Governor Gavin Newsom today signed State Senator Josh Newman’s (D-Fullerton) legislation to expand Chino Hills State Park through the acquisition of three privately owned properties.
SB 266 requires the California Department of Parks and Recreation to incorporate three adjacent parcels of land, about 1,500 acres, into Chino Hills State Park. The largest of the three is a 1,200-acre parcel owned by National Investment Properties.
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 will help California reach its goal of preserving 30 percent of the state’s land and coastal waters by 2030,” said Newman. “The expansion of Chino Hills will protect precious open space for our beautiful area, an environment that hosts the most biodiversity in any of the lower 48 states.”
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 and is home to more than 200 native species of birds and mammals, several of them on the threatened and endangered species lists. 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 will 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, Parks and Recreation has failed to acquire and incorporate additional land into the state park system, including lands designated a priority by the State Park’s General Plan.
“We appreciate all of our partners in maintaining the biologic integrity of Chino Hills State Park,” said Claire Schlotterbeck, executive director of Hills for Everyone, which founded Chino Hills State Park. “Led by Senator Newman and Assemblymember Phillip Chen, they achieved unanimous support in the Legislature for this bill. And now we are so grateful to Governor Newsom for signing the bill because we may proceed with additional acquisitions knowing that the lands will be in State Park ownership soon.”
Governor Newsom’s signing of SB 266 brings the region a step closer to preserving vital natural lands for recreation, expanding wildlife connectivity and protecting biodiversity.
About State Senator Josh Newman
State Senator Josh Newman represents the 29th Senate District, which is comprised of portions of Los Angeles County, Orange County and San Bernardino County. The 29th District includes all or parts of the cities of Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Chino Hills, City of Industry, Cypress, Diamond Bar, Fullerton, La Habra, La Palma, Placentia, Rowland Heights, Stanton, Walnut, West Covina and Yorba Linda. Senator Newman is a former United States Army officer, business person, and veterans’ advocate, and lives in Fullerton with his wife and daughter.