Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, has introduced the Helping Invest in Key Environments (HIKE) Act, which would expand the Santa Monica Mountain National Recreation Area to include large parts of the Rim of the Valley corridor.
This legislation would open up additional resources for preservation and protect a critical natural ecosystem from harmful disruption, according to a statement released by the congressman’s office on Wednesday.
By adding substantial portions of the Rim of the Valley to the Santa Monica Mountain National Recreation Area, Garcia’s legislation would shift responsibility for this land to the National Park Service and allow this agency to partner with the community to protect this area and expand recreational opportunities, the statement said.
This legislation prioritizes the protection of private property rights and does not allow for forced land acquisition through eminent domain, nor does it place any restrictions on property owners, the statement said.
“Protecting the Rim of the Valley has been a top priority since I’ve been in office,” Garcia said in the release. “I’m proud to introduce legislation that will ensure the Rim of the Valley is preserved and protected from potentially damaging developments. One of the greatest benefits of living in Southern California is the ample recreational opportunities afforded to us by our close proximity to hiking trails and public lands. This bill will improve the quality of life for those in our communities, and protect the majestic beauty in the hills around the Santa Clarita Valley, Acton, Agua Dulce, and the (State Route) 14 corridor for generations to come.”
Santa Clarita Mayor Jason Gibbs also issued a statement of support for this legislation:
“The Helping Invest in Key Environments (HIKE) Act leverages longstanding local initiatives to enhance access to the outdoors for recreational and educational purposes, while preserving some of Southern California’s most irreplaceable natural resources and protecting some of the nation’s most iconic wildlife,” Gibbs said in the release. “I commend Congressman Mike Garcia for his unwavering commitment and bipartisan work on this critically important issue.”
This legislation also has the official support of the National Parks Conservation Association.