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Rim of the Valley studied for protection

Environment: Project would give federal assistance to mountains surrounding the SCV

Posted: June 8, 2010 9:36 p.m.
Updated: June 9, 2010 6:00 a.m.

The Rim of the Valley, including portions of the mountains surrounding Santa Clarita Valley, could soon receive federal assistance and protection.

Congressman Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, announced the start of the long-awaited Rim of the Valley Corridor Special Resource Study on Friday.

The study will determine what portions of a large stretch of mountain corridor might be eligible for inclusion in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

The corridor includes much of the Angeles National Forest east of the Santa Clarita Valley and extends to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. This includes the Santa Susana and San Gabriel mountains, nestles the Santa Clarita to the south, and surrounds the San Fernando, La Crescenta, Simi and Conejo valleys.

The study’s aim is to offer recommendations for resource protection and public use, according to a release from Schiff’s office.

“California’s wilderness lands, including the Southern California foothills, are treasures that we must continually work to preserve for our children and our children’s children to enjoy,” Schiff said, adding that the study has been nine years in the making.

“The study is a locally driven process to develop a plan that balances preservation, recreation, and the needs and interests of those living in and around the area.”

Local environmental activists were thrilled that the study has begun.

“It’s great,” Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment President Lynne Plambeck. “And I should think the folks in our valley think it’s great too.”

Santa Clarita City Councilwoman Marsha McLean, who spearheaded the effort to protect Elsmere Canyon in southeast
Santa Clarita from a proposed landfill, said she was glad the canyon is included in the corridor.

“Of course, it’s been a long road. It’s just taken years and years,” McLean said.

Schiff first introduced Rim of the Valley Corridor Study legislation several years ago, and the area was included in the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008.

“The Rim of the Valley features spectacular natural beauty and recreational opportunities surrounded by vibrant cultural landscapes,” said Woody Smeck, acting deputy regional director for the National Park Service’s Pacific West Region.


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