02.26.21

House Passes Schiff’s Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act

Schiff Has Championed this Legislation to Preserve Open Space for Nearly Two Decades

Washington, DC Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) applauded the landmark passage of The Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act, which would add more than 191,000 acres of the Rim of the Valley Corridor to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA). The bill passed the House on a bipartisan basis as part of The Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act. 

“I am thrilled that the House of Representatives has passed the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act, legislation I have championed for nearly 20 years,” said Rep. Schiff. “Millions of residents in the Los Angeles Basin depend on open space in our communities for recreation, and the benefits of widely accessible natural land have never been more apparent than during this public health crisis. 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.”

Last year there were a record number of visits to public lands - a 21 percent increase on average in national park attendance.

"Los Angeles is the second most populous metropolitan region of the country, yet has less open space per capita than all other large cities on the west coast.  The Rim of the Valley represents an opportunity to better protect and manage some of the region’s last open spaces, critical wildlife habitat, and historic places,” said Dennis Arguelles, Senior Program Manager of the National Parks Conservation Association. “By facilitating partnerships between the National Park Service and local communities, it will help connect youth and families to these resources and ensure future generations have access to the region's natural and cultural treasures."

“Almost a year into this pandemic, we have seen how more people than ever- especially in urban areas- are seeking refuge, retreat and the health benefits of getting outdoors. Expanding access to nature for all communities, as Rep. Schiff’s bill will help do, will bring with it the benefits of clean air and water, protection of wildlife and wild spaces, and more opportunities for communities to enjoy green space,” said Athan Manuel, Director of the Sierra Club’s Land Protection Program. “We look forward to working with communities and champions in Congress to pass the Rim of the Valley bill.” 

“The Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act is about building connections, linking large landscapes like the Santa Monica and San Gabriel Mountain ranges for wildlife and connecting people to place and history through recreational and cultural programing,” said Daniel Rossman California Deputy Director for The Wilderness Society.

Schiff first introduced the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act in 2017 based on the recommendations of the Rim of the Valley Corridor Study Act, championed by Schiff for years and ultimately enacted in 2008. 

The lands included within the expansion will be known as the Rim of the Valley Unit and stretch from the Simi Hills and Santa Susanas to the Verdugos and on to the San Gabriel Mountains. The bill will enable the National Park Service and the local community to better protect natural resources and habitats, and provide members of the community with improved access to nature for recreational and educational purposes.

The expansion of the SMMNRA boundaries respects private property rights and existing local land use authorities, and it will not put any additional restrictions on property owners. The bill does not allow for land acquisition through eminent domain. To view a map of the expansion under the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act, click here. To view the fact sheet about the legislation, click here.

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