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Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, Trust for Public Land Preserve Nearly 1,200 acres of Prime Open Space and Wildlife Habitat

 Home to the California Condor, the acquisition advances Governor Newsom’s recent “30 by 2030” initiative to protect the State’s biodiversity and become more resilient to the Impact of climate change

 LOS ANGELES, CA (December 22, 2020) — The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA), in partnership with The Trust for Public Land, announced today that it had acquired 1,171 acres of the ecologically diverse and historic Hathaway Ranch, also known as Temescal Ranch at the eastern edge of the Sierra Madre Mountains, adjacent to both the western unit of the Angeles National Forest and the Los Padres National Forest between Castaic and Lake Piru. This increases the MRCA’s total protected section of the ranch to 2,400 acres.

As the largest private undeveloped land in Los Angeles County, and entirely in a County-designated “Significant Ecological Area,” the property lies in a critical east to west linkage between the San Gabriel and Sierra Madre mountains as well as a north to south linkage between the Sierra Madre and Santa Susanna mountains, both highlighted in the South Coast Missing Linkages Project, which is a comprehensive plan for a regional network that would maintain and restore critical habitat linkages between existing reserves. These linkages form the backbone of a conservation strategy for Southern California.

“Governor Newsom’s 30 by 2030 initiative recognizes that we must strategically and cooperatively conserve biodiversity in the State. Nature-based solutions are key to making California more resilient to the real and pressing threat of climate change,” said Joseph T. Edmiston, Executive Officer of the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.  “The completion of this major acquisition precisely demonstrates the MRCA’s ability as a public agency to work together with the many parties involved, including a non profit land trust, State government, and California family landowners to protect critical land for the public benefit.”

The $1.6 million acquisition was spearheaded by the nonprofit Trust for Public Land, which has been working to permanently protect the extraordinary 6,000-acre open space for more than thirty years. The Trust for Public Land worked with the California Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) to secure funding from the State Habitat Conservation Fund and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the Endangered Species Act, Recovery Land Acquisition Program.

“We are thrilled to have partnered with MRCA to make this project a reality. They are an exceptional partner and demonstrate a commitment to protecting the region’s most special places,” said Guillermo Rodriguez, California State Director for The Trust for Public Land. “This property will provide unparalleled outdoor recreation opportunities for the community and will protect some of Southern California’s most unique ecosystems. We look forward to continuing to work with MRCA on a proposed trail network that will give visitors and residents alike the opportunity to explore the region.”

Boasting one of the most extensive stands of coastal sage scrub and chaparral in Southern California, the new parkland supports a wide variety of special status species, including the California condor. Condor foraging on the property is well-documented, as it is close to the Sespe Condor Sanctuary. The land is also vital for maintaining mountain lion movement and genetic diversity throughout Southern California

The property contains the headwaters of two creeks, including one perennial spring, that ultimately feed federally endangered Southern California steelhead habitat downstream in Piru Creek and the Santa Clara River.

This is the second of a multiphase strategy for acquisition of the 6,000-acre ranch. The MRCA had previously acquired 1,230 acres in the first phase from TPL in 2018. The partners are currently in pursuit of the third phase of the project.

In October of this year, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order (N-82-20) ordering the protection of 30 percent of California’s land and coastal waters by 2030 to fight climate change—as evidenced by recent devastating wildfires. The Governor directed state agencies to pursue actions including land conservation that will use land to absorb climate-warming carbon from the atmosphere.

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) is a local government public entity dedicated to the preservation and management of open space and parkland, watershed lands, trails, and wildlife habitat. The MRCA works in cooperation with other government partners to acquire parkland, participate in vital planning processes, provide natural resources and scientific expertise, and complete major park improvement projects. The MRCA manages and p rovides ranger services and fire protection for almost 75,000 acres of parkland that it owns and that are owned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy or other agencies and provides comprehensive education and interpretation and leadership programs for youth. It is one of the lead agencies providing for the revitalization of the Los Angeles River.

About The Trust for Public Land

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live within a 10-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.

New 92-acre Carbon Canyon Open Space Dedicated in Malibu

Philanthropist Alex von Furstenberg donated $350,000 in gap funding
to purchase the spectacular parkland which will connect the Coastal Slope Trail

MALIBU, CALIFORNIA (November 4, 2020)—The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) announced today that it has acquired and dedicated to the public 92 acres of prime Malibu open space in Carbon Canyon.  Offering panoramic views of Saddle Peak and the Pacific Ocean, the acquisition creates 130 acres of contiguous MRCA public open space. The property will eventually be part of the regional Coastal Slope Trail, providing the connection from Sweetwater Mesa to Carbon Canyon.

