05.08.08

President Signs Schiff's Rim of the Valley Measure into Law

Official Seal of the US House of Representatives

Thursday, May 08, 2008 Contact: Sean Oblack (202) 225-4176

President Signs Schiff's Rim of the Valley Measure into Law

Bill directs Interior Department to study expansion of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Washington, D.C. – Today, President George W. Bush signed Rep. Adam Schiff's (D-CA) Rim of the Valley Corridor Study legislation into law, culminating a seven year long effort.  The measure directs the Secretary of the Interior to study the feasibility of expanding the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to include the mountains and canyons in Southern California that are part of the Rim of the Valley Corridor, as designated by the state of California. Rep. Schiff's measure was included in the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 (S. 2739) which authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to conduct special resources studies of the Rim of the Valley and other lands and structures to determine the appropriate means for preservation and use.

On Friday, May 16, 2008, Rep. Schiff will hold a press conference with local public officials, environmentalists, and other Rim of the Valley advocates where they will discuss the possible implications of the study. The press conference will be held at the Stough Canyon Nature Center in Burbank at 12:30 pm. Additional details will follow.

"This is great news for Southern California.  Open space in our region is precious, and we owe it to future generations to study the best means of preserving this key component of our quality of life," said Schiff.  "It is my hope that the Rim of the Valley measure will help develop a long-range plan that will balance preservation, recreation and the needs and rights of those living in and around the area."

The bill authorizes the Interior Department to examine the suitability of increasing the size of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area by encompassing part or all of this corridor, which is an ecologically significant contiguous region that consists of parts of the Santa Monica Mountains, Santa Susanna Mountains, San Gabriel Mountains, Verdugo Mountains, San Rafael Hills, and adjacent connector areas to the Los Padres and San Bernadino National Forests.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) sponsored the companion legislation in the Senate this year. In the past, a similar version of this bill was approved by the House Resources Committee and passed by the full Senate. This is the first time the bill has passed both chambers of Congress and was sent to the President to be signed into law.

Congressman Schiff is the co-founder of the Democratic Study Group on National Security and a member of the House Appropriations Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He represents California's 29th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Alhambra, Altadena, Burbank, East Pasadena, East San Gabriel, Glendale, Monterey Park, Pasadena, San Gabriel, South Pasadena and Temple City.