While it may seem like L.A. is a concrete jungle, there's a lot of land in the greater metropolitan area that's undeveloped. According to a recent study of the 650,000-acre area known as the Rim of the Valley Corridor -- a stretch of mountainous land that encompasses the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, 180,000 acres of National Forest property, and a whole lot of buildings -- nearly 84% of the region remains undeveloped. And there are quite a few reasons that land needs to be protected:
The [...] area encompasses a mosaic of natural communities that span coastal and montane ecosystems and support high levels of biodiversity. More than 10,000 years of human habitation are represented in the cultural resources found with the study area.
The quote comes courtesy of a National Park System study assessing who and what would best serve the area. After concluding that creating a new National Park wouldn't be the best option, the group considered four possibilities:
- Alternative A: Essentially keeping things status quo;
- Alternative B: Developing a "cooperative conservation partnership" with landowners and private groups;
- Alternative D: Adding 313,000 acres to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
But it was ultimately Alternative C that the group decided to recommend, which includes handing over 173,000 acres to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
This is the beginning of the end of a long process of figuring out how to protect the land, which started with a Congressional mandate way back in 2008. There are another five public meetings scheduled (as well as one virtual online meeting) over the next two months that will ideally bring this issue to a close. Head over to the website to get more information about it.