(WASHINGTON, DC) – Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) introduced legislation Wednesday that would authorize a national memorial to commemorate the 425 Californians killed by the collapse of the Saint Francis Dam.
H.R. 3153, the Saint Francis Dam Disaster National Memorial and Castaic Wilderness Act, would create a national monument at the site of the 1928 St. Francis Dam Disaster in the San Francisquito Canyon. It would also designate the area around the Dam as federally-protected wilderness.
“It is important to educate the public and honor the individuals who perished in the St. Francis Dam Disaster,” said Congressman Knight. “This memorial site is a high priority for the Santa Clarita Valley and I am proud to be part of the effort to make it happen.”
“Families have waited long enough for their loved ones to be memorialized, and Congressman Knight has accepted this challenge,” remarked Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel, a Santa Clarita resident who worked on the legislation with Rep. Knight. “Not only has he worked hard to give these families closure, but he is protecting the last available pristine wilderness in the district for generations to come.”
Erskine-Hellrigel, who serves as President of the Santa Clara River Watershed Conservancy as well as the Community Hiking Club, is not the only local resident who likes the legislation. H.R. 3153 has the support of a broad range of local groups, including the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society and the City of Santa Clarita.
"The St. Francis Dam has waited 87 years to be acknowledged by the American People for the great lesson that it taught us: How to build, design, and engineer structurally sound dams and save precious lives of people around the world,” said City Councilwoman Laurene Weste. “It's a great honor for us to be able to acknowledge all those lost so their friends and families will always know their lives were not lost in vain."
H.R. 3153 was introduced on Wednesday morning, and now waits assignment to committee.
Representative Steve Knight, (R-Antelope Valley), represents California's 25th Congressional District in the US House of Representatives, which includes the communities throughout the Antelope, Santa Clarita and Simi Valleys.
For a copy of the bill language can be found here.