National Park Service Sets Meetings For "Rim of Valley Corridor" Special Resource Study

An upcoming series of meetings will consider adding a swath of lands in southern California to the National Park System.

A series of meetings to discuss whether an area of southern California that generally includes the mountains encircling San Fernando, La Crescenta, Santa Clarita, Simi and Conejo Valleys of Los Angeles and Ventura counties should be added to the National Park System will be held from mid-September into October.

The upcoming meetings are just a baby step of sorts in a very long, delicate four-year process that will explore how public lands in the region should be managed and how area residents want those lands to be used. In the simplest terms, during the upcoming meetings on the Rim of the Valley Corridor Special Resource Study the National Park Service will explain why the area is being considered for addition to the park system, and answer your questions and consider your ideas.

However, in theory the project could grow to meld the lands being considered with the existing Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to create one massive park unit. In theory. Much work has yet to be done.

The Rim of the Valley study area described in the 2008 legislation that directed the Park Service to complete the analysis covers more than 650,000 acres of the mountains encircling the San Fernando, La Crescenta, Santa Clarita, Simi, and Conejo Valleys of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The study area also includes the majority of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and portions of the Angeles National Forest that serve as the headwaters of the Los Angeles River. Approximately half of the acreage of the study area is publicly owned.

As part of the upcoming Rim of the Valley studies, the Park Service will also look at the potential for expanding the boundary of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, which was designated, a unit of the National Park System in 1978. The NRA includes 150,000 acres of private, local, state and federal lands under a unique partnership umbrella in which the federal government owns approximately 15 percent of the land.

With that background laid out, here's the schedule of upcoming meetings:

Tuesday, September 14,
7 – 9 p.m.
Mason Recreation Center
10500 Mason Ave.
Chatsworth, CA 91311

Wednesday, September 15,
2 – 4 p.m.
Los Angeles River Center
and Gardens
570 W. Avenue 26,
Los Angeles, CA 90065

Wednesday, September 15, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Los Angeles River Center
and Gardens
570 W. Avenue 26,
Los Angeles, 90065

Tuesday, September 21,
7 – 9 p.m.
George A. Caravalho
Sports Complex
Activities Center Building
20880 Centre Point Parkway
Santa Clarita, CA 91350

Wednesday, September 22,
7 – 9 p.m.
Conejo Recreation and Parks District Community Room
403 W. Hillcrest Dr., Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Monday, October 4,
7 – 9 p.m.
King Gillette Ranch
Dormitory Building
26800 W. Mulholland Hwy., Calabasas, CA 91302

Tuesday, October 5,
7 – 9 p.m.
Northeast Valley City Hall
7747 Foothill Blvd.
Tujunga, CA 91042

Wednesday, October 6,
7 – 9 p.m.
Charles S. Farnsworth Park
Davies Building
568 East Mount Curve Ave.
Altadena, CA 91001

The initial public comment period on the proposal extends through October 29, and there will be additional public input opportunities throughout the four-year study process.

A typical special resource study (1) assesses resources in a given area to determine whether they meet the criteria for addition to the national park system, and (2) offers recommendations for resource protection and public use and enjoyment. Recommendations may relate to the entire study area, or only portions of it. The study will respect existing land uses, current land management efforts, and private property rights.

For even more details, visit the Park Service website on the proposal.

Comments

I've nothing against this particular proposal, but am wondering when the supposedly green, but over-extended NPS will rise above the bureaucratic imperative and recognize the existence of limits?

tahoma--

The review is because 2008 legislation requires it. The striving to be green, over-extended NPS doesn't stick its neck out to establish new units, and hasn't for decades. Except for presidential declarations of National Monuments under the antiquities act, the general path for new NPS units is local supporters get congressional legislation for a NPS study, the NPS study (with public fora), and congressional legislation to establish the unit. Subsequent funding optional. Or, as the recurring line in the early draft of the Burns & Duncan series shown at GWS had it: "In 19xx Congress passed legislation establishing XXX as a National Park, but appropriated no funds for its operation."

tomp-

Thanks for the additional details. I appreciate the fact that most NPS expansion is ultimately politically driven. It's also a fact that the vast majority of supervisors and managers that I worked under for three decades in four parks had a number one priority of 'more'. That is, more budget, more employees, more infrastrucure, and more new programs. This enthusiasm for 'more' was the surest path to career advancement. At least in the so-called maintenance division, 'more' was often accomplished in lieu of, or
even at the expense of, existing operations. We never even came close to fully maintaining existing facilities in any of those years, but every year as much as a quarter of our efforts went toward new or 'upgraded' infrastructure, hence the huge 'deferred maintenance backlog'. I honestly haven't seen very much evidence showing that this aspect of NPS management culture has changed.

This is a great idea. The Rim of the Valley Corridor is long overdue. The Altadena foothills need protection from both the developers and in some places, the Altadena Foothills Conservancy, which is just a racket set up to purchase almost worthless land from friends who can't find buyers, at outrageous inflated prices -- land that it not suitable and therefore won't sell otherwise, due to location, access, egress, and terrain.