For Immediate Release: 9/14/22

LOS ANGELES — Today, the Los Angeles City Council adopted a resolution from Councilmembers Nithya Raman and Paul Koretz supporting a set of conservation bills pending in Congress as a means of achieving the 30×30 initiatives set forth by President Joe Biden and Governor Gavin Newsom. The bills — the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act and the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act — would bolster the 30×30 goals of protecting 30% of natural areas by 2030 through preservation of natural resources and wildlife habitats throughout the Los Angeles region, while ensuring access to nature and life-enhancing benefits for all Angelenos. 

“California has the most imperiled biodiversity of any other state in the country. If we are serious about preventing a potential mass extinction and drastic loss of natural resources, we must take bold measures to preserve the space and habitats we do have — this legislation will take us in the right direction at the right pace.” said Councilmember Raman. “Additionally, it will help to ensure more equity in life-enhancing access to nature, and life-essential provision of clean air and water for residents across the City.”

The 30×30 goals follow scientific recommendations of a timeline necessary to prevent further loss of natural space and biodiversity endangerment or extinction. The first bill supported in the Resolution, the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act (H.R.1075 and S.1769), would serve this preservation goal through expansion of the boundary of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area by roughly 191,000 acres. This would increase public land access for 47% of Californians who live within two hours of this area, many in disadvantaged communities. 

“Los Angeles is not just a network of freeways but, in fact, it is a biological hotspot with flora and fauna that exist nowhere else on earth including our world famous mountain lions like P-22,” said Councilmember Koretz, co-author of the resolution.  “But rapid urban density increases exacerbated by the onslaught of climate change is creating a perfect storm of mass extinction both globally and locally that are inextricably linked to human health and survival. Active conservation can no longer be a philosophical exercise but an emergency triage of policies to protect biodiversity and wildlife habitats as they stand on a precipice of disappearing forever. This package of conservation bills is the very least we can do to work at a local, state and federal level to save what is left.  And we will keep doing more.”

The second bill supported by the resolution, the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act (H.R.693), establishes the San Gabriel National Recreation Area along  the foothills and San Gabriel River corridor, designating over 30,000 acres of protected wilderness and 45.5 miles of protected rivers. In concert with the PUBLIC Lands Act (S.1459), which the City Council previously adopted a Resolution supporting, it sets forth provisions concerning the restoration, economic development, conservation of, and recreational access to, certain public lands throughout California, including in the Los Angeles area,. 

“We are pleased that the City Council is treating the climate crisis with the urgency it deserves by supporting this legislation, which will help protect our public lands for future generations to enjoy,” said Roberto Morales, Senior Organizing Representative, Sierra Club, and Board Chair, Nature for All Coalition. “Not only would protecting more lands and waters enable more people to enjoy access to nature; it would also help California achieve its climate goals, getting us closer to the essential mark of protecting 30% of lands and waters by 2030.”