Legislative Alert issued: Rim of the Valley Land Grab Re-Introduced
Land Rights Network -
S 153 – US Senate
HR 355 – US House of Representatives
You won’t believe how large and far reaching this proposal is.
When you get to the home page, scroll down and in the middle of the
If you live anywhere near Los Angeles, you want to check these maps for sure to see if your home, farm or business is included. Be sure and let us know by e-mail at email@example.com if you are in the proposed Park Service land grab area.
The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy originally produced these maps. They deliberately tried to hide the full impact of S 153 and HR 355 by how they have shaded the areas in the map. They call it a corridor but it actually surrounds huge areas of land. American Land Rights went to an expert in maps and added emphasis to show what the Rim of the Valley really is.
It is urgent that you call your Congressman today to oppose HR 355. Call your Senators to oppose S 153. Send them e-mail or a fax.
The only way for local groups to fight local issues when threatened by Federal proposals is to band together nationwide and support each other. You, by calling today, will save people who will be there tomorrow to help you when you are threatened.
Rim of the Valley is a giant new National Park being slipped by Congress and is listed just as a supposed addition to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. It is far more than that.
Action Items listed below:
parts of the Santa Monica Mountains;
S 153 and HR 355 is called the Rim of the Valley Corridor Study Act and would study expanding the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area by adding a corridor of all the mountains surrounding the San Fernando Valley, La Crescenta Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, Simi Valley and Conejo Valley.
The Rim of the Valley consists of parts of the Santa Monica Mountains, the Santa Susanna Mountains, the San Gabriel Mountains, the Verdugo Mountains, the San Rafael Hills, and adjacent connector areas to the Los Padres and San Bernardino National Forests according to Congressman Adam Schiff.
The study area will encompass 491,518 acres. That is nearly three and a half times the size of the existing Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area that is 153,750 acres and over two thirds the size of Yosemite. All that in an urban area.
This is part of the giant plan promoted by the Park Service, the Nature Conservancy and the Wildlands Project for a nationwide series of corridors linking all the parks and forests in the United States. This has the potential for a massive takeover of National Forest and other Federal lands by the Park Service. Don’t dismiss this because it is in California. It is a model for what will happen in other areas.
S 153 and HR 355 will put a circle of Park Service control around tens of thousands of landowners. Anyone familiar with how the Park Service works knows that is the beginning of ratcheting down the regulatory controls and land acquisition. They want it all eventually.
-----A. You need to call, fax and e-mail your Congress in opposition to S 153 and HR 355 immediately. Every Congressman can be reached at (202) 225-3121. Every Senator can be reached at (202) 224-3121.
-----B. Ask your Congressman to oppose S 153 and HR 355. Tell the staff person about the map at www.landrights.org. Virtually no Congressman has seen a map. When they do, they may realize how crazy this idea is.
-----C. Make copies of the map and share them with your friends. If you live in the LA area, get copies of the map in the hands of Newspapers, radio and TV stations.
-----D. If you live in the Los Angeles or Ventura County area, call the LA Daily News (818) 713-3000 or and the Los Angeles Times (213) 237-7000 to urge them to print a map of the Rim of the Valley.
After three years of this proposal, they have both failed to print a map to alert to people in the pathway of this huge bill that they are in danger. The biggest thing that is said to us on these issues is that people find out they are threatened too late in the process. People need to get some idea of the huge scope of the Rim of the Valley.
-----E. Please contact American Land Rights (360) 687-3087 if you want to help battle this dangerous bill. If you are a member of any local or statewide recreation group, be sure to get them involved. This is especially true of multiple-use, off-highway vehicle, hunting, fishing and sport shooting groups. There are approximately 250,000 acres of private land included in the Rim of the Valley as well the Federal land, state and other lands.
If S 153 and HR 355 passes and the huge expansion eventually passes Congress it will:
-----1. Will threatened thousands of landowners and recreation users.
-----2. By our estimate, it will cost over $2 billion dollars and perhaps a great deal more to carry out their grandiose land acquisition and regulatory scheme. It will become a never-ending money pit with Congress having to keep up with public expectations. We projected in 1978 that the original Santa Monica Mountains NRA would not cost the $155 million the Park Service was estimating. We said it would cost over $1 billion dollars. It has now cost over $1 billion and they are nowhere near done.
