Park Service Wants Rim of the Valley Corridor Added to Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (Santa Monica Patch)

The National Park Service formally recommended Tuesday that 170,000 acres of the Rim of the Valley Corridor that encircles valleys of Los Angeles and Ventura be added into the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

The recommendation was made as part of the “Rim of the Valley Corridor Special Resource Study.” A draft of the report released last year evaluated four alternatives for protecting mountain lands in the roughly 650,000-acre study area, which surrounds the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, La Crescenta and the Simi and Conejo valleys in Ventura County.

Of the four alternatives, the study supported the one adding acreage to the recreation area, saying it would provide more parks and protect habitat corridors while creating more recreational opportunities near urban areas. The added land would more than double the size of the 153,000-acre recreation area.


“Expanding Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area would provide one of the most densely populated areas in the United States better access to open space and recreational opportunities, as well as increase protection of ecological connections for wildlife,” according to Martha Lee, acting regional director of the National Park Service’s Pacific West Region.


The proposal included in the final report released Tuesday would add parts of the Los Angeles River and Arroyo Seco corridors, the Verdugo Mountains-San Rafael Hills, San Gabriel Mountain foothills, Simi Hills, Santa Susana Mountains and Conejo Mountain area to the recreation area.


Parks officials said existing parks such as Griffith Park, Hansen Dam Recreation Area, Sepulveda Basin and Los Angeles State Historic Park would serve as portals into the Rim of the Valley Corridor.


Adding the land to the recreation area would require congressional approval.


Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, hailed the NPS report, calling it a “significant milestone in the very long journey to protect and preserve this vast and amazing open space.”


“Such an expansion will enable the National Park Service, local governments and private citizens to better preserve green space and increase access to recreational opportunities for our urban and suburban communities,” Schiff said. “I applaud the Park Service for embracing a vision of an expanded recreation area to preserve this wonderful natural landscape.”

Source: Santa Monica Patch