Philanthropist Alex von Furstenberg, who has previously donated sizable open space dedications to the MRCA in Malibu, provided $350,000 in critical 11th hour funding to secure the acquisition, which was brokered by the nonprofit Trust for Public Land.

The acquisition was made possible by a consortium of public funding sources. Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl provided $730,000 in 3rd District landfill mitigation funds for the purchase, California Natural Resources Agency contributed $500,000 in EEMP funds, and the California Coastal Conservancy contributed $350,000 in Proposition 12 funds.

One hundred percent of the newly protected open space is designated as an “Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area (ESHA)” and contains almost 2,000 feet of USGS blue line stream.

“I am grateful that the Conservancy continues to create public hikes for all to enjoy the outdoors,” said Alex von Furstenberg.

“The public sector did not have quite enough funding to protect this ecologically significant land,” said Joseph T. Edmiston, Executive Officer of the MRCA.  “Mr. von Furstenberg’s generosity at a critical time assured preservation of a segment of the regionally significant Coastal Slope Trail, which will ultimately provide hikers a path from Topanga State Park to Leo Carrillo State Park where they can enjoy blue water views.”

The property contains a wide variety of vegetation communities including oak woodland, grassland, coastal sage scrub, and chaparral. Beautiful rock outcrops add to the diversity of the rugged terrain.  The MRCA will seek additional grants to develop trail access and viewing areas to make the new parkland accessible to the public.

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) is a local government public entity dedicated to the preservation and management of open space and parkland, watershed lands, trails, and wildlife habitat. The MRCA works in cooperation with other government partners to acquire parkland, participate in vital planning processes, provide natural resources and scientific expertise, and complete major park improvement projects. The MRCA manages and provides ranger services and fire protection for almost 75,000 acres of parkland that it owns and that are owned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy or other agencies and provides comprehensive education and interpretation and leadership programs for youth. It is one of the lead agencies providing for the revitalization of the Los Angeles River.

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MRCA Closes Some Parks and Backcountry Trails Because of Extreme Weather Through September 8, 2020

LOS ANGELES (September 5, 2020) – The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority announced today that effective immediately, it will temporarily close many of its parks because of the extreme hot weather and the imminent danger to park users in these conditions. The following Parks will be CLOSED until Tuesday, September 8, 2020:

CLOSED:
Happy Camp Canyon Regional Park
Rocky Peak Park
Ed Davis Park at Towsley Canyon
Mentryville
East and Rice Canyons
Sage Ranch Park
Wilson Canyon Park
Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve
Corral Canyon Park
Cameron Nature Preserve at Puerco Canyon

In addition, all backcountry trails into Topanga State Parks will be closed at Marvin Braude Mulholland Gateway Park (at both the Reseda Blvd. AND Van Alden Avenue entrances) and Temescal Gateway Park.

California State Parks, Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency, and Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area have also closed their Ventura County Parks and Trails.

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) is a local government public entity dedicated to the preservation and management of open space and parkland, watershed lands, trails, and wildlife habitat. The MRCA works in cooperation with other government partners to acquire parkland, participate in vital planning processes, provide natural resources and scientific expertise, and complete major park improvement projects. The MRCA manages and provides ranger services and fire protection for almost 75,000 acres of parkland that it owns and that are owned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy or other agencies and provides comprehensive education and interpretation and leadership programs for youth. It is one of the lead agencies providing for the revitalization of the Los Angeles River.

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MRCA Receives Donation of 20 Acres of Santa Monica Mountains Open Space In Woodland Hills

Woodland Hills, CA (July 24, 2020) – The MRCA announced today that it had acquired 20 acres of open space adjacent to its 1,500-acre Marvin Braude Mulholland Gateway Park in the Santa Monica Mountains. The new public open space was donated by a local family who had owned the property for many decades. Located south of the unpaved portion of Mulholland Drive and west of Santa Maria Road above Woodland Hills, the back country property is part of a key cluster of  public land in the 20,000-acre undeveloped urban wilderness known as the “Big Wild” extending from the 405 Freeway to Topanga Canyon. The land’s permanent protection will extend connectivity and  habitat for local wildlife between Marvin Braude Mulholland Gateway Park and the MRCA’s Summit Valley Ed Edelman Park.

