featured graphic for California Senate District 29, represented by Josh Newman, during COVID-19

Bill to expand Chino Hills State Park advances in the California Legislature

Members of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water passed a bill Tuesday that would require the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to incorporate three parcels of land, about 1,500 acres, into Chino Hills State Park. SB 266, authored by Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), passed with a unanimous, bipartisan vote.

Chino Hills State Park is situated in a densely populated region of the Los Angeles Basin and sees more than 300,000 visitors annually.

“SB 266 would protect precious open space for our region, an area that boasts the most biodiversity of any of the lower 48 states,” said Newman. “The legislation also would help California to achieve the goal of preserving 30% of California’s land and coastal waters by 2030.”

The lands that comprise Chino Hills State Park form a critical link in the 31-mile long Puente-Chino Hills biological corridor. The unique habitat stands out in a heavily urbanized region. More than 200 species of birds and mammals – several of them on the threatened and endangered species lists – are native to the land. By directing the state to acquire the additional parcels and preserve this zone, SB 266 will prevent habitat fragmentation, a leading cause of species endangerment and extinction.

Expanding Chino Hills State Park also would fulfill an outstanding settlement agreement that the Department of Parks and Recreation entered into in 2008 with a local conservation group, Hills for Everyone. For more than a decade, the Department has failed to acquire and incorporate additional land in the state park system, even the lands designated a priority by the State Park’s General Plan.

SB 266’s passage out of committee brings the region one-step closer to preserving vital natural lands for recreation, expanding wildlife connectivity and protecting biodiversity, and fulfilling the court-mandated settlement agreement.

To schedule an interview with Senator Newman, contact Alina Evans at (916) 651-4526.

This article was released by the Office of Senator Josh Newman.