-----3. Would study expanding the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area by adding a corridor encircling large portions of all the mountains surrounding the San Fernando Valley, La Crescenta Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, Simi Valley and Conejo Valley in California on the North side of Los Angeles. It even adds land in the Santa Monica Mountains.
-----3. S 153 and HR 355 includes part of the Santa Monica Mountains, the Santa Susanna Mountains, the San Gabriel Mountains, the Verdugo Mountains, the San Rafael Hills, and adjacent connector areas to the Los Padres and San Bernardino National Forests.
-----4. The study area will encompass 491,518 acres, that’s two-thirds the size of Yosemite. It’s nearly three and a half times the size of the existing Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area that is 153,750 acres.
-----5. Will extend a green line around huge areas. They will then seek to control land use within and adjacent corridors by threatening eminent domain (condemnation) of the land. That is how they prevent building and lots of other uses. ALRA saved a ski area in Maine recently that had been continually threatened with condemnation. The NPS will begin to extend regulations and inhibit your ability to even add on to your home.
-----6. S 153 and HR 355 will ultimately dilute the Park Service budget meaning less care for other parks. The Park Service does not have enough money now to even take care of the original 153,000 acres. How are they going to take care of 491,000 more?
-----7. The combined length of these corridors is likely to run in excess of 300 miles long. The Santa Monica Mountains NRA is only about 40 miles long and is already costing over one billion dollars.
-----8. The corridors will be like a series of giant nooses put around the necks of the many communities in the encircled areas. Economic and social activities will be greatly inhibited. Access people now take for granted will be lost forever. Roads that are today used for common activities will be closed. Frankly, the Park Service has a record of being a very bad neighbor. Go to www.landrights.org for several socio-cultural assessments and histories of Park Service abuses.
----10. Films including an episode of “Frontline” have been made about Park Service land acquisition. You can obtain copies through American Land Rights at (360) 687-3087 or firstname.lastname@example.org
----11. There will be a massive increase in regulations controlling private and community activities with the encircled areas. S 153 and HR 355 will interdict transportation corridors, which will mean new bridges and passageways for wildlife corridors throughout the region.
----12. They’ll use the wildlife as an excuse for substantial new regulatory controls. They’ll build bridges for the wildlife over the freeways but you’ll be locked out. For example over 90% of Yosemite is now closed off to most of the public. They are closing campgrounds and parking lots and soon you will have to take a bus just to get into the park.
----13. Force the closure of hundreds of miles of exiting roadways substantially reducing motorized recreation and necessary access for hunting, shooting and other sports.
----14. It will be hard or impossible to get communication towers and other utilities installed in these corridors once they are controlled by the Park Service.
----15. They say they will put in hiking trails, but the area is so hot in the summer that very little hiking takes place. There is virtually no water. In the winter, it becomes floods and mud. At the existing Santa Monica Mountains NRA they have to actually bus people out of the center of the City of Los Angeles in order to increase visitorship. People who have a choice don’t spend much time there.
----16. Movie and TV companies who use these areas for films will be prevented from doing their normal work. The Park Service likes naturalness. They don’t really like people. They just want enough to justify their budget.
----17. Creation of the Rim of the Valley Corridor could require tougher Class I air standards that would have a negative impact on private industry throughout the San Fernando Valley and the other areas. If you like the notion of viewsheds and soundsheds, you’ll love the Rim of the Valley Corridor bill.
----18. The House and Senate have not held hearings on S 153 and HR 355. The House held a hearing on another very different bill a year ago. The Senate held a hearing but had no one testify against the bill. That’s fairness for you. You would think they would want to hear from both sides. So Congress is really operating in the dark. You need to let your Congressman know you want both sides heard at any hearings.
----19. Even though there is very little water, what exists is valuable. S 153 and HR 355 will give the National Park Service a large measure of control over all the high ground around these valleys. Historically that means the agency uses that power to interdict the goals of local communities and business.
----20. The Park Service also seeks to keep communities from allowing landowners to use their land by threatening the cities and towns with the loss of Federal funds of all kinds.
Why is the Rim of the Valley Corridor bill (S 153 and HR 355) so important?
It will threaten thousands of landowners and permittees in the mountains around Los Angeles. It will threaten private owners and permittees in the Angeles National Forest and may threaten owners in the Los Padres and San Bernardino National Forests as well.
When the Park Service takes over a Forest Service area, landowners and recreation users lose. The Park Service does not like private uses and has almost no permit system.