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) is a local government public entity dedicated to the preservation and management of open space and parkland, watershed lands, trails, and wildlife habitat. The MRCA works in cooperation with other government partners to acquire parkland, participate in vital planning processes, provide natural resources and scientific expertise, and complete major park improvement projects. The MRCA manages and provides ranger services and fire protection for almost 75,000 acres of parkland that it owns and that are owned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy or other agencies and provides comprehensive education and interpretation and leadership programs for youth. It is one of the lead agencies providing for the revitalization of the Los Angeles River.

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Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority Beach and Park Closures for July 4 2020 Weekend

LOS ANGELES (July 1, 2020) – The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) announced today that in compliance with the Los Angeles County Public Health directive in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all beach access managed by the MRCA will be closed July 3-July 6, 2020.  This includes (east to west):

  • Miramar Coastal Overlook (Las Tunas Beach)
  • Dolphin View Coastal Overlook (Big Rock Beach)
  • Big Rock West (Big Rock Beach)
  • Carbon Beach East (Carbon Beach)
  • Carbon Beach West (Carbon Beach)
  • Malibu Road East (Amarillo Beach)
  • Geoffrey’s and Seacliff (Escondido Beach)
  • Bunnie Lane (Lechuza Beach)
  • East Sea Level Dr and West Sea Level Dr (Lechuza Beach)

Lewis MacAdams Riverfront Park in Elysian Valley, the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens, and the Jerome C. Daniel Overlook will remain remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Use of fireworks and of fire of any kind is prohibited in all MRCA parks. MRCA Rangers will be out in full force on July 4 and will enforce all violations. Face masks must be worn at all times at all MRCA-operated parks and 6′ distancing from others must be maintained.

“With the exception of the beaches and the parks previously closed by the pandemic, we intend to keep all MRCA parks and trails open for the holiday weekend, unless conditions change,” said Fernando Gomez, Chief Ranger of the MRCA.

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) is a local government public entity dedicated to the preservation and management of open space and parkland, watershed lands, trails, and wildlife habitat. The MRCA works in cooperation with other government partners to acquire parkland, participate in vital planning processes, provide natural resources and scientific expertise, and complete major park improvement projects. The MRCA manages and provides ranger services and fire protection for almost 75,000 acres of parkland that it owns and that are owned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy or other agencies and provides comprehensive education and interpretation and leadership programs for youth. It is one of the lead agencies providing for the revitalization of the Los Angeles River.

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Questions & Answers About MRCA-Managed Parks and Trails During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Updated January 29, 2021

Questions and Answers about Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority Park and Trail Openings During the COVID-19 Pandemic

LOS ANGELES (January 29, 2021) – The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) has reopened  to the public most of the parks and trails it manages in accordance with the protocols set forth by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and directives by the city of Los Angeles and other jurisdictions within which it operates. According to the health order, the public can use parks and trails but must practice physical distancing (be more than six feet away from other people not of your household), and wear a cloth face covering.

MRCA Masking and Distancing Order

MRCA Ventura County masking and distancing order

Parking lots and many—but not all—restrooms have also been opened at MRCA parks and trails.

This followed an unprecedented period of closure between March 22, 2020 and May 9, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Below are questions and answers about the current status of MRCA parks and trails.

Are all MRCA parks and trails open?
Most MRCA-managed parks and trails are open daily from sunrise to sunset. A list of the MRCA’s most popular parks can be found at this link on its website https://mrca.ca.gov/parks/parklisting/.

Which MRCA parks and facilities are CLOSED

  • All park buildings (with the exception of some outdoor-facing restroom facilities) and offices including those at King Gillette Ranch, Franklin Canyon Park, and Temescal Gateway Park
  • Jerome C. Daniel Overlook above the Hollywood Bowl
  • Los Angeles River Center and Gardens
  • Lewis MacAdams Riverfront Park

Which MRCA-managed beach accessways are OPEN:

  • Dolphin View Coastal Overlook (Big Rock Beach); between 19812 & 19768 Pacific Coast Highway 
  • Maritime Rocks (Big Rock Beach);  between 20516 & 20466 Pacific Coast Highway
  • Miramar Coastal Overlook (Las Tunas Beach); between 19620 & 19562 Pacific Coast Highway 
  • Carbon Beach East (Carbon Beach); 22126 Pacific Coast Highway
  • Carbon Beach West (Carbon Beach); 22500 Pacific Coast Highway
  • Malibu Road East Access (Amarillo Beach); 24038 Malibu Road
  • Lechuza Beach at West Sea Level Drive adjacent to Broad Beach Road; 31885 Sea Level Drive
  • Lechuza Beach at East Sea Level Drive; 31544 Broad Beach Road 

Note: The Bunnie Lane Access to Lechuza Beach is CLOSED

Which Coastal Access Points are CLOSED?

