SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS : Beilenson to Seek Parkland Funding


Rep. Anthony C. Beilenson, who represents the Conejo Valley, plans today to lobby the House for $20 million to purchase parkland in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Dangling the lure of recession-slashed land prices, Beilenson will try to persuade the House appropriations subcommittee on the interior to allocate funds for his district, said Melissa Kuckro, the congressman’s legislative director in Washington.

“Land prices are declining in the Santa Monicas, so it is likely that park acquisition dollars will go farther now than they have in recent years--and farther than they will go if funding is postponed,” Beilenson said.


The National Park Service’s goal is to buy 18,000 more acres in the Santa Monica Mountains and connect 65 miles of trails along the ridgeline, said Park Service spokeswoman Jean Bray.

Meanwhile, Thousand Oaks Mayor Judy Lazar has invited more than a dozen politicians, parks officials, environmentalists and business leaders to work together to preserve the 640-acre Broome Ranch just outside Newbury Park, south of Portrero Road.

The ranch, a long-coveted link in the greenbelt ringing Thousand Oaks, will soon go up for sale to the highest bidder, City Manager Grant Brimhall told the City Council on Tuesday.

Union Bank, which holds title to the ranch, expects to sell it for about $5.5 million at a probate auction scheduled for July 1, according to Brimhall.

Although the tract is protected as an designated agricultural preserve for five years, Lazar has invited local, state and national politicians to participate in a “public/private coalition” to explore options for acquisition of Broome Ranch in an effort to preclude even a remote possibility of development.

The group’s first meeting has been scheduled for May 20.