Senate Committee Advances Padilla, Feinstein Bill to Protect Rim of the Valley Corridor

WASHINGTON, D.C. The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources today advanced the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act, a bill introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla (both D-Calif.) to add more than 119,000 acres of the Rim of the Valley Corridor to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

Companion legislation introduced by Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) was passed by the House of Representatives in February.

“We know that protecting natural spaces improves the quality of life in communities, and in turn boosts local economies,” said Senator Feinstein. “Despite its large population, Los Angeles County remains one of the most park-poor counties in California. Thanks to the committee’s vote today, we’re one step closer to fixing that. Our bill would protect portions of the Rim of the Valley Corridor, connecting more people with the natural beauty of the foothills of the surrounding mountains, linking critical wildlife corridors and protecting sensitive habitat.”

“Meaningfully addressing the climate crisis includes protecting our natural spaces at all costs,” said Senator Padilla. “Preserving the Rim of the Valley Corridor is critical to helping California and the nation meet our goal of conserving 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030, and I’m glad to see that our bill to protect this area’s natural resources and diverse wildlife is advancing in the Senate. I will continue to fight for additional conservation measures to advance in the Senate, like my PUBLIC Lands Act, which would expand protections for over one million acres more of California’s public lands.”

 “The Rim of the Valley Corridor is an area of breathtaking natural beauty, cherished by millions of residents in the Los Angeles Basin and the millions more who visit each year. Home to beloved trails and outdoor recreation areas, diverse ecosystems, and famous wildlife, it has been my mission for nearly 20 years to protect and preserve this Southern California jewel,” said Representative Schiff. “I am thrilled by the encouraging progress the Senate has made today, and look forward to a vote by the full chamber soon so we ensure future generations can continue to enjoy all this special place has to offer.”

The proposed expansion is based on a six-year study of the region completed by the National Park Service in 2015. It would allow NPS and the local community to work together to better protect natural resources and habitat in the corridor and improve access for recreational and educational purposes.

The legislation gives NPS the authority to:

  • Add more than 119,000 acres of the Rim of the Valley Corridor to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
  • Implement capital improvements, including new trails, roads, and public facilities.
  • Monitor and study wildlife and ecosystems.
  • Participate in cooperative conservation and recreation planning.
  • Provide technical assistance for resource protection and recreation planning.
  • Contribute financially to projects that protect important natural resources.
  • Acquire land through donation, exchange, or purchase.

The proposed expansion respects existing private property rights and local land-use authorities. It would not require a landowner to participate in any conservation or recreation activities or place additional restrictions on property owners. The legislation does not allow for land acquisition through eminent domain.

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