  • Latigo Beach; 26500 Latigo Shore Drive
  • Geoffrey’s Restaurant (Escondido Beach); 27400 Pacific Coast Highway
  • Escondido Beach; 27420-27428 Pacific Coast Highway
  • Lechuza Beach at Bunnie Lane Entrance; 31736 & 31712 Broad Beach Road  

Why are these facilities closed? All closures are to promote the health and safety of the public and MRCA staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What about restrooms? MRCA has opened restrooms that can be used in a manner that promotes the six-foot physical distancing mandated by public health authorities. This means multi-stall restrooms, and those inside park buildings are not open at this time.

Is parking available?
Many MRCA parks and trails have fee-based parking facilities, which are open and patrolled. Don’t forget to pay your parking fee. If you park on a public street, be sure you are in a legal parking spot because you may otherwise receive a parking ticket.

Many local parks and trails operated by other public entities have closed again after experiencing crowding, noncompliance with public health directives, an abundance of trash, and lack of physical distancing. Will all MRCA-managed parks and trails that are currently open remain open?
That depends on park users’ compliance with public health directives. Unfortunately, the pandemic is not over and may get worse. If the public or MRCA staff are at risk because of how the parks and trails are being used, we would have to consider closing the park or trail. This is preventable if the public practices physical distancing in all areas including parking lots and trailheads and wears cloth face coverings.

The MRCA-managed trail in my neighborhood, which I have enjoyed for 25 years, has reopened. We expected crowds but are very disappointed to have observed on a daily basis that the majority of hikers (most in close proximity to each other) are not wearing face coverings to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Isn’t a face covering required?
Yes. A face covering is required and every member of the public (with the exception of small children and those with a disability) is required to wear face coverings when visiting MRCA parks and trails. It is everyone’s responsibility to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and to keep the parks open for everyone.

What kind of enforcement are you doing to ensure the public complies with public health orders?
MRCA rangers and uniformed staff are doing everything they can to keep people safe on the trails so that everyone can continue to enjoy the respite of nature during this unprecedented public health crisis. The rangers are assisted by exemplary volunteers including the Santa Monica Mountains Mountain Bike Unit and the California Emergency Mobile Patrol, a more than 50-year old volunteer suburban search and rescue team serving the Los Angeles region. The goal is to educate park and trail users to practice the public health protocols of six-foot physical distancing and wearing face coverings to help keep everyone safe and the parks open.

What about beach access managed by the MRCA?
Some  MRCA-managed Malibu coastal accessways remain closed. Please see the list above. This includes the Bunnie Lane accessway to Lechuza Beach. These accessways are constrained physically so that they cannot allow for recommended social distancing. Their physical condition makes compliance with safety guidelines difficult for the public as well as for our operations and ranger staff.  We look forward to reopening  Malibu beach accessways as soon as it is safe to do so.

Can I bring my dog on my hike?
The same park rules apply as always. Dogs are allowed on leash and under owner’s immediate control at most (but not all) parks managed by the MRCA. Check for information on the individual park before you visit.

What else should I know?
Trail amenities, like trash cans, might not be available on your hike. Plan to carry out your own trash—Pack it in and Pack it out!

Be sure to follow basic hiking safety rules: only wear sturdy shoes, carry water, use sunscreen, and wear a hat. Be aware of natural hazards of Southern California open space areas: rattlesnakes, poison oak, and ticks.

Is the Los Angeles River Recreation Zone managed by the MRCA open?
No, the two LA River recreation zones managed by the MRCA—in Elysian Valley and in the Sepulveda Basin in Encino are closed for the season.

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) is a local government public entity dedicated to the preservation and management of open space and parkland, watershed lands, trails, and wildlife habitat. The MRCA works in cooperation with other government partners to acquire parkland, participate in vital planning processes, provide natural resources and scientific expertise, and complete major park improvement projects. The MRCA manages and provides ranger services and fire protection for almost 75,000 acres of parkland that it owns and that are owned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy or other agencies and provides comprehensive education and interpretation and leadership programs for youth. It is one of the lead agencies providing for the revitalization of the Los Angeles River.

