Rep. Adam Schiff responds to parks criticism: Letters
|<b>January 9, 2018</b> - Congressman Adam Schiff responds to recent criticism of national parks with a call to move forward with the expansion of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to include more portions of the Rim of the Valley Corridor.|
|Rep. Adam Schiff|
|In a recent op-ed column, “Government’s mismanagement of national parks means problems and maintenance bills are piling up” (Dec. 26), the author identifies a real issue — the underfunding of our park system — but reaches the exact wrong conclusion. We can and should ensure that national parks have the resources they need, while also protecting and preserving our irreplaceable natural heritage. The expansion of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to include the Rim of the Valley Corridor has undergone years of study and public comment, and it’s clear that this unique and beautiful national treasure should be protected for future generations.|
Along with Senator Feinstein, I introduced the first bill to study the creation of the Rim of the Valley in 2001. The legislation to expand the borders of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (NRA) came only after years of study by the National Park Service and multiple rounds of public comment from stakeholders and residents, the overwhelming majority of whom strongly supported protecting these lands. In fact, of the thousands of public comments received from Los Angeles-area residents, only a few dozen were in opposition to the expansion of the Santa Monica Mountains NRA. It is clear that the views of the Reason Foundation, a far-right group funded in part by the Koch brothers, are out of step with Los Angeles residents who want to expand public space, not privatize it.
It is true that our national parks have been underfunded, a situation that would only be worsened by the 13 percent cut the Trump administration proposed in the 2018 budget. I will work to fully fund the Park Service, a comparably small investment in our national treasures to allow them to be enjoyed by all Americans today, and in the future.
It is important to also note that the passage of the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act would not itself increase the amount of land under federal management, though it would allow the Park Service to implement capital improvements, including trails, roads and facilities for public use.
The Rim of the Valley is an area of unique natural beauty, situated in the midst of one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States.
There is no question that we can, and should, pass the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act to make sure that Los Angeles-area residents and generations to come can enjoy our heritage.
— Rep. Adam Schiff, Burbank
Arroyo Seco Foundation, PO Box 91622, Pasadena, CA 91109-1622 (323) 405-7326 firstname.lastname@example.org