Senator Feinstein Continues Effort to Study “Rim of the Valley” Addition to Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
-Corridor would add to open space, protect threatened habitat-
Mar 29 2007
Washington, DC – Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today reintroduced legislation that would direct the U.S. Department of the Interior to study the possibility of adding the “Rim of the Valley” corridor to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The bill is co-sponsored by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). Representative Adam Schiff (D-Pasadena) introduced a companion measure in the House today.
“National Parks and open space are important sanctuaries from the hustle and bustle of urban living,” Senator Feinstein said. “Unfortunately, open space is declining in Southern California. And the Los Angeles metropolitan area has one of the lowest ratios of parklands to population in the nation. This legislation is intended to change that. It could protect an important link to vast open spaces, protect an ecologically fragile Mediterranean chaparral ecosystem and promote a broad range of wildlife.”
The Rim of the Valley corridor connects to the adjacent Los Padres and San Bernardino National Forests, and encircles the San Fernando, La Crescenta, Simi, Conejo and Santa Clarita valleys. It also encompasses parts of the Santa Monica, Santa Susanna, San Gabriel and Verdugo mountains, and the San Rafael Hills.
Including the Rim of the Valley corridor would greatly improve the ecological health and diversity of the region. It would link wildlife habitat in the Santa Monica Mountains to the Angeles National Forest, and would be a boon to large animals there, including mountain lions, bobcats, and golden eagles.
Creating a single, contiguous Rim of the Valley trail would allow people to enjoy greater access to existing trails in the Recreation Area.
The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, created by act of Congress in 1978, is the world’s largest urban park, ranging from the Pacific Ocean east to the Ventura Freeway. It is overseen by the National Park Service.
If this legislation is passed, Congress would hold true to its original commitment to preserving the scenic, natural and historic setting of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
The bill includes a provision directing the Interior Department to analyze any impacts on private land within or bordering on the area.