Los Angeles River Recreation Zones to Open on Memorial Day Without Kayaking

Fishing, bird watching, and walking in the two sections of the river managed by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority in Elysian Valley and in the Sepulveda Basin in Encino are permitted beginning on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020−but no kayaking or in-water activities

LOS ANGELES (May 20, 2020) — The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) announced today that the Los Angeles River Recreation Zones in Elysian Valley and the Sepulveda Basin will open for the 2020 season–without kayaking or any other in-water activity.  The limited use of the river channel is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the eighth year in a row, the L.A. River Recreation Zones will provide summer access to passively recreate and explore the Los Angeles River in two different parts of the river that are still in a natural state.  Activities include walking, fishing, and bird watching.  The River Recreation Zones are managed by the MRCA in coordination with the City of Los Angeles and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the County of Los Angeles.

“This pandemic is affecting every aspect of our lives, including how we spend our recreational time,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, whose District includes Elysian Valley. “Although COVID-19 is limiting our access to water activities in the LA River this year, we can still enjoy the river environment while following physical distancing and other public health guidelines that protect ourselves and others.”

“This year, for everyone’s safety we cannot allow kayak or other boat access to the Los Angeles River,” said MRCA Chief Ranger, Fernando Gomez.   “No one–not individuals, nor organized groups, nor vendors–will be permitted to take a boat in the water this year. People will still be able to access the Recreation Zones to walk, bird watch, and fish, provided they comply with all public health orders and maintain a minimum physical distance of six feet from others, and wear a face covering.”

The two L.A. River Recreation Zones will be open from Memorial Day, May 25, 2020 through September 30, 2020. They will be patrolled by MRCA rangers. For more information visit the Los Angeles River Recreation Zone website at www.lariverrecreation.org

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority is a local public park agency dedicated to the preservation and management of open space, urban parkland, watershed lands, trails, and wildlife habitat.  The MRCA manages more than 75,000 acres of public parkland and provides natural resources and scientific expertise, critical regional planning services, operations, fire prevention and ranger services, as well as education and leadership programs for thousands of youth each year.  It is one of the lead agencies revitalizing the Los Angeles River.

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MRCA Parks and Trails Now Open

Parks and Trails Managed by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority Now Open

LOS ANGELES (May 9, 2020) – The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority announced today that it has opened most of its parks and trails to the public in accordance with the protocols set forth by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.  Parking lots and most restrooms are also open at all MRCA parks and trails. This follows an unprecedented period of closure since March 22, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All park users must wear a mask at all times.

The Los Angeles River Center and Gardens and the Jerome C. Daniel Overlook above Hollywood Bowl and all park buildings at all locations (excepting many public restrooms) remain closed.

The MRCA is asking for the public’s help in complying with these rules to keep parks and trails safe so that the parklands can stay open for respite and enjoyment during this public health emergency.

A list of the MRCA’s most popular parks can be found at this link on its website: https://mrca.ca.gov/parks/parklisting/.

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) is a local government public entity dedicated to the preservation and management of open space and parkland, watershed lands, trails, and wildlife habitat. The MRCA works in cooperation with other government partners to acquire parkland, participate in vital planning processes, provide natural resources and scientific expertise, and complete major park improvement projects. The MRCA manages and provides ranger services and fire protection for almost 75,000 acres of parkland that it owns and that are owned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy or other agencies and provides comprehensive education and interpretation and leadership programs for youth. It is one of the lead agencies providing for the revitalization of the Los Angeles River.

Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority Opens Spectacular New 257-acre Parkland in Chatsworth Hills

Senator Henry Stern, LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger dedicate Hidden Creeks, which was once slated for gated development

 CHATSWORTH, CA (February 21, 2020) — The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) announced today that it has acquired and opened to recreational use a new 257-acre park in Browns Canyon in unincorporated Los Angeles County in one of the most vibrant wildlife habitats in the southern Santa Susana Mountains. The stunning Hidden Creeks parkland—which had, as recently as last year, been proposed to be developed into a gated community of 188 luxury houses—is located at the confluence of Browns Creek and Mormon Creek, two miles north of the 118 Freeway.

The MRCA and Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy had actively pursued preservation of this exquisite coast live oak woodland, California walnut woodland, and gently sloping native and non-native grassland within the Santa Susana Mountains/Simi Hills Significant Ecological Area (SEA) since 2007.

Hidden Creeks is connected to over 11,000 contiguous acres of MRCA parkland, including 2,326-acre Michael D. Antonovich Regional Park at Joughin Ranch. The property provides a key migration corridor and perennial water source to a full complement of large mammals including black bear, mountain lion, mule deer, bobcat, American badger, grey fox, long-tailed weasel, ring-tailed cat, and the endangered California Condor.

