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Rim of the Valley Project Could Draw Griffith Park, LA River, El Pueblo Into National Park System

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The National Park Service has decided that the mountains circling the Valley are fit to be a national park--if they're formally initiated, they'll join the adjacent Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. KCET reports that there are four options on the table for the Rim of the Valley project: one would make no changes, one would basically involve only management changes, and two would actually change the boundaries of the National Recreation Area. The first of those options "concentrates on connecting communities, adding Griffith Park, a large swath of the Los Angeles River from the San Fernando Valley to downtown L.A., up the Arroyo Seco into the Angeles National Forest and Verdugo Mountains, and portions of the Simi Hills and Santa Susana Mountains to complete the rim." The report adds (pdf) that "The boundary adjustment also includes Hansen Dam, Sepulveda Basin, Los Encinos State Park, Debs Park, and El Pueblo de Los Angeles City Monument, which would serve as major portals into the Rim of the Valley Corridor area for urban populations." The goal with that one is to reach more people.

The other option is aimed at the flora and fauna (e.g., mountain lions), with a focus on "connecting natural habitats by including even larger areas of the Simi Hills and Santa Susana Mountains, edging north toward Los Padres National Forest." All four of the plans would involve completion of the very long Rim of the Valley trail. Public comment on the NPS's report on the matter is due Monday. We probably shouldn't even mention this, but Congress will eventually have to make any final decision on the Rim of the Valley plan.

· Rim of the Valley Corridor Special Resource Study (pdf) [NPS]
· Rim Around San Fernando Valley 'Suitable' for National Park System Inclusion [KCET]