Dec 13 2019
Washington—The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources yesterday passed the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act, a bill introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris and Congressman Adam Schiff (all D-Calif.) to add more than 191,000 acres of the Rim of the Valley Corridor to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
“Nearly half of Californians live within two hours of the Rim of the Valley Corridor but few have explored the wild open spaces that surround it,” said Senator Feinstein. “Expanding the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area will create more outdoor recreational opportunities and increase access to public lands for millions of residents of Los Angeles County, one of the most park-poor counties in the state. The committee vote is a win for our local economies, our local wildlife – like bobcats, mountain lions and golden eagles whose sensitive habitat this bill protects – and the generations of Southern Californians who want to enjoy the unspoiled natural beauty of the Rim of the Valley Corridor.”
“The Rim of the Valley corridor is an area of immense natural beauty and wildlife,” said Senator Harris. “That is why I was proud to join my colleagues to introduce the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act to help preserve this area so it can be enjoyed by future generations. I applaud the committee’s work to advance this legislation and I look forward to working to ensure it is enacted.”
“I am thrilled that the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act out of committee, an important step on the path towards enactment, following passage in the House Natural Resources Committee,” Congressman Schiff said. “I thank Senators Feinstein and Harris for their leadership in pursuing passage of this legislation to more than double the size of the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area, preserving open space and the natural beauty of our region. It is exciting to see the bill one step closer to becoming law.”
The proposed expansion is based on a six-year study of the region completed by the National Park Service in 2015. It would allow NPS and the local community to work together to better protect natural resources and habitat in the corridor and improve access for recreational and educational purposes.
The legislation gives the park service the authority to:
- Add more than 191,000 acres of the Rim of the Valley Corridor to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
- Implement capital improvements, including new trails, roads and public facilities.
- 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.
The proposed expansion respects existing private property rights and local land-use authorities. It would not require a landowner to participate in any conservation or recreation activities or place additional restrictions on property owners. The legislation does not allow for land acquisition through eminent domain.
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