During her tenure in the State Senate, Supervisor Kuehl pushed for and secured the protection of key wildlife corridors and watersheds with over $80 million of land acquisitions for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA), including Lower Topanga State Park, Ahmanson Ranch, and Liberty Canyon.
Last week, Representative Adam Schiff re-introduced a bill with Senator Feinstein titled “The Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act” that would more than double the size of this recreation area.
In 2008, Congress passed a bill by Schiff directing the National Parks Service to explore the feasibility of incorporating approximately 191,000 acres, referred to as the Rim of the Valley, into the existing recreation area. The study, passed under President Bush and funded by President Obama, concluded in a recommendation by the National Parks Service to expand the SMMNRA to include a significant portion of the Rim of the Valley.
The proposed expansion would include Griffith Park, the Santa Clarita Valley, and the Santa Susana Mountains, as well as much of the Los Angeles River. The area contains a mixture of publicly and privately held land. The bill would not allow for land acquisitions through eminent domain but would allow for addition through an exchange, donation, or purchase from willing sellers.
If passed, the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act would authorize the National Parks Service to build or improve existing trails and roads, to carry out ecosystem monitoring, and to take part in conservation and recreation planning. It would also allow the NPS to fund natural resource protection efforts in the area.
“Adding the Rim of the Valley as part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area would greatly expand vital recreation spaces and wildlife habitats, and make certain that more areas of natural resources are protected,” said Supervisor Kuehl. “I wholeheartedly support this bill, which will secure access to natural spaces and improve the quality of life of LA County residents for generations to come.”