Lawmakers introduce bill to add 200,000 acres to Santa Monica Mountains National Rec Area (City News Service)

Two California lawmakers said Tuesday they will introduce a bill that would add nearly 200,000 acres to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., are sponsoring the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act.

The Rim of the Valley stretches from the Simi Hills through the Santa Susana, Verdugo and San Gabriel mountains. The legislation seeks to designate than 193,000 acres of that land as part of the SMMNRA.


In 2008, Schiff passed the Rim of the Valley Corridor Study Act, directing the National Park Service to study the feasibility of designating some or all of the corridor to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The final report, which considered thousands of comments from the public, was completed in February.


“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,” Schiff said. “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 bill, if passed, will enable the National Park service to:


— add trails, roads and other facilities;

— monitor and study wildlife and ecosystems;

— participate in and provide technical assistance for cooperative conservation and recreation planning;

— help fund projects that protect important natural resources;

— acquire land through donation, exchange, or purchase from willing sellers; and

— directly manage NPS lands.


“The Santa Monica Mountains are one of California’s greatest treasures,” 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 bill does not allow for land acquisition through eminent domain and will not add land-use restrictions or require any landowner to participate in any conservation or recreation activities, according to its sponsors.