Park Service should release the Rim of the Valley report now
|March 19, 2015 - The National Park Service should promptly release the report, already delayed three times, on the proposal to create a Rim of the Valley National Recreation Area on wildlands stretching from the Santa Monica Mountains to the Angeles National Forest above Pasadena.|
|The Los Angeles News Group Editorial Board|
|LA Daily News|
|A member of Congress — or a regular person, too — probably understands that there are times when the wheels of government turn rather slowly.|
But Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, is certainly not exaggerating when he terms “bureaucratic neglect” the failure of the National Park Service to release a report, already delayed three times, on his proposal to create a Rim of the Valley National Recreation Area on wildlands stretching from the Santa Monica Mountains to the Angeles National Forest above Pasadena.
That’s because the study was commissioned by Congress in October 2008. Since then, the Park Service has missed three deadlines to publish the Rim of the Valley Corridor Special Resource Study draft — twice in 2014 and a third time in January — as Schiff wrote in a letter to NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis, dated Feb. 26.
This is slow going even on a governmental clock set to geologic time. And you don’t have to be paranoid to suspect that someone is not releasing the report for reasons of her or his own. Schiff says he knows that the report is in fact complete and has been for months. Last month he asked the Park Service to not only release it quickly, but to set dates for public hearings and for the completion of the final as opposed to draft version of the report. So far, though, he’s hearing only crickets.
Once the draft is released, that will give both its proponents, its critics and those like us who would just like to see some tinkering with it a chance to comment and help build the final product. Proponents are happy that this rather wide-reaching proposal would add a bunch of parkland and hiking areas to better management by rangers — “Stetsons on the trail,” they call them. Staunch opponents worry that it’s a government land grab out to steal private property and water rights by protecting tiny fish and the like. And we, along with the Arroyo Seco Foundation, see this as an opportunity to get greater protections for wilderness land taken out at the last minute from the Angeles National Monument, including the Arroyo Seco and areas above Tujunga.
We also have concerns about combining its management with the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, big enough already, and with including El Pueblo de Los Angeles, an urban area. But release that report now!
|The proposed Rim of the Valley National Recreation Area would run from the Simi Hills, the Verdugo Hills, the Santa Monica Mountains, the San Fernando Valley and into the western part of the Angeles National Forest. This view shows a trail area in the hills above Simi Valley Ca January 23, 2014.|
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