The National Park Service (NPS) is pleased to announce the completion of the Rim of the Valley Corridor Special Resource Study. The Secretary of the Interior transmitted the final study to Congress on February 16, 2016. The newsletter presents the final study recommendations, including the full text of the selected alternative recommended to Congress by the Secretary of the Interior and supported by the National Park Service determinations about the eligibility of the study area as an addition to Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA).
The National Park Service’s final study recommendation, or “selected alternative,” is essentially a combination of possible alternatives proposed in the Rim of the Valley Corridor Draft Special Resource Study and Environmental Assessment released in April 2015. The selected alternative proposes a 170,000-acre boundary adjustment to SMMNRA, which would include portions of the Los Angeles River and Arroyo Seco corridors, the Verdugo Mountains-San Rafael Hills, the San Gabriel Mountains foothills, the Simi Hills, the Santa Susana Mountains, and the Conejo Mountain area. Existing parks such as Griffith Park, Hansen Dam Recreation Area, Sepulveda Basin (recreation areas and wildlife reserve), Los Encinos State Historic Park, Debs Park, El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, and Los Angeles State Historic Park would serve as major portals into the Rim of the Valley Corridor area. The recommended area does not include any areas of the Angeles National Forest or San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.
The proposed boundary addition would provide recreational opportunities to a broad range of urban communities. Within the expanded area are: habitat types that contribute to the high biodiversity of the Santa Monica Mountains; functioning wildlife corridors; highly scenic landscapes; historic and archeological sites; geologic and paleontological resources; thousands of acres of open space and recreation areas; and miles of trails, all of which provide exceptional public enjoyment opportunities. In areas beyond the proposed boundary addition, SMMNRA would use existing authorities to partner and provide technical assistance to land managers and private landowners to maintain and enhance habitat connections to the Los Padres and Angeles national forests and to assist local communities in planning for recreational opportunities.
Implementation of the selected alternative would require congressional legislation. In the absence of such legislation, the study remains a recommendation.
Thank you for your involvement in the Rim of the Valley Corridor Special Resource Study.
NPS Study Team
You will be able to review it here: http://www.nps.gov/pwro/rimofthevalley/