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Park land expansion bills pass Assembly floor

Legislation heads to state Senate

Posted: June 3, 2009 9:25 p.m.
Updated: June 3, 2009 9:25 p.m.
 
SACRAMENTO - Assembly Bills 102 and 110 passed off of the Assembly Floor this week with strong bipartisan support. 

AB 102 would establish an advisory committee to explore the possibility of creating a new state park at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory site in Ventura County. AB 110 would expand the boundaries of the Rim of the Valley Trail Corridor to include Elsmere Canyon.

"I'm proud of these bills that would afford people greater access to parks, trails and wildlife," said Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, who authored both bills. "In these tough economic times, the preservation of open space is important, as it provides low-cost recreational opportunities for local families."

The Santa Susana State Park Advisory Committee (SSSPAC) will be responsible for assisting the Department of Parks and Recreation, in an advisory capacity, to plan for interim and permanent land uses and facilities through the general planning process for the Santa Susana Field Lab site.

With future funding for state parks in doubt, AB 102 does not allocate any money for the purchase of the land. In fact, the bill was introduced in response to comments by Boeing about an interest in donating the land. The bill also provides that members of the advisory committee will be volunteers, and will not draw a salary from the state.

AB 110 is a follow-up measure to legislation passed ten years ago. In 1999, Whitney Canyon was added to the Rim of the Valley Trail by Assemblyman George Runner's AB 339 - Elsmere Canyon was left out of that bill to allow for the possibility of building a landfill. Since then, ownership has changed and the landfill is no longer planned.

"I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Legislature and in the community to create a strong network of parks and a legacy of outdoor recreational opportunities for Californians," Smyth said.

Both bills now move to the state Senate, where they will be heard later in the summer.

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