SUNLAND – More than 50 government officials and local environmental, recreational and advocacy groups met Saturday to discuss the future of the Rim of the Valley Corridor. The goal, conceived more than 30 years ago, is to interlink parks, trails and other green spaces throughout the San Fernando Valley, allowing hikers, bicycle riders, horse riders, runners and others to enjoy the area and let facilitate wildlife movement. “We want to start building some momentum,” said Deb Baumann, with the Tujunga Watershed Council. “This thing has been stalled for too long, and too many people want it.” Currently, the Rim of the Valley Corridor is a state designation of ecologically-significant areas that include parts of the Santa Monica, Santa Susanna, San Gabriel and Verdugo mountains, the San Rafael Hills, and connector areas to the Los Padres and San Bernardino national forests. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card The designation encompasses more than 645,000 acres, including more than 153,000 acres of the National Park Service’s Santa Monica National Recreation Area, and 190,000 acres of the Angeles National Forest. Saturday’s meeting, at Los Angeles City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel’s Sunland-Tujunga field office, was organized by the Los Angeles Trails Project, the New Heaven On Earth Ranch Foundation, the Tujunga Watershed Council and the Valley Horse Owners Association. U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff has introduced legislation that would direct the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to study the feasibility of expanding the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to include the Rim of the Valley Corridor, but the bill is stalled in the House Resources committee. Organizers said the legislation gives perhaps the best hope of moving the project forward. Assemblywoman Cindy Montaez echoed other speakers’ concerns that Los Angeles has some of the lowest amounts per capita of green space, and noted that it corresponded with rising rates of obesity among youngsters in areas with the least access to parkland. “It needs to be pursued aggressively,” Montaez said, adding that it would also require bipartisan cooperation in government. Representatives from the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the National Park Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the State of California Department of Conservation, California State Horsemen Association, Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, Chatsworth Equine Cultural Heritage Organization, San Fernando Valley Audubon, Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, and other groups also attended the meeting. Attendees also included Los Angeles City Councilman Alex Padilla, Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste, and representatives for U.S. Reps. Brad Sherman, Howard “Buck” McKeon and Schiff, Assemblyman Keith Richman, state Sens. Richard Alarcon and George Runner, Calabasas Mayor Barry Groveman and Los Angeles City Councilman Greig Smith. Baumann stressed that the organizations invited to Saturday’s meeting were not the only groups welcome to participate. People or organizations who wish to get involved with the effort are encouraged to send an e-mail to: [email protected] Lisa M. Sodders, (818) 713-3663 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
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