On Jan. 22 at 6 p.m., Rep. Adam Schiff will host a town hall meeting at the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA to discuss the future of the Rim of the Valley.
The National Park Service has already provided a recommendation to Congress to create a San Gabriel unit of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, and legislation will likely be introduced in the near future to act upon it. Because some of the San Gabriel area overlaps with land included in the Rim of the Valley study area, Congressman Schiff wants to hear from his constituents and other stakeholders, including members of organizations, businesses and other institutions, to ensure that any legislation will create the most useful and environmentally-sound national recreation area. He is particularly interested to hear whether residents would like parts of the Rim of the Valley study area to become part of the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area, the San Gabriel Park, a new Rim of the Valley recreation area, or remain unchanged.
In 2008, Congress passed Schiff’s bill directing the Park Service to conduct a special resource study to determine the possibility of providing federal protection to the Rim of the Valley – an area that stretches from the existing Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, through the Simi Hills and Santa Susannas, Verdugos, and on to the San Gabriel Mountains. The study explored whether any portion of the Rim of the Valley study area was eligible to become a unit of a national park system or added to an existing one, and how the resources could be protected and best utilized by the public. In the fall 2012, the National Park Service released its preliminary findings, and offered four initial alternatives – Alternatives A through D – and opened up the conversation for public comment.
Thousands of residents and members of government agencies, organizations and other institutions submitted their comments to both the NPS and Congressman Schiff’s office. Over 4,750 individuals wrote supporting a combination of the boundary adjustment for alternatives C and D, which would adjust the boundary of the recreation area to connect many people in urban areas to the park, as well as provide key habitat protections. The Park Service is now in the process of developing a recommendation to present to Congress that will take into account the public comments, and expects to publish a draft of their recommendation to Congress for the Rim of the Valley this summer.
The Crescenta-Cañada YMCA is located at 1930 Foothill Blvd. in La Cañada.