How will the NPS address the comments received on
the preliminary study findings and alternative concepts?
The study team received over 5,000 comments on the preliminary study findings and alternative concepts presented
in Newsletter #3. We will spend the next several months analyzing the comments, refining the alternatives, and
preparing the draft study report and environmental assessment which will include more analysis of the area’s resources,
further discussion of the alternatives, and an environmental analysis of the potential effects associated with the
alternatives. We hope to complete the draft study report in early 2014, at which time we will distribute it for another
round of public review.
A summary of comments received on the preliminary findings and alternative concepts will be posted on the study website when available.
Will there be more opportunities for comment?
The NPS will provide another opportunity for public comment and review when the draft study report and environmental
assessment are released in early 2014. The public comments received during that stage will help refine the alternatives
prior to preparing the final study report to Congress.
Will there be any environmental compliance documents prepared for the Rim of the Valley Corridor SRS?
In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the NPS will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) to analyze potential
environmental impacts as part of the Rim of the Valley Corridor Special Resource Study. The public will also have an opportunity to review and
submit comments on the draft EA which will be released with the draft study report in early 2014.
How would study recommendations affect management by local communities and existing agencies
such as the U.S. Forest Service?
A special resource study provides recommendations to Congress, and would not change current management without further action from Congress. Each of the alternatives
considered in this study respects and retains the authorities of existing local, state and federal agencies, including USFS management of
the Angeles National Forest and Los Padres National Forest. U.S. Forest Service management would continue under all alternatives considered.
If any of the recommendations were implemented by Congress, the NPS would seek to work collaboratively with local communities and existing agencies
on common goals such as improving resource protection and increasing opportunities for recreation.
How would study recommendations affect property rights?
Each of the alternatives considered in this study respects private property rights. If a boundary adjustment recommended by this study was
authorized by Congress, it would not give the NPS any regulatory authority over private land. The study recommends that any resulting legislation
stipulate that the NPS would only acquire land from willing sellers.
What is a Special Resource Study and why is NPS conducting one here?
Congress directed the NPS to conduct a special resource study of the area known as the Rim of the Valley Corridor, generally including the mountains
encircling the San Fernando, La Crescenta, Santa Clarita, Simi and Conejo Valleys in California (P.L.110-229 – May 2008). The purpose of this special
resource study is to determine whether any portion of the Rim of the Valley Corridor study is eligible to be designated as a unit of the national park
system or added to an existing national park unit. The study will also explore other ways that private and governmental entities can protect resources
and provide more outdoor recreation opportunities. Study recommendations may consider the entire study area or only portions of it.
What does it mean to be in a study area?
The area that Congress directed the NPS to study (study area) is not a proposal for a national park. It is simply an area in which the NPS is
asked to evaluate natural and cultural resources and opportunities for public use and resource preservation. Resources found to be nationally
significant must also meet NPS criteria for suitability and feasibility to be considered for inclusion in the national park system. The NPS
will evaluate resources based on existing data (e.g. existing scientific studies and inventories, national register nominations,
environmental reports), and will work with scientists, historians, local researchers, community members, and others who know the area's resources.
As the NPS evaluates resources in the study area, often the focus of the study is narrowed. If significant resources are identified, the NPS will
identify a range of options or alternatives to protect these resources and provide for public enjoyment. Alternatives may focus on a part of the
study area, or may relate to the entire study area. For example, the study may evaluate an alternative that focuses on trail/open space corridors
or specific historic sites with national significance. The alternatives may also include a range of roles for the NPS including collaborative
opportunities to protect resources, technical assistance, as well as opportunities that do not include any long-term NPS role.
This study area overlaps with the study area for the San Gabriel Watershed and Mountains Special Resource Study. How does that effort relate
to this study?
The San Gabriel and the Rim of the Valley Corridor studies were each authorized through separate legislation, at different times and for
different geographic areas. There is an overlapping portion of the two study areas in the western San Gabriel Mountains. The San Gabriel Watershed and Mountains Special Resource
Study was completed in April 2013. The final recommendations and study documents area available on the study website at: www.nps.gov/pwro/sangabriel/.
The NPS will continue to prepare the Rim of the Valley SRS, addressing the public comments submitted this past fall in response to preliminary findings and alternatives,
and writing the draft study report. The study team will adopt the findings of the San Gabriel SRS for the overlapping portions of the study area, and may modify the draft Rim
of the Valley SRS alternatives in response to the recommendations of the San Gabriel SRS. The Rim of the Valley draft special
resource study and environmental assessment are expected to be available for public review and comment in 2014.