Washington—Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla (both D-Calif.) today introduced the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act, a bill to add more than 191,000 acres of the Rim of the Valley Corridor to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
Companion legislation introduced by Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) was passed by the House of Representatives in February.
“Southern Californians deserve access to more natural places,” said Senator Feinstein. “Los Angeles County is one of the most park-poor counties in the state. Our bill would help fix that by protecting portions of the Rim of the Valley Corridor, connecting more people to the trails and vast open spaces in the foothills of the surrounding mountains. It would boost the local economy, protect sensitive habitat for wildlife and allow more people to experience the unspoiled beauty of the region.”
“The science is clear: to solve the climate crisis, we must protect our natural spaces. Conserving the Rim of the Valley Corridor is critical to helping California and the nation meet our goal of conserving 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030. I’m proud to join Senator Feinstein in introducing the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act to help protect this area’s natural resources and diverse wildlife. Not only will this bill help us meet our climate change goals, it will also improve access to the outdoors for some of the most park-poor communities in the country,” said Senator Padilla.
“The Rim of the Valley is the critical bridge between our urban city centers, suburbs in the Los Angeles basin, and the spectacular wilderness that surrounds us. I am thrilled to work with Senator Feinstein in getting this piece of legislation passed, so we can protect these lands for generations to come,” said Representative Schiff. “Millions of residents in the Los Angeles region depend on open space in our communities, and the benefits of widely accessible green space have never been more apparent than during the past year. The Rim of the Valley Corridor is an area of breathtaking natural beauty, and we must preserve this pristine land for the sake of our environment, wildlife, and ecosystems, and for the benefit of LA residents, the millions each year who visit, and for generations to come.”
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 NPS 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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