visibility and could draw more tourists to the Central Coast wilderness, which houses 30 endangered California condors.

The Pinnacles also is home to 149 species of birds, 49 species of mammals, 22 species of reptiles, six species of amphibians and more than 500 species of butterflies, dragonflies and bees.

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