Federal bill would protect 193,000 acres around Santa Monica Mountains

Santa Monica Mountains, Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Adam Schiff (credit: NatureBridge.org)
Santa Monica Mountains, Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Adam Schiff (credit: NatureBridge.org)

The amount of protected land in the valleys between the Santa Susana Mountains, Santa Monica Mountains and San Gabriel Mountains would more than double in size under a bill introduced Tuesday to Congress.

The federal bill aims to add 193,000 acres of park and historic land to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, which currently stretches from the Naval base in Ventura County to Santa Monica, the L.A. Daily News reported.

Under the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act, a bill spearheaded by U.S. Representative Adam Schiff and Senator Barbara Boxer, the National Park Service would protect the natural resources around the densely populated region. The land in question is home to deer, mountain lions and endangered species like the California red-legged frog.

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“As more of this area is developed and open space diminishes, the wildlife it supports is increasingly at risk,” Schiff said. “Congress has the power to preserve the Rim of the Valley for generations to come.

If the bill passes, park services would build trails, roads, and various conservation facilities. It would also allow nearby residents more open access to the wild lands.

With the addition of the Rim of the Valley, the overall park would encompass the Simi Hills, Santa Monica, Conejo, Santa Susana, Verdugo and San Gabriel mountains, as well as lowlands from the Arroyo Seco to Griffith Park, Hansen Dam Recreation Area, Sepulveda Basin and El Pueblo de Los Angeles. [LADN]Cathaleen Chen