Press Release Oct 18, 2017

Congressman Schiff, Senator Feinstein Announce Legislation to Expand Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

The Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act, introduced by Representative Adam Schiff and Senator Dianne Feinstein, would expand the boundary of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to include sites ranging from Griffith Park to the Santa Clarita Valley.

Los Angeles, CA – National Parks Conservation Association joined community leaders in commending Congressman Adam Schiff and Senator Dianne Feinstein’s announcement today of legislation to protect waterways and wildlife, preserve cultural sites, and enhance outdoor recreation. The Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act would expand the boundary of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to include sites ranging from Griffith Park to the Santa Clarita Valley.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to expand the national park in Los Angeles’s backyard and protect more habitat for mountain lions and other wildlife, preserve important waterways and open spaces, and connect residents and visitors to our rich history,” said Dennis Arguelles, NPCA Los Angeles Program Manager and Chair of the Rim of the Valley Coalition. “This legislation answers the call for a lasting conservation legacy for the greater Los Angeles area.”

The legislation, previously brought by Representative Schiff, follows extensive research and public engagement by the National Park Service, which sent its findings to Congress in February of 2016. The Park Service recommended adding the “Rim of the Valley” corridor, and its stunning landscapes, critical wildlife corridors, iconic waterways and historic treasures, to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The legislation builds upon the study by calling for 190,000 acres from the Santa Susana Mountains to Downtown Los Angeles, to be added to the national park.

“The Rim of the Valley is the critical bridge between the urban city centers, suburbs in the Los Angeles basin and the spectacular wilderness beyond – our bill would help protect these lands for generations to come,” said Representative Adam Schiff. “As more of this area is developed and open space diminishes, the wildlife it supports is increasingly at risk. Congress must preserve the Rim of the Valley for generations to come, but we must act quickly on a bipartisan basis, or this once in a century opportunity will be gone.”

“Outward Bound Adventures see initiatives like the Rim of the Valley bill as especially significant in helping us to achieve our mission,” said Charles Thomas Jr., Executive Director of Outward Bound Adventures. We have connected more than 80,000 low-income, urban families of color to nature and outdoor recreation because areas like the Rim of the Valley make these natural landscapes accessible and affordable for underserved communities. On behalf of the thousands of urban youth and families we serve, we without hesitation, emphatically support the Rim of the Valley bill.”

Similar to the existing Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, the status of land ownership and control within the boundary expansion would not change as a result of inclusion in this national park.

“I applaud Congressman Schiff’s strong commitment to this effort and I stand ready to work with him to make this vision a reality,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Pro Tem Laurene Weste. “The legislation seeks to protect critical open space areas on the north side of the San Gabriel Mountains in the Santa Clarita Valley and ensures the rich ecological natural resources of the Upper Santa Clara River will be protected and preserved for the enjoyment of our residents and future generations.”

“Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area already serves as a model for unique management partnerships, which would certainly continue with an expanded national park site. Restoration of the Los Angeles River and the Arroyo Seco watersheds would also be supported by the Park Service and its robust scientific research and planning capabilities,” said Arguelles.

As a founding member of the Rim of the Valley Coalition, NPCA has worked for several years with Los Angeles residents, elected officials and community leaders from Los Angeles to Ventura County, in support of the national park expansion. Learn more at www.npca.org/rimofthevalley.

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About National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historic, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.