“It was imperative that we protect this land and not allow the footprint of development in the San Fernando Valley to extend into core, irreplaceable habitat,” said Joseph T. Edmiston, Executive Director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, which contributed $150,000 to the purchase. The vision of our State representatives, the California Wildlife Conservation Board, and Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger created the best possible outcome for the public.”

The California Wildlife Conservation Board granted $4.9 million in Proposition 68 funds toward the final purchase price of $6.7 million.

“The Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) is proud to be a partner with the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority in the acquisition of the Hidden Creeks Ranch,” said John P. Donnelly, Executive Director of the Wildlife Conservation Board.   The continued ability to work with our partners in Southern California to provide wildlife-oriented recreation while preserving valuable wildlife corridors and biodiversity-rich landscapes, is something that WCB is honored to be a part of.”

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger was an early and vociferous advocate for acquisition of the parkland which abuts the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility at Porter Ranch where a massive natural gas leak occurred in 2015. The Supervisor contributed $1.6 million in County funds, as well as unwavering support critical to preventing inappropriate development of the property.

“It is an honor to join so many partners and community members as we formally dedicate the Hidden Creeks property as permanent open space,” said Supervisor Barger. “This is a significant resource for our local neighbors, as well as for the vast wildlife who call this land home. I’m so proud that as a community, we worked collaboratively toward our shared vision and we can now enjoy this incredible space together.”

The public parkland will now permanently protect threatened and sensitive habitat and species and provide immediate access to recreational trails. Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation intends to develop its Green Ranch property just below Hidden Creeks with parking, restrooms, and equestrian facilities which will further public access to the new parkland.

“Southern California’s breathtaking open spaces are admired around the world— and they ensure that our precious wildlife can traverse a land they recognize as their own, said California State Senator Henry Stern.  “By protecting Hidden Creeks, we have chosen to treat our flora and fauna with the respect it deserves and prevented further urban development in high-risk fire areas.”

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) is a local government public entity dedicated to the preservation and management of open space and parkland, watershed lands, trails, and wildlife habitat. The MRCA works in cooperation with other government partners to acquire parkland, participate in vital planning processes, provide natural resources and scientific expertise, and complete major park improvement projects. The MRCA manages and provides ranger services and fire protection for almost 75,000 acres of parkland that it owns and that are owned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy or other agencies and provides comprehensive education and interpretation and leadership programs for youth. It is one of the lead agencies providing for the revitalization of the Los Angeles River.

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Los Angeles River Recreation Zone Closed for the Season

Kayaking, fishing, and walking in the two sections of the river managed by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority in Elysian Valley and at the Sepulveda Basin in Encino are not permitted until the next Recreation Zone Season commencing on Memorial Day, 2020

LOS ANGELES (September 29, 2019) — The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) announced today that the Los Angeles River Recreation Zones in Elysian Valley and the Sepulveda Basin have closed for the season.

For the seventh year in a row, the L.A. River Recreation Zones have provided summer access to recreate and explore the Los Angeles River in two different parts of the river that are still in a natural state.  Activities include steerable boating such as kayaking and canoeing, fishing and bird watching.  The River Recreation Zones are managed by the MRCA in coordination with the City of Los Angeles and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the County of Los Angeles.

“We look forward to opening again next Memorial Day,” said MRCA Chief Ranger, Fernando Gomez.  “We urge everyone to check out the website www.lariverrecreation.org to find out information about the program.”

The Sepulveda Basin Recreation Zone is a gentle, two-mile up river and back trip with braided channels, wildlife, and tranquil pools. Of the two Recreation Zones, the Sepulveda Basin offers easy paddling, and less natural obstacles.

The Elysian Valley kayak experience is a five mile one-way trip with braided channels and abundant wildlife in the middle of the city. The kayak experience includes strong currents and a few rapids.

In addition to managing the Recreation Zones, this summer the MRCA continued its tradition of working with local nonprofits such as Community Nature Connection, Mujeres de la Tierra, and Los Angeles Conservation Corps to provide free trips to underserved youth and adults.

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority is a local public park agency dedicated to the preservation and management of open space, urban parkland, watershed lands, trails, and wildlife habitat.  The MRCA manages more than 75,000 acres of public parkland and provides natural resources and scientific expertise, critical regional planning services, operations, fire prevention and ranger services, as well as education and leadership programs for thousands of youth each year.  It is one of the lead agencies revitalizing the Los Angeles River.