Federal legislation authorizes study to protect species, increase recreation opportunities.
After seven years of negotiations, The Rim of the Valley Corridor Study, proposed by Congressman Adam Schiff, was approved by President George Bush Thursday as part of the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008.
The Act authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to conduct studies of the Rim of the Valley and other lands and structures to determine their degree of preservation and best use. The study includes lands bordering the Santa Clarita City limits.
According to Schiff’s website, 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 the corridor, which is an ecologically significant, contiguous region that includes parts of the Santa Monica, Santa Susanna, San Gabriel and Verdugo Mountains, the San Rafael Hills and adjacent connector areas to the Los Padres and San Bernardino National Forests.
Some of the objectives of the study include protecting wildlife populations by preserving habitat linkages and corridors; establishing a contiguous Rim of the Valley Trail to connect communities; preserve recreational opportunities and facilitate access to open space; protect rare, threatened or endangered plant and animal species and habitats; protect historically significant landscapes, districts, sites and structures and respect the needs of communities within or in the vicinity of the Rim of the Valley corridor.
In related state legislation, Senate Bill 1180, proposed in Feb. by Senator George Runner, that would include ElsmereCanyon within the Rim of the Valley, passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 5.