Assembly Passes Holden’s Bill To Protect And Preserve Southern California’s Open Spaces

Monday, May 5, 2014

Sacramento - Assemblymember Chris Holden’s bill (AB 1767) to ensure Southern California’s natural spaces and outdoor recreation areas will be enjoyed by Californians for generations to come, has been approved in the Assembly.

AB 1767 would increase the maximum fine for dumping, vandalism or destroying property on Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy properties to $1,500 and would increase the fine for infractions to not more than $750. 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  

“These parks, open spaces and wilderness areas are in our own backyard and if we don’t act to protect them, we could lose them forever,” stated Assemblymember Holden.  “Not only will these penalties pay to restore and repair the damages, but will hopefully serve as a deterrent to those who would harm public lands. I consider these 114 parklands and recreational areas part of our heritage and I want them to be available to California’s children for generations to come.”

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.