About a year ago, the National Park Service determined that the area known as the Rim of the Valley corridor (mountains around San Fernando, La Crescenta, Santa Clarita, Simi, and Conejo Valleys) was a good candidate to become part of the National Park System, which supporters hope would bring resources like rangers and trailbuilders to the area. Since then, one of the project's biggest obstacles has been figuring out where to draw the park lines. When the idea was presented, four options were explored; the current favorite (after a public meeting this week) is a hybrid of the two options that expand the boundaries of the existing Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area; the hybrid would theoretically create a new NRA that includes both "cultural resources such as: Hansen Dam, Sepulveda Basin, Debs Park, El Pueblo de Los Angeles, Griffith Park, the Rose Bowl and JPL [and] existing wilderness areas, such as the Arroyo Seco and the western portion of the Angeles National Forest and the Simi Hills," but it would exclude Simi Valley, San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita, and the Conejo Valley, says the Daily News.
Another obstacle to the national park idea is the small matter of who would manage this vast hypothetical swath of protected land. The NPS actually doesn't want anyone to make any new parks because it doesn't have the cash to pay for the ones it's got; that's why it's in favor of linking would-be parkland to the existing NRA in the Santa Monica Mountains and using its resources. Also stacked against this possible park are angry gold prospectors (!!) and property rights folks who predictably don't want big government coming in and eminent-domaining property left and right. An updated study from the NPS is due in the summer, but it's looking like the Rim of the Valley's got a long road ahead.
· Rim of the Valley National Park Proposal Draws Reaction [DN]
· Rim of the Valley Project Could Draw Griffith Park, LA River, El Pueblo Into National Park System [Curbed LA]