Weste testifies in D.C. in support of bill aimed at protecting natural resources, habitats in community

Santa Clarita Councilwoman Laurene Weste presenting her testimony in support of H.R. 1708 on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. Courtesy of the city of Santa Clarita.

Santa Clarita Councilwoman Laurene Weste made a trip to Washington, D.C., Tuesday to testify in support of a bill aimed at including the proposed Rim of the Valley Corridor Unit to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, introduced H.R. 1708 on March 13 to expand the recreation area to include the Rim of the Valley Corridor Unit, which includes a portion of the Santa Clarita Valley.

“H.R. 1708 is important to our (Santa Clarita) community, because it provides a solid pathway for the federal government to more fully participate as a partner with the city of Santa Clarita and other stakeholders in the region to significantly augment our collective open space, park lands, historical sites and trails,” said Weste in her testimony at the National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Legislative Hearing, according to a transcript provided by the city of Santa Clarita.  

She said the bill would maximize resources for the operation and programming of the area, help the wildlife corridors and assist with the city and county of Los Angeles’ efforts in improving the public’s access to nature for recreational and educational purposes.

Santa Clarita Councilwoman Laurene Weste and Congresswoman Katie Hill in Washington D.C., where Weste presented her testimony in support of H.R. 1708 on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. Courtesy of the city of Santa Clarita.

“With the availability of state park bond resources and local resources, such as Santa Clarita’s Open Space Preservation District, this bill can lead to leveraging modest federal investments, which will yield high levels of return by creating and enhancing amenities that residents and businesses value in making their decisions to locate in our community and surrounding areas. I urge your support for H.R. 1708,” said Weste in her closing words.  

After her testimony, Weste said she thought “it was well-received, and we hope to see it move forward out of committee, but they didn’t make any recommendations today.”

Before the hearing, Weste met with Rep. Katie Hill, D-Agua Dulce, who is a co-sponsor of H.R. 1708, to discuss the councilwoman’s testimony.


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Tammy Murga

Tammy Murga

Tammy Murga covers city hall and business for The Signal. She joined in the summer of 2018, previously working in Northern California as an assistant editor and reporter for the Lake County Record-Bee. In 2016, she graduated from Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles. Have a story tip? Message her on Twitter or at [email protected]