Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, and California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris introduced a bill Wednesday to add more than 191,000 acres of the Rim of the Valley Corridor to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
“The Rim of the Valley is the critical bridge between our urban city centers, suburbs in the Los Angeles basin and the spectacular wilderness that surrounds us — our bill would help protect these lands for generations to come,” Schiff said. “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 the next generations, but we must act quickly on a bipartisan basis or this once in a century opportunity will be gone forever.”
The Rim of the Valley stretches from the Simi Hills and Santa Susanas to the Verdugos and the San Gabriel Mountains.
In 2008, Schiff helped pass the Rim of the Valley Corridor Study Act, which directed the National Park Service to conduct a special resource study of the Rim of the Valley Corridor. The study sought to determine the suitability and feasibility of designating all or a portion of the Rim of the Valley Corridor as a unit of the existing SMMNRA, and how the areas could be better managed and preserved.
The Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act would expand the SMMNRA to include much of the land included in the study, and the land within the expansion would be known as the Rim of the Valley Unit.
The bill looks to empower NPS and the local community to better protect the land, and provide members of the community with improved access to it.
“Protecting natural places like the Rim of the Valley Corridor from urban expansion is essential for improving the quality of life in the Los Angeles basin,” Feinstein said. “Our legislation would connect more Southern California residents to the trails and vast open spaces in the foothills of the surrounding mountains. It would also protect sensitive habitat for California wildlife, including mountain lions, bobcats and golden eagles. The foothills surrounding the Los Angeles basin are a truly special place worthy of stronger protections.”