Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) announced they will be introducing the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act. This landmark legislation would add more than 193,000 acres of the Rim of the Valley Corridor to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA). The Rim of the Valley stretches from the Simi Hills and Santa Susannas, the Verdugos and on to the San Gabriel Mountains.
In 2008, Congressman Schiff passed the Rim of the Valley Corridor Study Act. This bill directed the National Park Service (NPS) to conduct a special resource study of the Rim of the Valley Corridor. The study sought to determine the suitability and feasibility of designating all or a portion of the Rim of the Valley Corridor as a unit of the existing Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA), and how these areas could be better managed and preserved.
The National Park Service began the study in 2010 and transmitted its final report to Congress and the public in February 2016. Throughout the process, both NPS and Congressman Schiff solicited and considered thousands of comments from the public.
“The Rim of the Valley is the critical bridge between the urban city centers and suburbs in the Los Angeles basin and the spectacular wilderness beyond, and our bill would help protect these lands for generations to come,” said Rep. Schiff. “As more of this area is developed and open space diminishes, the wildlife it support is increasingly at risk. Congress has the power to preserve the Rim of the Valley for generations to come, but we must act quickly, or the opportunity will be gone.”
“The Santa Monica Mountains are one of California’s greatest treasures,” Senator Boxer said. “I am proud to join Congressman Schiff in introducing this bill, which will protect an additional 193,000 acres of wild and beautiful lands in the Rim of the Valley Corridor for current and future generations to enjoy.”
The Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act would expand the SMMNRA to include many, but not all, of the land included in the study. The lands included within the expansion will be known as the Rim of the Valley Unit. The bill will enable NPS and the local community to better protect natural resources and habitats, and provide members of the community with improved access to nature for recreational and educational purposes.
It will provide NPS with the authority to:
- Implement capital improvements (i.e. trails, roads, facilities for public enjoyment)
- Monitor and study wildlife and ecosystems
- Participate in cooperative conservation and recreation planning
- Provide technical assistance for resource protection and recreation planning
- Contribute financially to projects that protect important natural resources
- Acquire land through donation, exchange, or purchase from will sellers; directly manage NPS lands
The expansion of the SMMNRA boundaries respects private property rights and existing local land use authorities. It will not require a land owner to participate in any conservation or recreation activities, and it will not put any additional restrictions on property owners. The bill does not allow for land acquisition through eminent domain.