Holden’s Bill To Protect And Preserve California Wildlands And Parklands Passes First Senate Test

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sacramento – Assemblymember Chris Holden’s (Pasadena) bill to increase fines for dumping and vandalism in Southern California’s natural spaces and outdoor recreation areas has been approved by the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. 

AB 1767 raises the fines for dumping, vandalism or destroying property on Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy properties to $1,500.  The bill also increases fines ($750 maximum) for infractions such as ignoring red flag warnings or allowing off-leash dogs in protected lands. Because state bonds used to fund much of the SMMC cannot be used for maintenance, the bill would require that the fines be used to pay the costs of any repairs or clean-up related to those violations.  

“Southern California’s foothills and wilderness areas are natural resources we must continually work to preserve for our children and our children’s children,” said Assemblymember Holden.
“In recent years, the Conservancy has faced thousands of dollars in deficits because of unreimbursed costs to repair damage.  Hopefully, this bill will act as a deterrent to those who might consider dumping their trash or defacing our parks and wilderness areas.”

The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy is a state agency created in 1980 to preserve open space, parks and wilderness in Southern California.  The 69,000 acres that make up the Conservancy stretch from the Pacific Ocean through the Santa Monica Mountains and extend east to include parts of the San Gabriel Mountains, the Verdugo Hills and the San Rafael Hills in Pasadena.

AB 1767 now goes to Senate Appropriations for consideration.