S 153 and HR 355 will set a standard nationwide for corridor and greenway bills involving many urban and rural communities. It will likely lead to corridor measures in other National Forests. If you like the notion of viewsheds and soundsheds, you love the Rim of the Valley Corridor bill. If they pass it in California, it will be hard to stop in other areas.
S 153 and HR 355 is a “study” bill. But it is much cheaper and easier to stop the study bill than to stop the authorizing bill that will most certainly come later.
They say it is just a study bill, so what is the problem. Ask yourself why any self-respecting bureaucracy that always wants more lands, more money, more people and more power would turn down an opportunity to get more of them all. It almost never happens. The Park Service always wants more land, more money, more people and more power.
If you don’t live anywhere near Los Angeles, why should you care? Because these studies are the first step toward a Federal land grab in your area. They are the camel’s nose under the tent.
Even if you live in Maine, Utah or South Carolina, a few calls to your Congressman can make a huge difference. As few as ten letters in a Congressional district will get that Congressman thinking about why he should vote for this bill. Usually he will get very few calls in support from greens in your state. So a few calls like yours really count.
Any Congressman can be reached at the same number by calling the Capital Switchboard at (202) 225-3121. Any Senator at (202) 224-3121. Ask for the Congressman you are calling when the switchboard operator answers. When their staff answers the phone, ask for the person who handles National Parks or Resources Committee matters or S 153 and HR 355.
S 153 and HR 355 passed the Senate last year so we’ll have our work cut out for us. It also passed the Resources Committee last year. The new Committee list is below. It is vital that you contact the Committee Members.
S 153 and HR 355 is really creating a monster new national park. The size is huge and the cost will be even larger. The size could be a series of corridors with a total length over 300 miles and costing you, the taxpayer over $2 billion dollars.
Ultimately what the Park Service will want is a giant network of corridors, some very wide, covering all the mountains around the North and West parts of Los Angeles and part of Ventura Counties. Some of these corridors will likely mean the conversion of multiple-use lands managed by the US Forest Service to the National Park Service management.
The Park Service is famous for its land grabbing and regulatory technique. One example that Santa Monica Mountains NRA is well known for is for being the park where the Park Service was sued and ultimately had to pay large damages for initiating a raid against an innocent rancher, Donald Scott, who was killed in the raid. All because the Park Service wanted his land. The Park Service had claimed that Scott was growing marijuana on his land. It was not true. The agency was trying to gain the land using the drug forfeiture laws.
The Park Service has been a nightmare for landowners in Santa Monica Mountains. Relations with landowners and others who traditionally used the area have always been bad and continue that way.
Santa Monica Mountains NRA was supposed to be a “string of pearls” with most land left in private hands. But that concept largely went away as the Santa Monica Mountains NRA gradually grew and more landowners were wiped out.
The National Park Service promised they would protect private property owners and that most private land would not be purchased. However, they continually expand their appetite so the scope and cost of the NRA just keeps increasing.
The Santa Monica Mountains NRA surrounded thousands of landowners preventing them from getting access. Then they bought out the major landowners and just left the small landowners to twist in the wind. Numerous complaints have been filed about the Park Service creating hardships and doing nothing about it.
That is what will happen in the Rim of the Valley Corridor. It will start with a small scope and gradually increase over time until the Federal Government and the National Park Service take over huge portions of the mountains around Los Angeles.
The proposed new Park Service area is likely to cost over $2 billion in additional dollars. That could be grossly understated. The funding required would detract from existing National Parks that are already strapped for funds for basic health, safety maintenance and visitor services.
Besides calling, faxing and e-mailing your personal Congressman, it is especially important to make calls to the Congressmen listed below. If you don’t have your Congressman’s fax number, call and ask for it.
Of particular importance are David Drier, Chairman Pombo, and Subcommittee Chairman Nunes.
COSPONSORS – Senate
COSPONSORS -- House
House Resources Committee - All can be called at the Capital Switchboard at (202) 225-3121. You can fax the committee at (202) 225-5929. Be sure to put the Congressman’s name on it. (We’re only listing those Members who may be open minded about this issue and willing to listen) It is good to follow up your call with a short e-mail or fax. Surface mail takes as much as four to six weeks to arrive because the Anthrax inspections.
Richard Pombo (R-CA) Chairman
Solomon Ortiz (D-TX)
If you live in California, call at least three friends to ask them to call.
Please forward this message as widely as possible.
American Land Rights Association
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